In case you haven’t heard, the conspiratorial right is getting its panties in a bunch over the latest dystopian conspiracy theory: Jade Helm 15. This particular theory holds that the federal government–under the guise of a military exercise taking place this summer and codenamed “Jade Helm 15”–intends to, well, that’s where it gets a little confusing. Depending on who you listen to or read, the government could be planning to impose martial law, work with the Chinese to disarm Americans (“as promised by Michelle Obama“), allow Islamic extremists and Russians to set up base in the homeland, use closed Walmarts as “processing centers” and internment camps, or simply planning a military takeover of Texas.
Yeah, Texas is taking it really hard. Its governor Gregg Abbott has gone so far as to direct his State Guard (not to be confused with the National Guard) to monitor the military exercises and ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.” Texas US Congressional representatives Ted Cruz (also a GOP presidential candidate) and Louie Gohmert have jumped in with statements supporting the wild conspiracies.
There’s a lot of solid journalism out there providing actual facts about this situation. Facts that are inconvenient to the free market apocalyptic scaremongering that has become the right’s bread and butter since President Barack Obama was elected. Facts like these kinds of exercises happen regularly, the Obama administration has shown no interest in disarming Americans, and those Walmarts probably closed because of labor disputes and not a government conspiracy.
Of course there’s the logic: Why would our government want to take over Texas? I mean, we already own you. You are one of those states that make up the United States of America. You get that, right? It’s kind of an undisputed fact.
And then there’s the fun fact that Texas pretty much sucks. Besides Texans, who take a bizarre and unwarranted pride in their native habitat, nobody else really gives a shit about the backwards Lone Star State. Actually, many of us would be more than happy to see it go. Sure it brings in a ton of oil revenue and I imagine the entire nation benefits financially from that but, hey, we have North Dakota, California, Alaska, Colorado, and the Federal Gulf of Mexico. Not to mention a great relationship with our northern neighbor Canada. We’d get by just fine without Texas.
We’d also get by just fine without the state that refuses to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act even though it enjoys the highest number of uninsured citizens in the nation, has a 16% poverty rate (top ten, baby!), a dismal record on women’s rights, an even lousier record on the environment, the highest number of minimum wage jobs in the nation, and awful weather from state line to state line.
Besides, wouldn’t the world be a better place without Ted Cruz, Louie Gohmert, Rick Perry, and both Presidents Bush?
So ask yourselves, Texas militiamen and other conspiracy-minded folk from the Great Plains to the Rio Grande, why on Earth would the federal government want to take over your crazy state? We already own it and, besides, you kinda suck.
We would miss Austin, though.