Young: On the run, on campaign trail: the defiant ones (column) |

Young: On the run, on campaign trail: the defiant ones (column)

John Young
Special to the Daily

Fugitives from the law. Desperate. Defiant. Hiding out in plain sight. Won’t go down without a fight.

We thought the two New York prison fugitives were a tough case. Now come the fugitives from the historic U.S. Supreme Court pronunciations on marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act.

Where to flee? Canada has national health coverage and same-sex marriage. Mexico has — Mexicans.

Become boat people? Set sail to where homosexuals are demonized as before? It’s a long boat ride to Sudan. Head to a paradise where health coverage is the least of government’s concerns? Zambia is not accepting refugees.

In other words, these toughs will be out in the countryside, particularly in the countryside of Iowa and, of course, New Hampshire, acting — you know, defiantly.

They probably wish they could run as individuals with their own nuances, but, to appeal to the hardest hardliners, to “appeal to the base,” on these matters, they are chained at the ankles to religiously righteous indignation: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, George Pataki …

Apologies. We have exhausted this week’s ink supply.

Well, all right. If you must, please insert Rick Perry.

This is crowd-sourcing at its worst, that is, for the Republican Party. For the Democrats, it couldn’t be better.

Marriage equality: It is not good to be known as the party that thinks the Fourteenth Amendment applies to only some of us. Ask young Americans. More tellingly, ask young Republicans.

Health care: It is not good to be known as the party that looks at the progress attributable to the Affordable Care Act as if it never happened — as if it didn’t take the nation’s uninsured rate from 18 percent to 11.9 percent in two years.

Relying mostly on info food pellets provided by Fox News, conservatives will point to those who lost coverage when the act rolled out. What they won’t acknowledge: Unlike when employers dropped coverage before ACA, today’s health exchanges mean those impacted actually have affordable fallbacks.

Despite these matters, hear these people’s reactions:

Ted Cruz says Americans should elect the Supreme Court, like in Texas. That’s the ticket: high-dollar campaigns heavy in pre-justice. As with Congress, the Koch brothers purchase a court.

Mike Huckabee calls for “biblical resistance,” apparently unaware that the Ku Klux Klan already copyrighted the term.

Rick Perry, a demagogue on same-sex marriage much of his political life, calls homosexuality tantamount to alcoholism. No, it’s not. But when unchallenged, sophistry can be addictive.

Bobby Jindal says, “If we want to save some money, let’s just get rid of the court.”

These are elected officials, mind you, people wearing good suits. They aren’t people with scaly skin and knee-length beards, holding doomsday signs on the sidewalk.

The response is loud. Listen closely, though, and hear the echo of irrelevance.

Sure, the protestations appeal to these candidates’ religious-right base. But, as a national presence, they appeal to a dwindling congregation.

Regarding marriage equality, Stephen Colbert couldn’t have said it better: “Wow, history moves fast. It’s hard to believe that gays achieved full constitutional personhood just five years after corporations did.”

Let us acknowledge that slow movement is better than the “never” today’s GOP hopefuls and their core constituents wish for. Unlike history, they will not be moved.

So out in the countryside they go, jogging, jangling, lock-step. They say they revere the U.S. Constitution, but they say they won’t abide by what the Supreme Court interprets it to say.

Remember the fight to keep Jim Crow alive: It took decades, but history would not be unmade.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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