Each week we round up the looniest examples of right-wing bigotry, idiocy, and bizarre behavior in our “This Week In Crazy” column. Now it’s time to take stock of the entire year — which gave us more inanity, head-spinning untruth, and backwards thinking than anyone could have expected or should have to endure.
This is 2015 — The Year In Crazy…
As you may recall, this year kicked off with a big national conversation about the efficacy of vaccinations — setting the tone for a host of debates utterly untethered to reality, whether it was fraudulent anti-abortion videos meant to “expose” Planned Parenthood, or a U.S. senator using a single snowball to disprove 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate science.
We saw loony conspiracy theories that would be too unrealistic for an episode of 24 gaining currency with a surprising number of politicians, as when a handful of paranoid Texans thought that a military exercise was the opening salvo in a federal invasion. This delusion then gained traction and metastasized wildly in the patchwork of talk radio shows and fringe websites that have become the touchstone of our political discourse, until even Texas governor Greg Abbot and Ted Cruz voiced their concern.
The Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage was a landmark victory for civil rights, but it sent conservative Christians into an apocalyptic tizzy. Governors tried to pass legislation to legally discriminate against same-sex couples under the reprehensible camouflage of “religious liberty,” and one county clerk became a national martyr when she spent five nights in jail rather than let two men walk down the aisle.
When a racist terrorist shot up a black church with a gun, conservatives told us we could blame the attack on anything except racism and guns. Finally, we all just blamed a flag. Even so, down in Dixie and elsewhere, there were many who fought to fly it proudly — on the lawn of the South Carolina state house and over a grassy knoll in Texas just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
It was hard to narrow it down, but based on your votes, we have assembled the top 5 crazies from this year’s archives.
As always, thanks for reading. See you in 2016!