Republican voters believe in the KISS system, as in Keep It Simple, Stupid. First, because they’re all stupid. Being stupid, they need it kept simple.
Keep in mind that the rich and powerful who run the Republican Party are highly intelligent and understand how to convert complex issues into simple-to-remember talking points. You don’t get that rich and that powerful by being stupid, unless you inherited your rich and powerfulness from a smart rich and powerful pater familias.
For Republican voters, they don’t have to remember that more domestic oil is being produced by the U.S. than ever before. They don’t have to write down that U.S. oil imports are down because consumption is at record lows, while U.S. oil exports are up. They don’t have to understand how oil speculators account for 85 cents of every dollar per gallon increase in the price of gasoline. Nope, for them, the Republican Party has distilled the entire issue into three little words: drill, baby, drill. One word is even repeated for greater simplicity.
Abortion and birth control are converted to “religious freedom”. Taxation laws, which are way beyond any Republican voter’s ability to comprehend, are boiled down to “economic freedom”. Anybody can understand freedom, right? Republicans are all about personal freedom, except if the freedom includes marrying who you want and getting an abortion if you choose to.
Simple is as simple does to the Forrest Gump Party. That’s why the “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws pushed nationwide by ALEC and the NRA have been so popular with Republicans. With the latter, a resident has the right to use lethal force to defend themselves against an intruder or anyone else who they “reasonably” perceive as presenting a hostile threat to their personal being—personal property not included. If they blow the perceived assailant away using the Castle Doctrine, it’s stay out of jail free card. With the former, if someone “reasonably” feels they are in mortal danger, they can use lethal force on the perceived threat anywhere they perceive themselves to be in mortal danger: on a public street, or in the backyard of a condo in a gated community. They don’t have to turn around and run, they can pull out their concealed 9mm semiautomatic handgun and fire at will, or whatever the perceived assailant’s first name happens to be.
It’s perfect in its simplicity. The shooter/victim is also innocent; the shot/assailant is always guilty—and dead. No thought required because the law has been written so there doesn’t have to be any. These cases are notoriously hard to prosecute and get a conviction because the court can only hear evidence from the shooter that they felt their life was in danger. The deceased assailant always remains strangely silent, offering no testimony on their behalf. Case dismissed, if it even got that far.
But George Zimmerman of Sanford, FL, apparently won’t use “Stand Your Ground” as his defense for shooting Trayvon Martin. He’s going for self-defense. You see he was armed only with that 9mm semiautomatic handgun against Trayvon’s bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Trayvon could have opened that bag of Skittles and poured it down Zimmerman’s throat, causing him to possibly choke. And that bottle of iced tea? That would smart something fierce if Zimmerman were hit upside the head with it. Just think of the abject fear Zimmerman felt when trailing the kid after 911 distinctly told him not to. If he had seen that bag of Skittles gripped at Trayvon’s waistband, he had no way of knowing if that bag were empty or if it was loaded with Skittles. And he wasn’t about to take any chances.
Stand Your Ground makes it easy for cops to not do their duty, too. A dead male black teenager walking alone through a primarily white gated community at night? Undoubtedly he represented a perceived threat to somebody and it’s a good thing a decent and honorable Neighborhood Watch captain stood his ground and dispatched this menace to white-owned private property. The law made it unnecessary to test Zimmerman for drugs and alcohol or to even verify that he actually wasn’t officially part of any Neighborhood Watch group. Had Zimmerman actually been part of Neighborhood Watch group, he would have known that Rule One is you can’t carry firearms and Rule Two is you don’t stand your ground in front of a perceived assailant. You call 911 and let the police stand THEIR ground.
Since Stand Your Ground requires no thought or moral considerations, the Sanford Police Chief, the Mayor, the City Manager, and the City Attorney thought nothing of sweeping the whole incident under the rug and going on about their business. George Zimmerman apparently thought nothing of the 17-year-old life he’d taken when he “reasonably” perceived his own life to be in danger from a black male teenager packing a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.
Drill, baby, drill. Shoot, baby, shoot. Very simple to remember. And one word is repeated for even greater simplicity.