Michigan Republicans, Tea Party — December 17, 2014 at 10:09 am

Religion, guns, and anti-government paranoia guide incoming Republican legislator Todd Courser


One of the newly-elected legislators who will take his seat on the floor of the state House next month is Todd Courser from the Lapeer area. Though he has yet to take office, I have written about him several times already and, judging by his bizarre rhetoric and behavior, there will be an abundance of Eclectawords written about him over the next couple of years.

Courser, along with all of the other incoming legislators, has been going through the extensive training offered to new lawmakers. Courser has been writing about what he refers to as his “indoctrination” on his Facebook page and his posts are a creepy blend of religion, paranoia, and a twisted sense of what it means to be a “patriot”. All of this along with the poor grammar and misspellings we’ve all come to associate with tea party adeherents, of course.

Back on December 9th, Courser had this to say about the process:

Below is just another observation as I make my way thru the “legislative training steps”…I have to tell you it has all made me think about children who are subjected to radical leftist ideology and have not even the slightest notion of how they are being shaped against liberty and freedom and away from God…I have learned to always be watchful of the stated agenda and then of course the “hidden layered in behind the scenes agenda…”

A couple of items in regards to this “legislative training process,” not just this one event, but the whole process, as I made my way from room to room and event to event, you get a sense that there is more to all of this, like it’s all being done to keep me busy and for other more hidden purposes. I don’t know how to exactly explain it, or to describe it more scientifically, but this particular event felt more like one of those hidden camera psychology tests you see on tv; where they test to see what a person does and how they react. […]

It is interesting, because we do get some great info, but there is the stated premiss [sic], and then what the talks really center on; and then possibly a more hidden agenda of the “talks.” […]

Then of course there are those radical few which will not eat the premises as presented and will push back and challenge the underlying progressive notions; once identified as disruptors within the machine, those in power can then just take steps to isolate and discipline and finally if necessary destroy each.

The next day, he had more to add:

A few more thoughts on what’s happening in these “seminars” for new reps…all data presented is to lead us toward urban centers and European style high cost living without any individual liberty and freedom; so in this example the “experts” tell us all about the new economy and how we need to cater to building an environment that will attract millennials to want to live there; so from the perceived data presented by the “experts”, millennials like living in places that are urban and lively and have lots to do, and that these young people love to have mass transit, lots of bike paths, and lots of walking and jogging space. The experts say if we tailor our public investments into mass transit and bike paths and sidewalks, then the millennials will come and want to live in the areas that have such public-paid-for infrastructural amenities. It is all a pretext to advancing more urban living in a “soviet style central planning model.”

The implication Courser is clearly making is that he is being brainwashed by the training that he is receiving to prepare him for his new role as a lawmaker. For Courser, being taught about municipal planning for our population centers is some sort of government-sponsored effort to turn U.S. cities into “soviet style” concentration camps where people are stripped of their “individual liberty and freedom” and forced to use mass transit [gasp!] and public pathways [GASP!!!].

As you read through Courser’s Facebook diatribes, it’s clear that the concept of “separation of church and state” is something that he rejects. His rhetoric, particularly on expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and on the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, shows that his focus is to bring his extreme right-wing, fundamentalist Christian worldview into government and that he will measure everything he does in the legislature – including introducing, sponsoring, and voting on bills – to see if it measures up to his far-right, extremist religious views. If he were to be successful, it would result in the imposition of a theocracy in Michigan in direct violation of the first Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”

Courser’s twisted interpretation of the Constitution and patriotism was on full display when he posted this picture of his son holding what looks like a military-style assault rifle – which he calls a “modern musket” – with some rather disturbing commentary:

Doing a little modern musket training. Elijah said, “its beautiful! I’m in luv!” I was inspired yesterday. Funny thing is the gun is just one vital tool to train up my four children as the weapons for liberty that will impact the future both for freedom, but also for Christ. The 2nd Amendment is but one important part of our history that every citizen needs to be acquainted with and no one should be afraid of. Trained children equipped in every aspect of the cause of freedom are the bulwark against tyranny.

He has several other photos of his children brandishing these “modern muskets” on his Facebook page.

I find this man frightening. Fortunately, like two other incoming extremists, Gary Glenn and Cindy Gamrat, his fellow Republicans seem to be holding him at arm’s length. They know that his publicly declared extremism, while not far from their own personal extremist views, will chase off thoughtful, moderate Republicans and stain their entire party which already suffers from their legacy of bigotry, sexism, and callous heartlessness.

Keep your eye on Todd Courser. He’s only just beginning his crusade and his frightening, paranoid brand of governance must never, ever get traction in our state.