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Decline to State
Have you ever wondered which is our stupidest state? Our cruelest? Our most incompetent? There are multiple contenders for each title, of course, but why limit our inquiry with such narrow parameters? Why not simply ask, which of the 50 is our absolute worst state?

By opening up the discussion in this way, we can excavate everything that is ugly and poisonous about America. Not because we hate America, as some might charge, but because we are true patriots. Only by recognizing our flaws as a nation can we hope for a better future for all of us.

All right, now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to mocking our country. First, let’s eliminate those states that are clearly not in contention — the entire West Coast, for starters, and any state on the Eastern seaboard from, say, Virginia north. Everybody knows these states are cooler and smarter. No offense. I’m also going to give most of the Midwest a pass because, in spite of being the home to a lot of extreme nutcases, they manage to keep most of these people in check and out of power. Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible because they are too young to know better.

That leaves mostly the Southern and Mountain West states. We can whittle our list down a bit more by asking which are refusing Medicaid expansion — a program that costs them practically nothing yet would provide healthcare to their neediest citizens. No matter what excuses come out of their mouths, their refusal to do so is nothing more than cruelty for political reasons. Of the remaining states still in the running, only Kentucky, Utah, and Arkansas pass this test (if only feebly in the case of the last two). Wisconsin and Michigan have refused to agree to the coverage, making them the only Midwestern states bad enough to still be in the running. No offense.

Fortunately for them, however, they are eliminated from the list because they pass my next test for awfulness: does the state try to teach creationism as science in its public schools? This test also lets Wyoming, Idaho, and North Carolina off the hook.

Alabama , Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas are still standing. If we now drop the states that are too inconsequential to worry about, we have our finalists:

Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. Wow, pretty bad all right..

Let’s drop South Carolina from consideration, okay? Their main claims to infamy are a particularly virulent brand of racism and a long string of bad people in public office: Jim DeMint, Strom Thurmond, Mark Sanford, Joe Wilson, etc, etc. (I won’t include Lindsey Graham; he’s just silly). Bad as it is, South Carolina just doesn’t measure up to the depth and breadth of awfulness of the other two.

So, how do we decide this? Both states already fail the tests I’ve mentioned; what are their other faults?

They each have a Bush brother, but Texas has W, so the point goes to them. They’re both unpleasantly hot, but Florida is sticky, so point to them. Both have passed laws that suppress voting, but it was Florida that screwed the pooch in the 2000 election. The governors are both putzes, but Rick Perry beats Rick Scott (or anyone else) in a clueless contest.

That leaves us tied. Here, however, one contestant begins to pull away. Florida is lame, but the Lone Star State is just plain mean. And the Sunshine State has nothing to match the assassination of a president — and his assassin. They don’t have the psychotic gun-love, or the drive for secession, or the unjustifiable egotism, or Ted Cruz, or the Dallas Cowboys. Only Texas has these, and I hereby declare it the clear winner in our search for the absolute worst state.

As I have said, we conduct this study not to divide or denigrate, but to pursue the hope that we will learn something about ourselves — all of us — that will help us become a better nation, a better people. And that something is … avoid Texas at all costs. No offense.

Please Note: Tim Eagan will read your comments but he is currently not publishing them.

Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon