The theme of this Arkansas legislative session was that the United States is bad, our righteous state's evil enemy, and we must fortify ourselves against it.
It's that Donald Trump gave us hope that America could be made a noble country again, but the evil forces foiled him.
It's that the evil forces got Trump out of office by cheating him either with fake votes or by rounding up socialists and riffraff to vote.
It's that the United States has now been restored to full-bore godless socialism under the leadership of the evil Joe Biden.
It's that the evil Biden will come get our guns and shut down our churches if we don't make our own laws saying he will not be allowed to do that within our holy sanctuary and that we'll fight him if he tries.
Arguing Tuesday for a negotiated rewrite of the bill Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed to declare Arkansas a sovereign state on guns in which our police would go to jail if they helped the evil U.S.A., Rep. Jeff Wardlaw of Hermitage in Bradley County laid it out.
He said the new bill corrected some problems, but otherwise extended the state's sovereignty beyond guns to every power given the state and every freedom given its citizens by Article 2 of the state Constitution.
He said the Arkansas people aren't worried only about their guns. He said there is concern that Biden is coming for our religion as well.
This Biden--the one of these fears--is a darned sight feistier than the one I see. I had not taken him for a villainous heathen who would send in federal troops to take bayonets to our King James versions.
As for guns, the only new law Biden might get enacted, and it's a long shot, is a tightening of requirements that gun-buyers get background checks, excepting family transactions and those among persons somehow defined under the law as friends. That is to say Arkansas apparently is prepared under this Legislature to protect your right to sell your assault weapon to a perfect stranger without involving the evil U.S.A.
Arkansas is drawing the line at being ordered by godless socialists to inconvenience a mass shooter.
None of this is new. It's a throwback.
We had the Civil War. We had Orval Faubus, Ross Barnett and George Wallace standing up against the evil U.S.A. when the evil U.S.A. presumed to violate all that is holy by forcing white children in happily racist provinces to endure the presence of Black children in public school.
Resistance of a deeply disliked president is hardly new or wrong. I resisted Trump and feel that I surely earned a reward in heaven by doing so.
But what's different now is the nature of resistance. It is the current total Republican distrust of the prescribed American democratic process for proper resistance--that of public debate and diligence in seeking through persuasion a different outcome in the next election.
It turns out that today's Republican resisters in the Arkansas Legislature do not trust the evil U.S.A. to hold a fair election limited to participation only by the right people. So they pass laws in Arkansas to make it harder to figure out when and how to vote.
The Arkansas Legislature--or the Republican majority--has made these new laws in the spirit of the warriors who invaded the seat of the evil U.S.A. on Jan. 6 to try to keep white American Christianity's only hope--Trump--in the White House to advance the goodness and decency that is clearly evident in him abundantly.
Our current Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, is of a long-ago generation and sometimes doesn't quite measure up to today's GOP themes. So we'll fix that in 2022 by bringing in to replace him the very right hand of the messiah, Trump creation Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to lead us through this cold war with the evil United States.
Sarah will stand in the First Baptist door to keep Biden from sending in his socialists to round up the Sunday-morning righteous.
All of that is very odd--hating the United States that way while beginning every legislative session with a mass recitation of the pledge of allegiance to the flag of that United States.
So, in the spirit of the new Arkansas sovereignty, I propose that the state House and state Senate edit their own versions of the pledge of allegiance, going something like, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, unless, that is, people I disagree with won the last election because of cheating or by letting all the socialists and riffraff vote."
John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.