“Suppose you were an idiot.”

“Suppose you were an idiot.” December 7, 2021


Samuel Langhorn Clemens
A ca. 1890 portrait of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) by James Carroll Beckwith. Mark Twain remains a valuable commentator on contemporary politics and politicians.


“Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain once said.  “And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”


I couldn’t help but think of Mark Twain’s comment when I learned of Rep.. Marjorie  Taylor Greene’s recent remarks about measures taken against COVID-19.  Over the weekend, she betook herself to Twitter.  “Every single year,” she wrote, “more than 600,000 people in the US die from cancer.  The country has never once shut down.  Not a single school has closed.  And every year, over 600,000 people, of all ages and all races will continue to die from cancer.  Since #COVID19 tracking has started, 780,000+ people have died in 22 mo [months] in the US, but more than 1 million still died of cancer.”


Forbes“Marjorie Taylor Greene Compares Covid-19 To Cancer, Here’s The Twittersphere Response”

Insider“Marjorie Taylor Greene criticized COVID-19 restrictions saying ‘not a single school has closed because of cancer'”


You do see the problem, right?  Unlike COVID-19, cancer isn’t contagious.  You don’t catch lung cancer from close interactions with others.  Leukemia isn’t transmitted by casual social contact.  There would be no more point in shutting schools down to fight cancer than in taking up knitting in order to learn French.


Many years ago, I found myself speaking with a woman who began to tell me of her recent treatment for “incipient cancer.”  The quack medical practitioner to whom she liked to transfer her wealth had, by examining the irises of her eyes, noticed the telltale signs of too much cash in her purse approaching cancer.  So he prescribed a series of enemas for her.  What was the purpose of these enemas?  It was to remove all of the cancer germs from her body.


The enemas, she explained to me, had to be extremely powerful, because some of those cancer germs were attached to “junk food molecules” that were lodged far into her extremities, out to the tips of her fingers and into her toes.  Her conception of the human body appeared to resemble an empty plastic bag, filled almost to bursting with past meals, pies, candy bars, and nachos.


I was intrigued by what she had to say — I imagined chemically distinguishable molecules of Almond Joy, whipped cream, maple bars, and French toast — and so I  questioned her a bit.  I remember saying to her, while struggling to keep a straight face, “So, cancer germs ride on junk food molecules pretty much the way a surfer rides a surfboard.  Do I have that about right?”  She said that, yes, I did.


She’s long since passed on to her reward.  Unfortunately, though, despite her obviously superb qualifications, she never had the opportunity to serve in the United States House of Representatives.



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