June 22, 2011

President Michele Bachmann

Michele BachmannConventional wisdom says that Michele Bachmann (R-MN) could win the Republican primary but would never prevail in the general election. And yet, as PZ Myers recently reminded us, the elections of Reagan and George W. Bush should give us pause. I certainly remember telling myself in the run-up to the 2000 election that there was no way there American people would elect W. And even though they did not actually elect him then, all doubt was erased in 2004. We could end up with a President Michele Bachmann.

What would a Bachmann administration look like? That is a very uncomfortable question but probably one we should ask ourselves.

Michele Bachmann is a True Christian Extremist

George W. undoubtedly had his own extremist tendencies, but he came out of a fairly mainstream branch of evangelical fundamentalist Christianity. There is nothing mainstream about Bachmann. She is about Christian dominionism and theocracy.

In contrast to Bush embracing fundamentalism relatively late in life, Bachmann grew up in the evangelical movement. She claims to have been "born again" at 16, went to Israel with an evangelical youth group before attending college, and was a part of the movement to oppose reproductive rights for women from the beginning. She attended law school at Oral Roberts University, where she worked with John Eidsmoe, famous in extremist circles for arguing "that the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy, and that it should become one again."

Bachmann's pedigree as a Christian extremist culture warrior is indeed impressive. In her political career, she has consistently opposed reality-based education and reproductive rights, championed anti-gay bigotry, and by all accounts appears to be a true believer.

The implications of a Bachmann presidency for atheists should be fairly obvious. We are making a mistake by underestimating her, as she is not the moron she often seems.

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