Friday, January 29, 2021

#2434: Ted Yoho

Theodore Scott Yoho was the U.S. Representative from Florida’s 3rd congressional district from 2013 until his term limit in 2020 (his views on taxes and national debt is a likely reason he kept getting reelected).

Though it is unlikely that he himself actually bought into birther conspiracy theories, he has certainly promoted them, including backing legislation that would support a formal investigation into the matter and saying that he hoped the investigation would bring down the government: “They said if it is true, it’s illegal, he shouldn’t be there and we can get rid of everything he’s [Obama’s] done, and I said I agree with that.” One example of things that could be undone is, of course, Obamacare, which Yoho has denounced as “racist because it taxes tanning beds, which means that if Yoho goes tanning he will be “disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the color of my skin.” His concern over racism is charming indeed. Yoho also believes that the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional. He has also promoted the Bilderberg conspiracy theory.


Expressing skepticism about immigration reform, Yoho – who likes to present himself as some kind of anti-immigrant superhero – claimed that he believes the Hezbollah is smuggling potential terrorists over the Mexican border: “I talked to a guy that works with Hezbollah, they call him the 007 of Hezbollah, they call him and find out he’s brought over 1,500 people here illegally that don’t like us, they want to blow us up,” said Yoho. He didn’t name sources. As for foreign policy, Yoho has argued that we need God on our side in the fight against ISIS; after all, they have their God on their side, so we need a bigger and stronger one; and we certainly need to stop “taking God out of this country”. 


Yoho is opposed to same-sex marriage, ostensibly because marriage is “ordained by God” and shouldn’t be “redefined”. He has consistently voted against anything resembling LGBT rights. Indeed, he has claimed that gay marriage is a distraction pushed by Democrats to deflect attention away from the country’s larger problems. Instead of gay marriage, we should apparently focus on the War on Christmas.


And Yoho is, unsurprisingly, a climate change denialist. Though he admits that he’s “not smart enough” to determine the roots of climate change (true), he can nevertheless rule out the possibility that humans are largely responsible because phenomena like droughts are a natural occurrence and because climate science is “an agenda-driven science” that’s “not right.”


Diagnosis: In many ways your standard crazy-uncle-at-Thanksgiving wingnut figure, and as wingnuts in general, Yoho is heavily pushing conspiracy theories across the board. Congress has plenty of these, but that doesn’t – needless to say – make it any less frightening.


  1. I'm surprised you didn't mention his accosting of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez last summer.

  2. Being a Republican should be an automatic disqualification from being in public office.