Ongoing Nonsense | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly

Ongoing Nonsense 

Taking a Gander: Burgess Owens is becoming Utah's own lunatic fringe.

Pin It
click to enlarge news_opinion1-1.png

Some Utahns probably conjectured that Burgess Owens would tone down his nonsense after the election results were in. Instead, he's sticking to his ridiculous notions and conspiracy theories, embracing popular lies and distinguishing himself as one of our country's most screwed-up and inept legislators.

Frankly, it was hard to anticipate that his highly partisan indigestion of America's problems wasn't just a fluke owing to an enthusiastic political campaign. From the things he's said since he became Utah's freshman representative, it's looking like the brain damage is permanent.

After his forays into QAnon and his pathetic, seditious support of Trump's inflammatory election lies, the clearly impaired legislator is now at it again. No, he's not down there in the pizza parlor basement watching Hillary murdering children and drinking their blood. But his comments—even when he thinks he's being serious—are still in left field, less than totally truthful and highly sensationalized for his likely shrinking base of supporters.

Sadly, Owens is just another punctuation mark in a long list of political extremists who employ gee-whiz prevarication in revving up their constituents. Maybe he doesn't wear a gun in public and loudly declare that Trump won, but he's still very much in tune with the ilk of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz who are an embarrassment to our country. Like all the other political whack-jobs, Owens is right there, onboard with supporting the disenfranchisement of Black voters and endorsing the idea that legislatures should be empowered to ignore the popular vote of their states. Meanwhile, the conspiracies of QAnon—ideals he embraces—remains a threat to our great society.

Of course, because he's a former NFL player, we're inclined to make allowances, particularly on his inability to string words together in a logical sequence. Concussion? Maybe. The reality is that it's all backfiring. He's simply not legislative material. I see his election as just another manifestation of the collective guilt Utahns have over the historical racist policies of its predominant religion.

During a Fox interview, Owens noted that he grew up in a segregated community. "I was 16 years old when I finally had the chance to experience meeting white Americans," Owens told Laura Ingraham. (Really!?) He continued, "A very proud community, by the way. And Laura, let me say this, I'm sick and tired of the hard left and these Black elitists putting my race down and putting the greatest generation that ever lived down."

Let's face it: Some people prefer fiction to the facts. I'm not saying America isn't wonderful, but Owens' take is purely delusional.

Now, he's rattling his supporters with the doom and gloom of a runaway immigration situation. He recently toured the border wall in Texas and came back spewing fear. He ranted on Newsmax, "So, no, Americans, this isn't a border issue anymore. They are coming to your neighborhoods, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, and there is a cartel influence along the way. So be aware, don't think this is a distance from you now, this is coming your way and it is done on purpose by a party who could care less about 'we the people.'"

Besides his grizzly murder of the English language, his claims are not defensible.

Owen's support of witches-brew Fox News stories, Newsmax, and the insane creativity of the Epoch Times tells us who he is. He doesn't read; he's ill-informed; he's incapable of processing events with even juvenile reasoning; and he's plagued by his voracious appetite to see his name in print and receive praise from deluded constituents about his appearances on the same far-right media that helped him fleece the voters.

Perhaps saddest for Owens, he really seems to falter when it comes to ferreting out the truth in a world of Pinocchios. Yes, of course, that can be very difficult when so many disrespect the truth. If your mama tells you something, you believe it, probably without question. If your buddy tells you something, why would you contest its veracity? If a president tells you something, and swears on the size of his genitals that it's God's truth, do you challenge him? If a conservative-Christian right TV station is saying something's true—while waving a Bible overhead—how could Burgess grasp that it wasn't so?

Owens' choice of heroes—the orange-haired loser in particular—led him astray. Relying on the rabidly conservative Trump-loyal media is not a healthy choice. His information doesn't come from sources considered to be serious news.

Sadly, Utah's voters did have a choice; instead, they gave the boot to one of the few Utah legislators who had shown some respectability and honesty. Of course, that's water under the bridge, but it does make me wonder how Utahns could have justified replacing competence with incompetence, rationality with nonsense.

Burgess Owens is going to find out eventually that he was not cut out for such an important job. Hopefully, his party will give him the boot, in favor of a more articulate, credible and capable candidate.

The author is a retired businessman, novelist, columnist and former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and the beloved ashes of their mongrel dog.

Pin It


More by Michael S. Robinson Sr.

Latest in Opinion

Readers also liked…

© 2024 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation