As the whole world knows, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) has been dominated by Don McLeroy, the creationist dentist. He had been appointed by the creationist Governor of Texas to be the board’s chairman, but then he suffered the disgrace of seeing that appointment rejected by the Texas Senate. McLeroy was then defeated in this year’s Republican primary by Thomas Ratliff, the son of former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff.
McLeroy will soon be spending full time attending to his primary calling — drilling teeth that were inexplicably less than intelligently designed. But not yet. At the Texas Tribune website we read SBOE Meeting Is Controversial Member’s Last Stand. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
[T]hough today marks the beginning of Don McLeroy’s final board meeting before his GOP primary opponent, Thomas Ratliff, replaces him, the 12-year board veteran says this is anything but the end of his involvement.
How wonderful! We’ll still have McLeroy to kick around. Let’s read on:
“I mean, golly, I love this stuff. You haven’t seen the last of Don McLeroy,” he says, noting that while he’ll watch to see what happens during this legislative session’s redistricting process, he’ll likely run for his old spot on the board in two years.
Your Curmudgeon has finally figured out the essence of Don McLeroy. He’s a troll. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of internet trolls. They are the peculiarly warped souls who enter a forum or a blog or some other place where their comments can be posted, and who change the subject to themselves, their feelings, their gripes, their … whatever. The original discussion is hijacked from the moment of the troll’s appearance until he is ultimately banned. Trolls are parasites who feed off the energy and attention they divert from everyone else. That’s what McLeroy has been doing ever since he got on the SBOE.
We continue with the Texas Tribune article:
At its height, media coverage of McLeroy — a self-proclaimed “religious fanatic” — included an appearance on Arab TV news network Al Jazeera, a Washington Monthly profile and a New York Times Magazine story. [Links omitted, but they're in the original article.]
See? It was a troll’s fantasy come true. Here’s more:
Does he have any regrets? “Oh, gosh, no,” he says. “To put it in phenomenal God language, I’m thinking that maybe God’s got something else for me to do.”
Why not devote himself to drilling teeth? Not fulfilling enough for a troll? Moving along:
But this week’s gathering offers little room for outgoing members to leave their mark. On the agenda? Developing recommendations for the 82nd legislative session; adopting textbooks for English, language arts, spelling, fine arts and speech; and reviewing bids for supplementary science textbook material.
Did they say “supplementary science textbook material”? There may be one last opportunity for a bit of trolling before McLeroy leaves the stage. Another excerpt:
In a phone interview on Tuesday, McLeroy said that, for him, the meeting will lack the excitement of past sessions. Of the board’s future work developing math standards, he said, “It’s pretty blah compared to evolution. It’s pretty blah compared to American exceptionalism and things like that.”
Yeah, it’s “pretty blah.” But we suspect he’ll find something to attract attention to himself. Trolls always do. On with the article:
After hanging up, McLeroy sent an e-mail saying he had thought more about what he wanted to say about his time in the limelight. He wrote that to understand the events of the past two years, “you need to know that for our opponents, nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
Yes, and it’s also true that nothing makes sense in the light of creationism. Here’s the article’s end:
“The great story coming out of Texas is that their spell has been broken,” he added. “We have ended the dogmatic teaching of evolution, and we have restored the founders’ idea of a Creator.”
He’s trolling to the very end. We’re gonna miss that guy.
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