There’s no place for liberals in Rep. Steve King’s America. King, an Iowa Republican who looks like Todd Akin on a bad hair day, is one of those conservatives who loves his country, but hates most of the people he has to share it with. At last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, King gave a speech that sounded like a bid to become the Michelle Bachmann of the 2016 presidential campaign -- a right-wing crank longer on intolerance than facts.
First, King attacked a Democratic colleague for sullying a bill to extend educational opportunities to combat veterans by adding “women and minorities.”
Then, the congressman suggested that liberals who don’t share his view of American exceptionalism -- which would certainly include the 53 percent who voted for Barack Obama -- should either leave the country, or move to Detroit or Chicago.
“So that’s what I ask of all of you: join me in restoring the pillars of American exceptionalism,” he said. “And for those who think that the kind and gentle language of self-deportation is what cost the presidency, I would suggest to the leftists that have deconstructed the rule of law, America’s pillars of American exceptionalism, cities like Detroit and Chicago, either go live in those enclaves that you’ve constructed, or you go ahead and self-deport. We’ve got a country to restore together.”
When liberals disagree with conservative rule, they’re told, “If you don’t like this country, move somewhere else.” Love it or leave it. When conservatives disagree with liberal rule, they still tell the liberals to move somewhere. Because even when they’re in the minority, elderly, white, rural conservative Americans are still the only exponents of true Americanism.
Interestingly, many of King’s own constituents have taken his advice. Over half of Iowa’s college graduates leave the state. So many end up in Chicago that in 2000, Gov. Thomas Vilsack rented a suite at the Hyatt on Wacker to beg Hawkeyes to come home.
And now we see what happens when most of a state's educated young people leave: it elects reactionaries like Steve King.