There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man…a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.” 

If Rod Serling were alive today, he would find himself in a paradise of imagination. Just this week, the Legislature added new examples and the national news added more. To many Americans, imagination has become their reality.

Let us start with the latest recount in Arizona – In case there are any Trump supporters who still have hope for his election, Arizona Republicans are making an attempt to start the process according to an April 26 Tulsa World story. The Arizona Senate subpoenaed 2.1 million ballots form Maricopa County and the machines that counted them, along with computer hard drives full of data. They have given all of these materials to Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy with no election experience run by a man who has shared unfounded conspiracy theories claiming the 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate.  

The former president predicted the recount would reveal fraud, “I predict the results will be startling!” Trump said he also hopes the recount will prompt other states he lost to take similar action. 

Stay tuned – Biden might not have much longer in the White House.

Next we have the April 23 story on Fox News. The University of Michigan had a 2020 study where it was determined that cutting back on red meat consumption would have a drastic impact on harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Fox incorrectly connected this study with Biden’s climate change goals based upon the London Daily Mail’s falsely connecting the study with Biden’s plan. 

The alarm sounded. Biden planned to limit Americans to four pounds of red meat per year. Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted a call to Biden to “stay out of my kitchen” with his mandatory 90% reduction in meat. 

 Larry Kudlow, Trump’s Director of the National Economic Council, joined the uproar about this fake news story. Before joining Trump, Kudlow had a program on the Fox Business Channel.  Now Kudlow has returned to Fox. In his program last week, Kudlow lamented the prospect of Biden forcing American’s to drink “plant- based beer.” 

Kudlow apparently has never read how beer is made with hops.  Has anyone ever heard of beef-based beer? 

The Oklahoma Legislature never disappoints with this past week an example - Remember the story last week about Sen. President Pro Temp Greg Treat’s declaring  House Speaker Charles McCall’s HB 1236 would be unconstitutional. This bill has as its purpose allowing a majority of the state’s lawmakers to nullify Pres. Biden’s executive orders. Treat introduced his own Senate version with a plan to create in the Attorney General’s office a State Reserved Powers Protection Unit at a cost of $10 million annually. 

Could Treat have possibly realized what the reaction would be? According to an April 22 Oklahoman article, Oklahoma Second Amendment Association President Don Spencer called Treat’s plan “garbage” and said Treat should be removed from his leadership post. On April 22, Treat played for reporters a 16-second, profanity-laced voicemail left on his office phone. Treat said that message was representative of thousands of e-mails and voicemails his office had received. All received from Oklahomans angry about his opposition to McCall’s bill.

Spencer even organized a “Rally for Liberty” last week with over 200 rally goers in the Capitol Rotunda with signs saying “Don’t Treat on Me.”  Spencer mentioned the approximately 100 Republican legislators who backed McCall’s bill with that being “evidence of wide-spread support” for state government leaders to act as a check on the federal government and prevent overreach. 

Spencer later apologized publicly for calling for Treat to be ousted from his post although he did not talk with Treat personally.  

On April 20, the Senate passed Treat’s version 33-14. The same day the House revised the Senate version in a new HB 1237. 

The new House version is the same as the old House version before Treat changed it to the new Senate version.  In other words, the House was back to where it started originally. Now what will the Senate do on the second round?

 On the same day the Senate passed Treat’s version with Dugger voting for it, the House passed its new version 33-14 with Burns and Talley voting for it and Ranson voting against.

McCall made the statement, “There is nothing unconstitutional about exercising constitutional rights.”   Returning to high school civics, McCall needs to read about the three branches of government.

Who knows what will eventually happen to this bill. What makes either version of the bill totally in The Twilight Zone is the entire exercise is actually pointless. Neither the Senate bill nor the House bill should be approved.

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) called the actions of the Republican majority “a waste of taxpayer resources in order to score political points against the Biden administration.” 

It is doubtful the Biden administration will be following this saga – unfortunately, it is probably going on in other conservative states.

The question one should have though from all of these examples is why so many people do not know the facts about an issue. 

• Look what happened to Treat for giving correct information? The House majority did not care that they were voting for an unconstitutional bill.   

• Look at Larry Kudlow spreading ridiculous rumors when someone should have been researching the news source or Kudlow should have been reading beer recipes.

• Look at the rumor about four pounds of meat a year due to Biden’s climate change goals.

• Look at the Arizona Republicans hiring a questionable source to do an audit of votes after any question of Biden’s election has long been decided.

How do so many Americans believe theories that have been disproved? How do so many Americans have an alternative set of facts for making decisions? How do so many Americans believe anything they read on the Internet or on their favorite political news channel? 

Remember Nero and his fiddle. Oklahoma legislators are fiddling with unconstitutional efforts to nullify executive orders while the budget remains to be done and the question of funding Medicaid remains to be determined. The Session is over on May 28. 

Their fiddling is fitting in The Twilight Zone.

Julie Couch is a longtime Stillwater resident.

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