There are many important issues facing Americans these days; health care, gas prices, employment, the 2012 election, education, wage equality. With so many real and legitimate concerns, it’s surprising that Wyoming has chosen to create legislature planning for the complete economic or political collapse of the U.S. government.
House Bill 85 (which local newspapers lovingly referred to as the “Doomsday Bill”) was introduced and narrowly voted down the last week of February. At first glance the bill doesn’t seem so bad. It would enable a state run community task force to study and prepare for disaster. There’s nothing wrong with that. The recent bout of tornadoes in the Midwest shows us that local governments have to deal with crisis all the time. Where the bill starts straying into crazy territory is when you look at the sort of things it would start studying like creating an alternate currency for Wyoming, buying an aircraft carrier, and giving the state the power to start a draft and create a standing army.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in this room today what would come up here and say that this country is in good shape, that the world is stable and in good shape — because that is clearly not the case,” state Rep. Lorraine Quarberg, R-Thermopolis, said. “To put your head in the sand and think that nothing bad’s going to happen, and that we have no obligation to the citizens of the state of Wyoming to at least have the discussion, is not healthy.”
No other state in the country has a committee dealing with what happens when the government collapses. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that most Americans worry more about surviving the day to day stuff then worrying about the apocalypse? Maybe there are not enough doomsday lobbyists for ALEC to write bills about it yet. Surely it’s not because Wyoming (population 568,000) has nothing better to do.
Bobbi Clemons is an an activist, pseudo-educator, and sometimes writer whose passion for all things geeky rivals her love of Norway.