Some people were worried about a nonexistent problem, so we made a real one

Satire from The Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:

“Those are the concerns my constituents have. Whether they are overblown, it’s hard to say.”

— Georgia state Sen. Larry Walker, quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the new restrictive voting law he said was necessary to combat his constituents’ concerns about voter fraud

Hi, yes, we heard people were worried about demons getting into the water supply, so now we’ve passed a little tiny law saying you have to sprinkle holy water on the faucet every time you turn it on. If people have these concerns, it’s our job to address them! Sorry about the inconvenience. Yes, I am the only person who sells Faucet Holy Water™, so technically this does benefit me, but I mostly just care about addressing constituent concerns.

Hi, yes, we saw that some people were worried about a UFO landing on the community playground and replacing all the children with empty spacesuits full of bees. Yes, technically, this has never happened to anyone, but it would sure be terrible to be the first — so we have put up an electrified UFO-proof fence around the playground! This will keep all the UFOs out. Also, the kids won’t be able to use it, but this will help keep them safe from UFOs, so, win-win!

Hi, yes, we saw that someone was afraid of being slain by sky dolphins, so we have put a big net over the entire city. The net really won’t affect you unless you want to go outdoors!

Hi, yes, we saw that someone was concerned that if their 11-year-old was allowed to receive any mail, they would inevitably be summoned to to an expensive out-of-state boarding school for wizards, so we have canceled all mail delivery! Sorry, USPS! Sorry, everyone! We must take these concerns seriously.

Hi, yes, someone was concerned that if he stared too long at a stoplight he would turn into a lizard (really unclear why he thought this but not our job to judge)! We’ve gotten rid of all the stoplights.

Hi, yes, we saw that someone was concerned that if cats ever learned to read, they would turn on us, so we will be coming door-to-door to repossess your cat. I don’t make the rules, except in the limited, technical sense that I am the lawmaker responsible for making this rule! People’s concerns, however dubiously grounded, are my only god, and I follow wherever they lead.

Hi, yes, we saw that someone was concerned about witches loose on the subway, so we are now requiring everyone who wants to board public transit to quickly be tested via the ducking stool! Sorry for the inconvenience, but no concern is too invalid not to demand that we completely rejigger a system that was working fine before.

Hi, yes, someone was concerned that these laws were overkill in response to fictional concerns, which made her neighbor worried that that person was a witch, so we have dropped the skepticinto a pond and are waiting to hear back!

Hi, yes, we saw that someone was concerned about voter fraud, so we are banning anyone besides poll workers from offering water to people waiting in line to vote, curtailing drop boxes, throwing out the votes of anyone who votes out of precinct with a provisional ballot before 5 p.m. and virtually ensuring that election certification will be controlled by Republicans! No, we don’t have any evidence of actual fraud, but that doesn’t matter. Of course this is in good faith, not a cynical ploy rooted in the deeply racist history of voter suppression. Someone had a concern. It’s our job to address every concern.

Seven White male lawmakers signing voter suppression law while Black female lawmaker is arrested outside for knocking on the door.

4 thoughts on “Some people were worried about a nonexistent problem, so we made a real one

  1. In a not-so-funny development the state of Tennessee, where I live, has passed a law requiring transgender students to play school sports based on their gender assigned at birth…even though no transgender students who’d tried to play on a gender-based team could be found. Yet another case of a solution to a non-existent problem.
    Now I’ll go back to wishing we actually had demons in the water supply.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, much like the “bathroom bill” here in Texas. Were they going to station bathroom monitors outside to check birth certificates at Walmart?

      And as for demons in the water supply, my town was forced to have a referendum on whether or not we should remove fluoride from our water supply. This was brought about by just a few kooks who’d bought into the conspiracy theories roiling around out there. Every doctor and dentist in town signed onto an ad in the local paper saying fluoride is safe (we’ve been fluoridating the water for over 30 years here) and fortunately the bid to remove it failed…bigly. But the people who brought it turned around and sued the city and the mayor, claiming that the recount of votes (which the kooks had to fork over $500 to have done and the vote wasn’t even close) was suspect somehow. I think this was an early harbinger of the 2020 “stopthesteal” mania.

      Liked by 2 people

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