TN GOP Rep. Smith Blames Rise in Youth Suicides on “Leftist Indoctrination”, Schools, Climate Science

There’s a lot going on right now, but we wanted to make sure to show you this remarkable post from TN GOP State Rep. Robin Smith (R-Chattanooga) in something called the Patriot Post, which was brought to our attention by former congressional candidate Chris Hale.

In the post Smith lays the rise in youth suicides at the feet of “leftist indoctrination” – apparently meaning schools, climate science, biology, and sex, coupled with her misguided sense of the Democratic platform as a whole.

Keep in mind, Smith was previously the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, and recently ran for House caucus chair, so she’s not exactly a fringe player.

She starts out with a simple fact:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data this past week that youth suicide rates increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among 10- to 24-year-olds.”

Smith then notes that the author of the article says “researchers aren’t certain” what exactly the causes are… but who needs research? The causes are clear to Rep. Smith:

“The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of this report includes the statement that researchers aren’t certain of the cause, yet factors such as a “rise in depression, drug use, stress and access to firearms” along with the influence of social media are cited as areas of interest and study.

Access to firearms” is not all that different from 50 years ago, but let’s take an honest look at the cultural forces and influences on our youth and young adults today that may offer some real causation, not just correlation…”

Notice how Smith doesn’t like the “access to firearms part”, so she throws that out – claiming it hasn’t changed in 50 years, when there is absolutely no evidence that’s the case.

Proliferation of firearms in America has continued over the last 50 years, so it would stand to reason that access to firearms for teens would increase along with that. Calling something “an honest look” doesn’t make it so. But we digress.

Smith then talks about the detachment that results from phone and social media addiction before pointing the finger squarely at our schools for teaching about science in the form of climate change, biology, and sex:

“Once our kids are out the door, they’re headed to middle school, high school, or some type of instruction in a two-year college or four-year university. And what do our kids encounter in their day at these “institutions of higher learning”? Of late, the message has been that the Earth will cease to exist in less than 12 years because of climate change. Our kids are told that it’s their right to determine their own gender rather than live within the capacity of their biological being while maximizing their gifts and talents. Too many students hear that life is a wad of cells until a baby is outside the mother’s womb and wanted by both the biological donors — formerly called the mother and father.

Students of all ages hear that part of growing up is being sexually active, having access to abortion as a type of birth control and part of a female’s health care, and that choosing a life of discipline, maturity, and restraint is not possible — much less a characteristic of an individual living at the fullest extent of their “rights.”

Smith’s use of quotations around “institutions of higher learning” are reminiscent of the calls for the abolition of state-sponsored higher learning by Republican senators Kerry Roberts and Mark Pody. When asked, Roberts claimed he was joking – but it has become clearer and clearer that doing away with state-backed higher education is a popular policy position in the TN GOP.

It’s one thing not to believe in Climate science, but linking gender, climate, and not calling parents a mother and father (say what?) to youth suicide is quite the stretch.

Smith then says our schools are “populated with activists”, and points to Democratic policy proposals like health care, education, and higher wages (the horror!) as somehow causes of suicide because they make kids “wards of the state”:

“Our institutions entrusted with the high trust of academic instruction are populated with activists who are invested in more than educational excellence and accomplishment and are now turning to the playbook seen in failing cultures of sameness for the common good and a posture of dependency rather than self-reliance. Don’t believe this? With the demands for “free” college tuition, free health care, a universal wage for those who don’t even work and for the express doctrine of this sameness to guarantee no individual excels above another, the role of government metastasizes to a cancer that consumes its host to pay for those who don’t excel and aren’t driven to self-reliance. Shorter, we’re teaching kids to be wards of the State.”

So helping kids learn, see doctors, and earn more money makes them want to take their own lives. Or something. Hoo-wee.

To clarify: “Free” college tuition means we pay for it with our taxes and our kids go to school, as we already do with lower education.

“Free health care” again would mean we pay taxes, and we get what we pay for – as opposed to now where we pay taxes, and premiums, and deductibles… and many are still going broke and dying for lack of coverage, especially here in Tennessee.

And say what you will about a universal basic income proposal – which has gained little traction in the Democratic Party – but it’s worth noting Smith opposes the Democratic proposal for a “living wage”, which means raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to a number people can actually live on.

Tennessee is #1 in % of minimum wage jobs, so that would actually help a lot of people.

The upshot of all of this is that Robin Smith may disagree with things like climate science, and biology, and making sure everyone can see a doctor when they get sick, and higher education, and paying people for their work – but blaming people who support those things for youth suicides with ZERO evidence? That’s unconscionable and downright shameful.

If Smith was really as pro-life as she claims to be, she should reverse her position on not expanding medicaid, which we know is killing people, or blocking common sense gun safety reform, which is also contributing to the deaths of many.

Teen suicide is a serious issue. It’s not something to baselessly politicize for the sake of scoring cheap political points.

Holler at Rep. Smith HERE if you agree.

INTERVIEW: JOHN HENSON, Food Network Halloween Baking Championship Host & Comedian

Holler co-founder Justin Kanew chatted with Comedian JOHN HENSON – former host of TALK SOUP and WIPEOUT! and current host of THE HALLOWEEN BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP on the Food Network. John is also a politically savvy tweeter who regularly engages with those who disagree with him. He sat down with us to diagnose the political infection our country is currently suffering from.

“Everybody becomes a firefighter when your house is burning down.”

Follow Him: @John_Henson

Subscribe to the podcast on Itunes!

 

TNDP Exec Member Resigns After Hate-Speech Video Goes Viral (Bonus: He’s Also a Mayor)

A member of the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee and elected official in East Tennessee has resigned after a hate speech-filled video of he and his wife aired on YouTube. (Warning: This video contains obscenities.)

Bill Fannon, mayor of Tazewell in East Tennessee, resigned from his District 8 seat following posting of the video which showed him evicting tenants from an apartment owned by the Fannons.  The video is filled with obscene language and features Fannon and his wife, Kat, insulting and threatening teenage renters and their mother.

“Wait till the cops get here and I’m going to let him know about you and then I’m going to knock your teeth into the back of your g–damn head,” Fannon says to one of his tenants, a 17-year-old boy.

His wife, Kat Fannon, calls the boy a “queer” and says “I wouldn’t touch you: I might get something,” while calling a young woman shown in the video a “whore” and “poor trash.”

In the two minute video, the Fannons say the teens didn’t pay rent, while the renters in turn say the couple didn’t make necessary repairs to the property.

Another TNDP Executive Committeenmember, Robin Smith, former mayor of Decherd and committee member from District 16,  resigned after being indicted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on charges he allegedly stole money from misdemeanor probationers under his supervision and used it for his own use.

Members of the TNDP Executive Committee said they were notified about both Smith’s and Fannon’s resignations via e-mail Sept. 9.

The resignations bring the total number of vacancies on the TNDP Executive Committee to eight.

Robin Smith, former Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member and former mayor of Decherd was indicted by the TBI.

(Editor’s note: Tennessee Holler co-founder, Holly McCall, ran against Mary Mancini for chair in January 2019.)