When I read about last week’s Mill Creek Elementary School incident, I desperately wanted to chalk it up to an extreme example of conservatism run amok, but I couldn’t.
You see, the sad truth is, when a plurality of Americans insist upon shrieking socialism, birth certificate, secession, and taking back our country, a parent verbally assaulting a kindergarten class blends right in.
And please don’t try and tell me that the left is just as bad, because they aren’t. Yes! There are real conservatives who refuse to regularly succumb to that uncontrollable urge to control other peoples’ lives, but their capacity to ignore and even subtly encourage their bitter and overzealous brethren is unparalleled.
Incensed over a perceived Pledge of Allegiance omission of the word “liberty,” Colin McGroarty of Rockford launched into a four-letter-word tirade in front of his child’s kindergarten class. Then he left the premises before the sheriff’s deputies arrived.
Still unhappy, McGroarty sent Mill Creek administrators an email threatening, “I've shed blood for this Country and will do so again if necessary,” and, “I'm NOT ALLOWING you to introduce a Nazi way of life into the USA.”
Where’ve we heard that last line before?
For goodness sakes, it's kindergarten! I’m pleasantly surprised whenever any 5-year-old can find his or her left hand, much less regurgitate the Pledge. In third grade I clearly remember wondering who "Richard Stands" was. As in, “and to the Republic for Richard Stands.”
Folks, this is what the conservative movement has become: a group of screeching, paranoid, bigoted, gun-addicted, homophobic, intolerant, terrified and obliviously self-important people who see every cloud as a threat to their sad and stilted existence.
Ain’t it amazing that so many people seem to be out to get them?
And the problems really start when they’re forced to endure self-induced setback after setback and they start running out of excuses and targets. With nowhere left to turn, these neo-McCarthyiasts start seeing fascism in everything from Disney movies to, yes, kindergarten classes.
When all else fails, you call ‘em Nazis. This is the kind of thing that happens when a morally bankrupt movement is on the brink of imploding.
And this absurd self-defeating behavior is why, despite a miserable economy, the president prevailed in an Electoral College landslide. It’s why Illinois Republicans went down in General Election flames at the hands of Democrats who insist on driving the state into insolvency and raising taxes.
McGroarty also threw a hissy fit when the class went right from the Pledge into the school creed. And those principles consist of promising to treat others with respect, follow classroom rules, and do their best.
The general innocuousness of that endeavor didn’t stop this irate parent from comparing it to Hitler Youth indoctrination. Ah yes! “Indoctrination!” The clarion call of the conservative who encounters anyone or anything that doesn’t conform to his narrow and hypocritical world view.
Ironically, couldn’t it be said that kindergartners reciting a Pledge they don’t even begin to understand is the very same thing?
And shame on District 304 and Mill Creek School, too. We so desperately want to believe school shootings are random, outside events that we get all wrapped up in complicated security schemes while ignoring the simpler and more effective countermeasures.
These threats almost always come from within. So like most savvy employers would’ve done, a quick glance at McGroarty’s blatantly open Facebook page would’ve revealed he’s the last person who should be volunteering at any school.
The wingnuts are never shy about sharing their viewpoint.
But back to the issue at hand. It’s time to stand up to “conservatives” who, under the guise of patriotism, attempt to hold others to a standard they don’t begin to apply to themselves and use it as a weapon to assert their will upon the rest of us.
As far as this particular case, though I don’t generally encourage prosecutors to engage in message sending, this time I’ll make an exception.
Considering the often-tragic consequences of school violence, not only am I asking the Kane County State’s Attorney to prosecute this man, but I’m thinking a six-months jail term might just send the kind of message that will prevent the next self-appointed conservative savior of our children from considering a similar course of action.
And if he is charged, just watch him fold like a cheap suit. Like most conservative bullies and blowhards, folks like McGroarty can’t stand the thought of having to take responsibility for their actions.