Jan Brewer's Eloquent Nihilism

More

The Daily Beast takes a hilarious -- and terrifying -- look at Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's successful re-branding of her state. After Janet Napolitano resigned as governor to become the secretary of homeland security, Brewer, then the Arizona secretary of state, was next in line for the governorship. Since then, Bryan Curtis writes, she has painted her state as "no longer the sun-drenched home of the Grand Canyon, golf courses, and retirees exulting in 100-degree lethargy. Arizona, in Brewer's telling, is a cross between a Cormac McCarthy novel and The Road Warrior":

Brewer has been a relentless chronicler of Arizona's "porous" border with Mexico, which she said allows a daily "invasion" by undocumented immigrants. Who are the undocumented? The "majority" are "drug mules," she said, others are "human traffickers," and still others may carry "big, strong, dangerous guns, AK-47s." ...

Native Arizonans contacted by The Daily Beast were surprised the governor wasn't extolling tourist meccas like Tombstone Ranch and Sedona's yuppie playground. No, Brewer prefers to tout Arizona's "drop houses, kidnapping, auto accidents, extortion, drugs, the spillover with the drug cartels." Want to hike among the Bighorn sheep in the Sonoran Desert? Careful, lil' partner--Brewer has said  there are "bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded."

This kind of rhetoric, Curtis asserts, could signal a radicalization of Arizona politics: 

Politicians, perhaps wary of attracting more negative PR, have mostly ignored Brewer's ritual denunciations. But Brewer's rhetoric is important because it illustrates a hidden tension in Arizona politics. Senate Bill 1070 is often seen as an outgrowth of Mexican migration. But Arizona has a parallel migration narrative: one of Anglo migrants who came for the hot weather and golf courses, and, in many cases, brought along their conservative politics.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In