Jim Bridenstine just won the Republican nomination to Congress in the 1st district of Oklahoma this week, unseating incumbent John Sullivan. That victory has brought a good deal of attention to Oklahoma’s 1st district, and to Bridenstine, and increasing numbers of voters are growing uneasy about what they see.
It seems that Bridenstine has a habit of shooting his mouth off before he has the chance to think about the consequences of what he’s saying. For instance, in his campaign videos, Bridenstine calls Congress “a Frankenstein of a political machine” and declares that, “Our nation needs leaders that have strong values, men and women of faith.” The implication is clear: Jim Bridenstine believes that the problem with Congress is that there aren’t enough religious Americans serving on Capitol Hill.
There’s just one problem with Bridenstine’s idea: It doesn’t match reality. Almost every politician in Congress is religious. They’re almost all “men and women of faith.” There’s only one member of Congress who admits to not being religious. That’s one person out of the many hundreds of members of the House and Senate. Does Bridenstine think everything that’s gone wrong with Washington D.C. is the fault of that one person?
It may be easy for Jim Bridenstine to get voters in his district excited with the conspiracy theory that Washington D.C. is run by a bunch of atheists who are ruining everything, and that what’s needed is to elect a bunch of Christians who will clean house. But then, the easy political message often doesn’t match with the truthful political message. Jim Bridenstine doesn’t just insult atheists when he uses atheism as a political scapegoat on which to blame America’s problems. He insults the intelligence of the voters in Oklahoma as well.