This week, one of Tennessee’s two senators had some exceedingly dumb words to say in relation to Taylor Swift, one of the state’s residents who she lost the support of. But this Senator, as we might say in Mississippi, a neighbor of Tennessee, is dumb as a box of rocks. She claims that “Marxist, socialist societies, they do not allow women to dress, or sing, or be on stage, or to entertain”. For starters, she conflates Marxism/Communism and Socialism which are not even remotely the same system. America and other western countries are all socialist, because capitalism doesn’t maintain and build roads and bridges. Capitalism doesn’t enforce the law. Capitalism doesn’t keep your water and food and safe nor does it give money to Grandma and Grandpa when they get too old to work so they don’t suffer in the final years of their lives. All of those things are socialist. Even China isn’t completely communist, as there is some level of autonomy throughout the economy and there isn’t forced sharing of resources or many of the other features of pure communist systems. But putting aside all of that which should have been learned in 8th grade government class, the idea that any regime of any type in the last 100 years has actually stopped singers from singing is preposterous and just, honestly, a flat-out lie. Even at the height of the Russian version of communism, they had female singing stars. China has singing stars RIGHT NOW. Even though I know what Republican politics looks like these days, bereft of solutions, delivering only outrage and fear to their constituents, every once in a while something like this still stands out as being exceptionally stupid and mendacious. The new GOP–blurring the line between ignorance and lying. What a time to be alive!