It’s hard to be shocked anymore with it comes to the hyperbolic rhetoric we often hear from the right in Texas. But when elected officials — people in places of responsibility — employ that kind of heated, extremist rhetoric, you really worry about what’s coming.
That happened yesterday when former state Rep. Charles Perry was sworn in as the new state senator from West Texas. Perry’s victory in a special election for that seat last month sent waves of celebration through the ranks of Tea Partyers and religious-righters in Texas. He replaces longtime state Sen. Robert Duncan, who was appointed as chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.
At his swearing in Tuesday in Lubbock, Perry actually equated the American government today with Nazi Germany and its murderous crimes. From the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
God has a place in the government, Perry explained in his inaugural speech as he vividly recalled a recent trip to a former concentration camp in Berlin.
“There were 10,000 people that were paraded into a medical office under the guise of a physical. As they stood with their back against the wall, they were executed with a bullet through the throat. Before they left, 10,000 people met their fate that way,” Perry said.
“Is it not the same than when our government continues to perpetuate laws that lead citizens away from God? The only difference is that the fraud of the Germans was more immediate and whereas the fraud of today’s government will not be exposed until the final days and will have eternal-lasting effects.”
Later on in the story:
His biggest challenge will be the “spiritual battle for the spirit of this nation and the soul of its people,” he said.
When he gets to the capital, abortion and same-sex marriage will be at the forefront of discussion, Perry said.
And then this:
A Japanese Imperial commander said he’d awakened a “sleeping giant” after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, according to Perry. Today, the new state senator wonders where that giant is.
“Has the giant died?” Perry asked after being sworn in. “Where is that giant of a nation that was founded on the eternal and never-changing values of a loving God and the desire to share that? I don’t recognize it on so many levels today.”
Elections matter. And it appears that fewer than 23,000 voters out of a population of about 800,000 people in Perry’s district have decided to send to Austin an ideologue who sees himself as on a mission to save America for God. That he also sees his own government as like the bloodthirsty criminals who ruled Nazi Germany and murdered millions of people should be warning enough that Texas is speeding down a very dangerous road.