Every so often we get a glimpse into the heart of darkness that represents the true face of the modern Republican Party, as it grins balefully at us with an insensate, unfocused expression of pure, unbridled hatred. It is these occasions that can provide a moment of clarity that fully reveals the nature of those that have hitched their belief system to the likes of Donald Trump.
A gentleman from Alabama named Hoyt Deau Hutchinson provided such a moment of clarity this week, when he went on a right-wing radio show called “Rick and Bubba” to explain the emotions that coursed through his mind when he took it upon himself to slash a “Baby Trump” balloon which detractors of Donald Trump had previously hoisted into the skies in order to embarrass the Orange Menace, as he was en route to bask in the adoration of friendly crowds gathered to watch a University of Alabama football game, last Saturday afternoon.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man charged with criminal mischief in the slashing of a towering “Baby Trump” balloon has defended his actions, saying it was a matter of good versus evil.
Al.com reports Hoyt Deau Hutchinson called the syndicated radio show “Rick & Bubba Show” on Monday to describe what happened. Hutchinson said he was shaking in anger when he drove past the balloon and its handlers Saturday during President Donald Trump’s visit to see Louisiana State play against the University of Alabama.
Unable to contain his steaming anger at the folks who had insulted his concept of right and wrong, Hutchinson claimed afterwards that he drew upon the Bible for inspiration in his act of vandalism.
“I get so mad about people not taking a stand,” he said. “The left wants to use religion against you like you shouldn’t act like this and stuff but I’ll tell you this — the Devil knows the Bible as good as we do.”
Asked if the slashing was Hutchinson’s attempt to echo the Biblical story of Jesus turning over the temple tables of money changers, he said yes.
The parable of Jesus cleansing the Temple of merchants by overturning their tables has been the subject of centuries of Biblical study. The common interpretation is that Jesus intended to criticize the cheapening and commercialism of religious faith, as well as to make a social protest against those “moneylenders” who routinely cheated the poor. The slashing of a balloon intended to mock a political leader, particularly one accused of massive and widespread corruption, would not seem to present a viable analogy here.
Perhaps dimly realizing the utter disconnect between his actions and this rationale, Mr. Hutchinson quickly pivoted to a different analogy.
“It comes a point when you gotta take a stand. We don’t have two parties anymore. We have good versus evil. When you got one party that says it’s OK to kill babies and by the way, this is the first time I’m ever seen a liberal get mad about chopping up a baby.”
Despite the fact that no person of sane mind, liberal or otherwise, has ever advocated “chopping up a baby,” this would appear to suggest that Mr. Hutchinson’s real justification was rooted in some type of anti-abortion views. In committing an act of property vandalism by stabbing a balloon, then, perhaps this was Mr. Hutchinson’s way of demonstrating allegiance, however symbolically, to a long line of right-wing fanatics who have threatened violence as a way to enforce their religious persuasions against others.
But, as inviting and plausible as that might sound, we need to look into his past a little more closely than he would probably want us to. Here is a video of Mr. Hutchinson expressing his feelings regarding those (black) football players who kneel during the national anthem as a way of protesting violence against African-Americans. Apparently Mr. Hutchinson’s father had made some sort of veiled threat against such players, about two years ago, that led to a visit from some body of authority.
It’s not hard to discern who has fueled the attitudes represented by Mr. Hutchinson here. In fact, he was quite forthcoming in his radio interview.
When asked about his motivations, the 32-year-old Hutchinson told the radio station he keeps up with politics by watching Fox News and his two favorite anchors, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
Here is a video Hutchinson has since deleted of himself explaining his intent to slash the Trump balloon. It is reminiscent in many ways of other “manifestoes” we have seen from other Trump supporters eager to justify and publicize their actions, be they merely slashing a balloon or committing mass murder.
Finally, here is a video of Mr. Hutchinson explaining his racist views on immigration, with a little misogyny thrown in for good measure..
So once we cut through all the self-serving “Bible” rhetoric, once we get past the “abortion” shtick, what we have in Mr. Hutchinson is an out-an out, run-of-the-mill racist ( there’s one more video out there, with Mr. Hutchinson proudly demonstrating how to shoot a handgun. We won’t link that here, because, by now, you probably get the idea).
That’s who he is. That’s who they are. Hutchinson embodies it all in one package: a veneer of dime-store religious hypocrisy fueled by anti-choice rhetoric, hiding a core of pure, unadulterated racism.
That’s the heart of the darkness, Trump’s true base of support.
It’s just not often we get to see it laid out so clearly in one ugly package.