Gov. Matt Bevin cynically referenced Thomas Johnson’s famous letter to William Smith regarding the possible necessity of spreading the natural manure of the blood of patriots and tyrants around the tree of liberty in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s election as president.
When challenged about casually using such violent imagery, Bevin added a layer of his own manure, rationalizing that he was referring to the war against terror overseas not armed insurrection against our own government, which, of course, he was. He then whined that his critics don’t appreciate the wisdom of Jefferson.
But Jefferson also wrote in our Constitution that long-established governments should not be overthrown for light and transient causes. Bevin should be reminded of the transience of the cause that swept him into power: the flash of conservative anger about the Supreme Court’s ruling that gays may legally marry.
Bigotry, fear-mongering, demagoguery — it’s a sad fact, but this stuff works in politics. Politicians who campaign on these divisive techniques are not worthy of the offices they seek, and voters motivated by hatred of minorities should not be surprised to be regarded as “deplorables” as they have earned that moniker.