Paranoia: 2010 Election Theme?

This election cycle keeps taking turns for the unusual. On the October 7th episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, Art Robinson, a Republican running against incumbent Pete DeFazio in Oregon’s 4th congressional district, went from slightly uncomfortable to full-on accusatory and paranoid in a matter of minutes.

After asking Robinson about some of his more unusual statements from the past, including his belief that AIDS is a myth created by the federal government and that distilled radioactive waste should be spread over the ocean, Rachel Maddow could hardly get a word out without him bursting in, claiming she was at the center of a “smear campaign” against him. Every honest question was met with accusations of ulterior motives by Maddow.

After witnessing his  confrontational and unprofessional behavior, I have a hard time believing he still has a following. Maybe his average supporter simply has no access to the Internet to look up what their guy actually believes, considering the fact that he thinks we should reinstate nuclear weapons testing and completely denies man-made global warming.

Art Robinson represents a growing and troubling theme in American politics. The fringe and unhinged have come out of the woodwork and hijacked political debate. As nutty as Robinson is, he’s only one of many. Art Robinson, Michelle Bachmann, Carl Paladino, Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, Glenn Beck, Sharron Angle and even Sarah Palin have joined in the game of feeding into and off of growing anti-government sentiment and conspiracy theories.

The 2010 Election is less than four weeks away. Soon, all of the annoying political ads will go away and life will return to a more bearable level of “normal.” However, if people like Robinson are elected to office, their craziness will no  longer be confined to their mouths. We should all be worried at the possibility of them effecting national and international policy.

One can only hope that voters see this.

snapshot of Art Robinson's campaign website

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