Opinion: Invaders On the Lapel

No, NCGOP, Tim Kaine is not wearing a Honduran flag

Yeah. I know. Pretty damn funny. “Epic fail,” as the kids say. Then again, Kami Mueller, the state GOP spokeswoman, describes herself as “perpetually sleep-deprived.” So perhaps that’s how and why she couldn’t tell the difference between the Honduran flag and the one that honors active-duty service members and has for nearly a century.

(Quick aside: Is there anyone on this or any other planet who would believe that the nominee for Vice President of the United States, a former governor and U.S. Senator, would, on the night of his introduction to the nation, wear on his lapel a Honduran flag pin? Hi, America! I’m Tim Kaine, the Tegucigalpan Candidate! Somos Hondureños todos!)

So it’s good for a yuk. But it’s a timely reminder of the psychology that animates a portion of the body politic in this year’s election—a twitching, paranoid, bunker-mentality certainty that the enemies are everywhere, hiding in plain sight. Our governor jumped feet-first into the fever swamp just the other day, insisting that WikiLeaks’ Democratic National Convention email dump revealed proof of a massive fundraising conspiracy that set up his state as a stooge. What they actually revealed was a few political operatives making political hay about a political issue and, yes, trying to raise money, any party’s goal. Horrors. How low can they stoop?

So, yes, you can laugh all you want. But if the sources of the paranoia are bogus, the paranoia isn’t. It’s most real. It will motivate people to cast ballots for a “strong leader” who will “protect” them, which is the whole point. And given what the Republican nominee did yesterday, we all ought to start asking ourselves and each other what such a leader would protect us from if not the very thing he openly invited.

Update, 3:45 p.m.: This afternoon, state party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse offered this apology, which is duly noted.

Categories: The Buzz