NEW YORK -- Britain has endured its unfortunate share of improbable political representatives over the years; enter any local council meeting and you’re likely to find at least one retired colonel shouting “send them back”, while decrying equal marriage as “a load of old dick”.
Of course the UK is not alone with our friends across the water likewise given to suffer as bizarre candidates (somehow) gain elected office.
Tuesday’s midterm elections featured several positive notes, from the new Congress boasting at least 101 women – the most ever – to South Carolina's Tim Scott becoming the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction.
There were, however, some more retrograde victories. Here are three of the most notable:
Elected to a local council in Maryland, Peroutka is a devotee of Christian Reconstructionism – a movement that advocates a theocratic government (like Saudi Arabia, but based on the Bible) - allied with libertarian economic principles (absolutely no government intervention or regulation of business).
As if that cocktail weren’t enough, the 62-year-old believes the southern states should secede from the Union, that civil rights don’t exist (rights come directly from God) and that abortion, homosexuality and equal marriage are wrong. He also has historical links to the white supremacists movement The League Of The South.
Introducing Colorado’s newest member of the House of Representatives, Gordon Klingenschmitt, a savagely anti-gay former US Navy chaplain, who thinks government should discriminate against homosexuals – a group he believes are likely to abuse their own children. LGBT people should also be banned from public bathrooms, while anti-gay verses from the Bible should be printed on the back of gay wedding photos.
Away from his main preoccupation, Klingenschmitt has said that the emergence of the Islamic State is a sign that Jesus is soon to return and that Obamacare, the president’s attempt to expand healthcare for America’s most needy, causes cancer.
Ernst, a former soldier, has been elected to the US Senate courtesy of the voters of Iowa (or those that turned out). The 44-year-old wants to kill the Environmental Protection Agency – the government department used to curb greenhouse gas emissions – demurs when asked about global warming (“I don’t know”), and has warned that the United Nations Agenda 21 (a plan for sustainable development from the early nineties) could drive Iowa farmers off their land.