There was nothing else on the radio late last night so I found myself listening to George Noory on Coast to Coast AM while driving home in the fog. I was pleasantly surprised that he was discussing the state sovereignty movement and the efforts of states to assert their rights under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Much to my dismay he was discussing this serious topic with two clowns — Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi.
He also had on State Representative Charles Key who is the sponsor of the sovereignty resolution in Oklahoma. Key is presumably serious about this topic and he laid out the argument for asserting state sovereignty pretty effectively. But I have to wonder if he realized how all the good he did in promoting the idea was undermined by appearing on the show with Jones and Corsi. All the credibility Key built up for the movement went right out the window when Jones started ranting about FEMA Camps (they don’t exist) and the international eugenicist conspiracy (a couple of crazy professors with a website) and how the current economic crisis was planned as a power grab by the international banks (who cleverly arranged to be bankrupted by it, fooling us all in their clever Jewish way) and government sponsored terrorism (Corsi is a prominent Truther). Or maybe Key doesn’t care, because he has also appeared on Jones’ radio show, apparently willing to do anything for publicity.
Defending the Constitution and restoring the rights and liberties on which this country was founded is pretty damned important. It’s something worth fighting for. It’s not something which ought to be trivialized. When you put it in the same context and at the same level as the silly conspiracy theories which Jones and Corsi make a living promoting then you lower it to their level. You take a real problem and a real issue and by association you render it as irrelevant as bigfoot and the Bohemian Grove.
I’m willing to believe that Jones and Corsi are well meaning, but by jumping on the bandwagon they do more harm than good. Because they have squandered what credibility they may once have had by outrageous behavior and promoting implausible theories they are poison to anything they touch. Like the Stormfront Nazis and John Birchers who flocked to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, they become a distraction and a liability destroying the thing they want to promote. You can’t take them seriously and you can’t tell which of the things they say to take seriously either. They have no credibility and they lessen the credibility of anything they become associated with.
The state sovereignty movement has a chance to do some real good. It could help to reestablish the Constitutional balance between the states and the federal government. But it is always a mistake to promote a serious issue to the lunatic fringe, because while that may attract a small group of fanatical supporters, their presence will drive away the much larger body of concerned citizens who might support your cause. People are willing to fight for their constitutional rights, but they don’t want to be made to look like fools for doing it. It takes a lot of guts to stand up and defy the establishment even when you’ve got a strong argument and expect to be taken seriously. But it’s just self-defeating to take a stand when the guy standing up next to you is dressed in a bilkini and carrying a sign declaring that the Queen of England is the Antichrist.
You’re known by the company you keep, and if people like Jones and Corsi continue to be identified with state sovereignty it’s going to lose credibility and the broad support it needs to succeed. People will just write it off as another rant from the lunatic fringe and move on. They should go back to selling videos they produce in their basements to people who store survival rations in their beards and leave serious issues free of the taint of their clown squad.