Republicans Think Hillary Clinton Is A Literal Witch
The election cycle is getting to that point where we wake up every day to a little groan aimed at the very existence of politicians. We've heard every insane claim, dubious debate strategy, and clearly suspect promise of every candidate, and the real race is just getting started. We, friends, are rapidly growing jaded.
And that is a shame. Because some of the comments our political animals keep spurting out are hidden gems of crazy that lead to strange rabbit holes which seem to descend into an everlasting spiral of weirdness. For your amusement, and also because I lost a bet with the other columnists, I decided to dive head first into one of them. Here's what I found:
It Starts With A Seemingly Independent Piece Of Madness
On the second day of this year's Republican National Convention, former presidential hopeful Ben "You still remember who I am, right, guys?" Carson gave a heartfelt speech about the dangers of political correctness and the benefits of godliness. But that's not what anyone remembers of the speech. No, it's the way he straight up told the world that Hillary Clinton is in cahoots with the devil.
Personally, I think that's pretty fucking metal, but from the context, it's clear that the esteemed Dr. Carson didn't mean to imply that the Democratic presidential candidate is planning to waltz into the White House to the sweet tunes of Ronnie James Dio. His argument was based around writer and community organizer Saul Alinsky, Clinton's old mentor and the subject of her senior thesis. Alinsky once wrote a book called Rules For Radicals, which had the gall to acknowledge Lucifer as "the original radical." You probably know what comes next.
"Man, don't drag me into this. Hell's a cakewalk compared to this election cycle."
Carson then took his version of logic and leapt over the shark so hard that Henry Winkler is considering legal action:
"This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration Of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator; this is a nation where our Pledge Of Allegiance says we are one nation under God. This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says 'In God We Trust.' So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?"
And that is how the RNC found out -- whether it liked it or not -- that Ben Carson believes Hillary Clinton is a lady who's in league with Satan. In other words, a witch.
"Now that the dude with a rubber boot on his head turned out to be surprisingly sensible,
the Craziest Candidate prize is up for grabs again, right?" "
"But hey, that's Ben Carson," you justifiedly point out. "This is a man who misunderstands pyramids so hard that Egypt won't even bother to take it as an insult. Of course he'd blurt out something like that -- dude's precisely one empty coffee canister away from labeling Donald Trump as a leprechaun, and in fact has already accidentally peppered the guy with tons of accidental insults. Surely, one creepy swing in the opposing party's direction is just par for his dipshit course?"
That's what I initially thought, too. It's just that Carson is not exactly alone in his claims about Hillary's satanic activities ...
Then You Find Out Everyone's Doing It
Here's a fun exercise: Go to any right-leaning message board, or conservative sub-Reddit, or just a news site that allows comments. Locate several threads or articles about Hillary Clinton. Then, keep your eyes peeled for the words "witch," "witchcraft," and similar terms. Before too long, your eyeballs will be slapped right in the dong by comments that practically scream for a shitty Photoshop about her as the Wicked Witch Of The West. Yes, they're out there. No, I won't link any here. Instead, eat screenshot:
Guys, I might be crazy, but a whole lot of right-wing people seem to be actively calling Hillary Clinton a witch. That's ... oddly specific, isn't it? Using other witch-related search terms like "cackling" will get you very similar results. Hell, even fucking "broomstick" will yield a bunch of Hillary threads. Very little about gingerbread houses, though. I guess that makes sense -- why ruin something delicious by association?
For comparison, here's a collection of more openly crazy stories stating the exact same witch-thing about Ms. Clinton, in oddly similar terms:
What really gets me is how both the message boards and the straight-up lunatics use the exact same language: "witch," "Illuminati," "murderous," etc. keep popping up in an almost conversational (though presumably loud and spit-speckled) tone. It seems to be infectious, too: Even the mainstream media has started to pick up the witch rhetoric. And if you really want to get confused, feel free to combine the hashtags #hillary and #witch on Twitter.
Right now, you're probably assuming that this is just an election thing. After all, The Donald's adversaries make fun of his physics-defying hair, orange hue, and general mollusk-like qualities all the time. Surely, an underlying right-wing tendency to label the Clinton as a witch who's just one election victory away from naming Black Phillip as the secretary of state is just a Republican version of that?
Nope! It's something much weirder, because ...
GOP Witch Panic Has Been Going On For Ages, And Goes Way Beyond Hillary
So the first stage of witch-ception was that a single kooky opponent-wannabe labeled Hillary Clinton a witch. The second one was that a whole bunch of conservatives seem to be doing it. Welcome to the third stage, where that shit is not just limited to Hillary anymore.
The allegations about Hillary Clinton's dabblings in devilry date back to her days as the First Lady. They've been around since at least 1997, and Pastor John Hagee's "Our country is led by baby-sacrificing Satanists" book Day Of Deception. Hagee claimed that Hillary is responsible for bringing witchcraft to the White House by literally bringing in a witch as part of her entourage. For the three of you who half think that this makes sense, it's worth noting that Hagee also claimed that the high-ups of the state actively practice satanic rituals where they isolate pregnant women from society and take away their newborn babies to sacrifice to their dark master. You may recognize this as the plot of Rosemary's Baby.
"Compare me to all the Polanski movies you want, as long as you don't bring up the emails again."
So, this is clearly not just about the current election. The thing is, it's most definitely not just about Hillary, either.
The internet's rife with stories about right-wing bigshots dealing with witchcraft in their own, strange ways. In 2005, Sarah Palin took part in a ceremony where a Kenyan preacher prayed to protect her from witchcraft. Palin also strongly insinuated that the preacher, a "witch hunter" who turned out to be a fraud, was instrumental in her successful election as the Governor of Alaska. In 1983, Rand Paul tied and blindfolded a fellow student and forced her to worship an entity known as "Aqua Buddha" while kneeling in a stream. Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal once took part in an exorcism. Tea Party luminary Christine O'Donnell dabbled in witchcraft in her youth. Some see satanic symbolism in their own iconic elephant logo. And, of course, in 2016 the entire party just stopped giving a fuck and summoned a tangerine hate ifrit as their candidate.
So, much as they might downplay it in public, plenty of Republicans and conservatives seem to have such a serious terror-boner about witchcraft, my guess is that it has almost subconsciously entered their lexicon of insults and smear tactics. I'm not saying that this zeal almost comes across like that thing where young boys cover their burgeoning fascination towards the opposite sex by screaming that girls are icky at every opportunity. I'm definitely not pointing out the ironic similarity between the Republicans' and conservatives' tendency to treat opponents and obstacles as literal witchery and the way experts have pointed out the modern GOP operates like a witch-hunt machine that's incapable of compromise. That's not my place. What I am saying, however, is how weird it is that despite all this, tons of right-wing politicians can't help but dip a toe in the witching pool, and even when their intention is to protect themselves from witchcraft, it serves to stealthily admit that they take its existence seriously.
How protesters around GOP conventions wear anything but this, I'll never know.
Man, that got weirder than I anticipated. In just three steps, we went from a moment of offhand lunacy by a notoriously goofy former candidate to making it sound like the people who wanted to ban the Harry Potter books literally live in a world where any opponent can start hurling baby murder-fueled magic missiles at them. It usually takes more degrees to get to Kevin Bacon. I wonder if all the crazy statements politicians make during the election season open a fucking portal of goofiness like this? Now, all we have to do is track down every insane comment every candidate has ever made, and painstakingly track down their deeper meanings ...
... oh hell, no. On second thought, let's just go get mightily drunk. Probably easier on the intestines, anyway.
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