Trent Franks is the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 8th (previously 2nd) congressional district since 2003 (to those who expected Georgia state representative and reconstructionist theocrat Bobby Franklin, perhaps most famous for this; he has unfortunately passed away before we reached this stage in the Encyclopedia). To set the stage for a proper characterization of Franks, one could perhaps start with what he said about Sarah Palin: “If every person in the world was like Sarah Palin, there probably wouldn't even be need for government because no one would be in danger of any kind. If every person were like Sarah Palin, this world would be a peaceful, beautiful world to live in.” Yes, Franks says stuff like that (and this), and seems to mean them. That’s presumably why he became the co-chair of Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign (he is also known to be a close ally of David Barton, Tony Perkins, Lou Engle, Clenard Childress, and Janet Porter).
He has argued that the courts are trying “inch by inch” to “take away our religious freedom,” and even argued that “if Mr. Obama appoints additional people to the Supreme Court that the Constitution itself will be fundamentally abrogated”, because this is the only way to explain why the Courts sometimes come to other conclusion than the seriously delusional Franks. In fact, he thinks Obama (“we need to realize he is an enemy of humanity”) is “one of the nation’s most dangerous enemies” because he (Obama) is a jihad-apologist who is engaged in a religious war against Christianity, and warned, in 2011, that national security is at risk if he (Obama) gets reelected.
He opposes same-sex marriage; marriage is a special right that straight Christians have (also here), and giving that right to gay people would be “a threat to the nation’s survival”. Apparently there are lots of threats to the nation’s survival that us ordinary sane mortals would have failed to realize were it not for people like Franks generously pointing them out to us. Abortion seems to be another. In a 2010 interview, Franks, while attempting to downplay the legacy of slavery and social factors in explaining problems among African-Americans, claimed that abortion was the main cause of contemporary social problems: “Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery,” an attempt at an explanation – more teenage parents and children that parents cannot take care of will solve social problems – that some researchers may suggest is slightly inaccurate.
Indeed, abortion as a threat to the survival of civilization is a mainstay of Franks’s political efforts (abortion rights will “send America over the brink”. He compares the anti-abortion movement with efforts to abolish slavery and end the holocaust; whereas abortion rights supporters, on the other hand, are on the “wrong side” of “history and eternity” – whatever that means, though at least abortion rights are backed by “evil forces” and doomed to “fall like the Soviet Union” because … well, that’s what Franks would like, so it must happen. He has also made claims strongly reminiscent of Todd Akin’s, but you never expected a reasonable dialogue based on rational processing of ideas from this source anyways (to boot). And if medical experts disagree with him Franks doesn’t hesitate to question their legitimacy (I mean, how could experts disagree with him?).
I guess no one will be surprised to find out that Franks is a global warming denialist, has seriously toyed with birtherism (he even considered a birther lawsuit), and is on the Board of Advisors for EMPACT America. Science and critical thinking be damned (facts? Well, the facts are sort of irrelevant here).
In 2009 Franks was among the Representatives calling for the investigation of CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) over allegations of trying to plant “spies,” based on a CAIR memo indicating that they “will develop national initiatives such as Lobby Day, and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices” (how paranoid does one have to be to see a conspiracy here?) Partially, he was influenced by Dave Gaubatz’s conspiracy theory novel Muslim Mafia (foreword by fellow Representative Sue “Terrorists may learn Spanish to pose as Illegal Immigrants” Myrick), which portrayed CAIR as a subversive organization allied with international terrorists. Of course, Franks has had no qualms about expressing his support of Muslim fundamentalists when it comes to issues of gay rights.
Diagnosis: Massively muddleheaded and vigorously bigoted extremist. Dangerous.