This election season has been a curious one, with anti-establishment candidates and extremism drawing millions to their causes, both on the left and the right. But while most of the nation’s attention has been focused on the circus that the presidential election has become, many candidates at the state level have been overlooked by the populace as a whole. This is unfortunate, because while extremism at the national level is often tempered by the need to draw larger voter contingents, at the state level this is less of a necessity.
This may be a good thing in many cases, as people certainly deserve to be represented by those who share their values and outlooks on life. However, it can be a problem when candidates push ideas that are harmful and outdated, especially when they are running for a position that effects the next generation of thinkers in the nation. Such is the case with Mary Lou Bruner, who is running for the Texas Board of Education — despite the fact that she is anything but educated.
Bruner puts forth ideas that have long been discredited, including the belief that climate change is not happening, evolution is false, there were dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark, and that the teaching of these scientific facts is the cause of school violence. She pushes conspiracy theories such as the belief that the United Nations is aiming to reduce the world’s population by two-thirds using the Affordable Care Act somehow and even pushes certain JFK assassination theories.
As if that wasn’t enough to disqualify her, Bruner is also a first class bigot. She believes that the state should enforce theocratic rules when it comes to same sex marriage, and she believes that all muslims are inherently evil. She wants to ban the religion in its entirety in the United States and refers to it as a “cult.”
In other words, Bruner is a raving lunatic. She is scientifically illiterate, a religious extremist, and a bigot. She wants to use the state’s power to force religion and hate on people while at the same time driving scientific understanding back to medieval times. And she is running to be on the board of education for the second most populous state in the union.
So while the people of Texas’ district 9 are trying to decide whether or not they want to continue living in 2016, or if they’d rather turn the clock back to 1206, the rest of the country would do well to pay attention. After all, if enough people like Bruner are elected to education positions in large states, there will be a substantial portion of the next generation who are influenced to believe that science isn’t true and that invisible magical sky beings talked to illiterate nomads three millennia ago, and that those rules should be enforced on the people who live in the modern world today. The troubling thing is that she isn’t the only one either.