With Bill Sali and his pal Gerry Sweet now wreaking havoc on the federal level, it's worth pondering: Who's the biggest threat to truth, justice, and the American way now sitting in the Idaho Legislature?
To me, the likeliest suspect seems to be Steve Thayn of Emmett, representing District 11 in the House. A short item in the Idaho Statesman this morning reports how Thayn proposed a failed bill that would've have mandated that students memorize multiplication tables. Now, don't get me wrong - we need more math education! But check this out: "Thayn, a freshman lawmaker, is a former teacher at Vallivue High School in Caldwell who has suggested reducing school to four hours per day to save money."
Yeah, as a step toward dismantling public schools altogether. Thayn also is a member - perhaps the only member, since his is the only name I see in its materials - of a group called the Committees of Correspondence. Here are a few choice nuggets from its website, Reclaim Idaho:
Public education is "institutionalized child abuse."
"In the future the grandchildren of the public school students of today, if families still exist, will tell stories about the state sending out yellow buses 5 days per week to collect the children to take them to detention centers for 7 hours every day to indoctrinate them in the state mandated way of thinking. The grandchildren of the future will listen in horror and ask, “Didn’t the parents love their children?” (Link here; I first heard this line of thought on a talk radio show a few years ago, and it literally almost made me puke)
Social Security, welfare payments, and (again) public education are charity, and if they continue, "the populace will become dependent, weak, and immoral leading to America’s eventual decline and fall."
"We have become state slaves, going to work everyday to pay the tax liability we incurred during the night while we slept. We will know that we have free nation when the government at all levels requires 10% or less of our income. This is our goal. If the state did not traffic in mercy (helping the poor) or in education, the taxes would fall to this level." (link here)
You may remember that Thayn beat moderate Republican Kathy Skippen in the GOP primary last year because Skippen chose not to campaign much because her father was dying. Thayn then had a free pass in the general election since no Democrat ran. Thus, Thayn is the classic stealth candidate who sees an opening, muscles his way in, and yet holds the views of only a tiny sliver of his constituency.
Emmett is a fast-growing community that deserves a real legislator, not a free-market fundamentalist whose views are totally out of step with the reality of 21st century America. Here's hoping that either Kathy Skippen will run again next year, or a moderate Democrat will rise up to send Thayn back to the farm. Meanwhile, we need to keep an eye on him.