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    Whackos on the left, whackos on the right
    • December 20, 2023

    When I was in high school, my late mother was a receptionist in a dentist’s office.

    Over her desk was a poster that said, “If you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away.”

    It’s true. You don’t have to shoot your teeth to get rid of them, or have a car accident, or be punched in the mouth by some guy who says you were “looking at” his girlfriend. All you have to do is ignore your teeth, and they will dwindle to rotted stumps before falling out of your mouth.

    This is how whackos took over America. We ignored them, but instead of rotting, they grew.

    The crisis on America’s southern border was studiously ignored by most Americans for decades, and now the issue is so painful and throbbing that it belongs to the whackos. The right-wing whackos want a tin wall you could punch a can opener through. The left-wing whackos think you’re a citizen if you sneak into the country.

    Every issue abandoned by sensible people becomes the property of our drifting population of the whacked-out. The one thing whackos never do is forget to vote. They’d vote every day if they could. They love lawn signs and T-shirts, caps and slogans, riots of all kinds and “debating the issues,” and most of them are crazier than a clown college on acid.

    How do they get that way?

    I don’t know. One day, your realtor neighbor Becky is middle-classing her way through life, selling houses and binge-watching reality television, and six months later she’s insisting that vaccines make you a gay Communist. Either that, or she’s become a self-proclaimed witch who thinks white men should be neutered.

    Either way, Becky votes.

    When I was younger, most people didn’t pay much attention to guns. Some people had guns, some didn’t, so we didn’t think about it, and we endeavored to pass laws keeping criminals from getting hold of firearms.

    The whackos ran screaming into that gap. They bought 47 guns apiece and went to work on their state rep. until they got a new law passed that said you could buy a cruise missile within two hours of being released from the local mental health facility.

    I personally stopped thinking about abortion once it became legal and widely practiced.

    “You’re not getting the cork into that bottle,” I said. “It’s law now, and women are too used to having that right.”

    I was so wrong I could have been a state rep. While the rest of us were ignoring abortion, the whackos were pushing, pushing, pushing until abortion rights were gone. Some of the states are getting that right back because normal people are scared enough to vote. Still, most of the abortion debate is dominated by people who think abortion services should be offered for free during 7th grade study hall and people who think you shouldn’t be able to get an abortion if your Uncle Elmo rapes you and you’re pregnant with twins.

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    Talk radio is the same way. Once normal people abandoned talk radio in favor of a rap station airing songs about big butts, the whackos ran into talk radio, which is now dominated by people who think gay people are freaks and people who think traditional woman-lovers like me are patriarchal rapists.

    We’ve got a presidential election coming (and I know you guys with foam on your mouths wish we had one every day). As in the last election, the trick is going to be turning back the whackos. In the last presidential season, we did just that, spurning weird old commie Bernie Sanders and trampling fascist Donald Trump in favor of vanilla-flavored Joe Biden. Biden was and is the anti-whacko candidate.

    Put it on the signs. “Don’t let the whackos win.” Don’t specify a political party. They’re on both sides.

    To find out more about Marc Dion, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion’s latest book, a collection of his best columns, is called “Mean Old Liberal.” It is available in paperback from and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.

    ​ Orange County Register