By the time you read this, there will be about 372 days left in the presidency of Barack Obama, and I am counting the minutes.
As I write this, there are 380 days, 16 hours and 34 minutes until the next president is inaugurated. I can’t wait. Unfortunately, everything that happens between now and then politically is going to be a reflection of the fact that 2016 is an election year. Hold onto your hats, kids, it’s about to get nuttier.
I had hoped that as the election drew nearer, liberals would tone down the bonkers, and conservatives might amp up their calls for truth, patriotism and the American way. It’s trending in the exact opposite direction. The liberal calls for absolute depravity and nonsense are getting louder, while conservatives, it appears, intend to spend the year quiet as church mice, refusing to make waves.
Liberals, in their march to derail the culture, didn’t take time off for the Christmas holiday.
Never miss a local story.
As 2015 drew to a close, the Washington State Human Rights Commission ruled that buildings open to the public must allow people to use the restroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify. This means gym owners, retail stores and other businesses must allow men to use the women’s locker rooms, dressing rooms and bathrooms.
It’s baffling that a group of unelected people in Washington can just run around making rules. (We can also infer that this commission suspected its ruling would be unpopular. Like a Democratic presidential candidate debate, the best time to issue wacky regulations is when you can be assured that no one will be paying attention. The commission issued its ruling Dec. 26.)
My understanding about what makes a person a male or a female is obviously outdated. I thought science had cleared this one up. Apparently, we no longer trust the science of DNA.
The Washington commission didn’t stop at telling business owners who could use their bathrooms. Commissioners added provisions requiring that employers and landlords use the pronoun an individual prefers.
Failing to refer to a man who wants to be called a woman as “she” could result in legal and financial repercussions. In Washington, a proprietor can be penalized for saying the wrong thing and essentially hurting someone’s feelings. New York has a similar policy about “misgendering” someone.
This is insane, and it’s an attack on free speech. That concept is so last decade, it appears. Throwing the book at thought and speech violators is becoming all the rage.
Not to be outdone by Washington and New York, the feds are now on hot on the case of a perp who wrapped raw bacon around the doors of a mosque. The FBI is investigating the act as a federal hate crime.
On a sane planet, putting bacon on the front doors of a building would be vandalism or a misdemeanor. But the FBI is offering a $5,000 reward in the famous Las Vegas Mosque case.
No one was hurt. The property damage was minimal, but because bacon is offensive to one group of people, the feds must now step away from investigating actual crimes against people and property to investigate a thought crime.
That’s how we closed the final week of 2015. Forget about the endless nonsense that occurred in the preceding 51 weeks of the year.
Meanwhile, in nice conservative enclaves like Kansas, our leaders are highly unlikely to do anything to move the needle to the right. With an election year in full swing, and the Kansas Legislature back in session, liberals are certain to ramp up attacks on Gov. Sam Brownback and the conservative state representatives and senators. (See the eruption of social media hate over a Brownback tweet and a meme on Rep. John Bradford’s Facebook page.)
The attacks will increase, but it appears that there won’t be much conservative legislative action in 2016. My crystal ball is clear: Medicaid expansion won’t get off the ground, despite liberal editorials, sobbing about one closed hospital. Judicial reform, which our conservative Legislature and governor should have tackled years ago, won’t see the light of day.
School funding recommendations will be discussed, but no policies will advance in an election year. The one wild card will be the school funding case before the Kansas Supreme Court, but with justices facing retention elections next November, my crystal ball says the court is going to be strangely silent until after Nov. 8.
As this election year really takes off, liberals are going to double down on ruining the culture and punishing speech they find offensive. Their leaders, headed by the Obama administration, will continue to ram through policies that the American people oppose.
Meanwhile, it appears, conservatives will continue to do nothing at the federal level to fight back or at the state level where we have a majority. Conservative leaders are too frightened of mean editorials and bad press. Newsflash — They’re going to receive those no matter what they do.
Only 372 days left. Welcome to an election year. Sigh.
Danedri Herbert writes monthly. Reach her at email@example.com. On Twitter: @danedri.