I love the television show Law and Order. I find myself even watching it even when some of the earliest episodes are on.
The court room scenes usually involve some of the best television moments.
You have the snarky lawyer who is trying to get his client off the hook by throwing everything but the kitchen sink into his defense of his client’s actions.
Often, the information he gives them is not relevant, but that is okay because he is has a plan. He knows if you give them more information than they can process, it helps his case. He also knows if he can instill a concept in their minds about how bad someone or something is, he will win his case.
We have some politicians who have bought into this concept because they believe if they can present enough scary scenarios, then people will believe everything they do is about protecting them.
This is where we find ourselves a year away from mid-term elections and three years away from the next presidential election.
As of mid-June, 17 states had passed 28 laws making it harder for their constituents to vote in the next election, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The new voting laws have been called “an unprecedented assault on voting rights.”
The Brennan Center report attributes the new laws to the “big Lie.” This term references former president Donald Trump’s repeated false claims that the election was rigged against him.
Over 50 lawsuits were filed claiming voter fraud or conspiracy. So far, most of them have been denied, dismissed or settled.
And yet, these state legislators and governors claim their actions are about “protecting” its citizens. From what exactly?
It is just one way to sow the seed of doubt by making them believe the restrictions are in their best interest.
This strategy could backfire in a big way.
The next controversy used to stir stoke some fear was transgender athletes.
So far, 30 states have introduced legislation to ban trans women and girls from women’s sports leagues in schools and colleges. Eighteen anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law.
All of which were unnecessary. School policies are usually set by bodies that govern athletes rather than laws. The Collegiate Athletic Association already had a policy regarding trans athletes long before politicians got involved.
But it makes for a great political commercial to say how you are preventing the boys from competing against the girls, I guess. Making up stuff is their go to game.
Next came “woke capitalism.”
This term is being used in reference to big businesses who “embrace progressive positions on LGBTQ rights, abortion and voting rights.”
In other words, they do not like discrimination. The nerve of these guys!
We have some politicians who are not happy these companies are withholding campaign donations because they refused to vote to certify the election in January, refused to condemn the people who attacked Congress and reside in states that passed those restrictive voting laws.
Very few of these guys who are throwing about the “woke” word can even define it and they sound even dumber when they use it.
But spouting a tale about how the big corporations want to control how they vote makes for good campaign fodder.
The latest fear tactic being used by these woke guys is the teaching of the Critical Race Theory.
I am betting most of them had never even heard of it before it became politically correct to use it to put fear and illicit outrage in people. And now it is being used to suggest there is a movement to teach anti-American theories.
None of which is true.
The Critical Race Theory is an academic concept that has been around for more than 40 years. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is embedded in legal systems and government policies. It is mainly used as a tool for discussions on racism. In colleges.
But just throw stuff out there and see if it sticks.
As of June 29, twenty-six states have introduced bills that will restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism.
The bills being written are so vague, they will be tested repeatedly, and teachers are concerned.
One English teacher in Tennessee said, “history teachers can’t adequately teach about the Trail of Tears, the Civil War or the Civil Rights movement under these new laws.”
The Critical Race Theory has never been taught in K-12 grades.
So why the uproar?
It is all about the drama. All these so-called affronts to our American way are just made-up problems.
Surely, we have enough real ones without manufacturing any more.
Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.