Joe Arpaio has successfully branded himself as the “world’s toughest sheriff.” This moniker is much more preferably to, say “the most power-drunk asshole with a badge.” Arpaio proudly made his prisoners wear stripes and work in a chain gang like they were in a cartoon. He did this and a host of other humiliating things because he wanted to break his prisoners, mentally and physically. He was completely uninterested in taking part in a long-term longitudinal study comparing the recidivism rates of his brutal brand of justice to other methods of rehabilitation around the country and around the world. He had his pre-conceived ideas and worked backwards from there, and he wasn’t about to let a petty thing like the constitution of the United States stop him.
We in America have had many parallels to Joe Arpaio in every conservative leader. The same people who fund abstinence-only indoctrination will cut Planned Parenthood and put obstacles in place for women to have abortions making it effectively illegal. The same people who warn of the potential dangers of refugees and insist on scrupulous vetting will fight against background checks to buy guns. The same people whose heads would split open and fire would come out of their eye sockets at the notion of free college education insist that cutting taxes on the top 0.1% is the best way to create jobs. The jury is in: the stated goals of these programs are 180% away from their actual results. But do they care?
There’s a hunger on The Left. I, and I’m sure many just like me, have been asking for years, “Where’s our nut? Where is the person or group who is as intense as their guys? Where is the person who wants taxes on the top 0.1% to be 95%? Where is the person arguing for a minimum wage tied to the price of a one-bedroom apartment? Where is the nut job insisting not just on free health care, but free electricity and Internet service? Where’s our asshole threatening to round up the bankers that caused the 2008 crash and put them in old timey-chain gangs? Where’s our asshole suing Exxon for knowing about climate change for 50 years? And where the fuck is my bullet train?
So if you’re wondering why Bernie Sanders has such a devoted following, it’s because he is so radical…he wants to give Americans the same things that most Europeans take for granted. After 30 years of taking it on the chin, The Left, not the politicians but us unwashed masses, are having our “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more” moment. After George W. Bush started two wars and openly confessed torture, “no drama” Obama decided to look forward instead of backwards. Obama also kept quiet about Trump’s known ties to Russia during the election even as Trump started every sentence with “crooked Hilary.” Maybe it’s about time we have a little drama.