GOP legislator wants to reinstitute ‘dwarf tossing’ to foster economic growth

If this story doesn’t say something about how bizarre American politics has become, I don’t know what will.

I opened my morning Boston Globe to find this small news item on Page A2: “Fla. lawmaker says dwarf tossing could help jobless.”

You couldn’t make this up.

It seems that Republican Rep. Ritch Workman wants to prove the GOP mantra that deregulation alone can promote job growth.  His solution to the unemployment crisis: Reverse a 22-year-old Florida ban against — and yes, I’m serious — tossing dwarfs around barrooms, “a competition in which bar patrons see how far they can throw little people in protective gear.”

Even Florida, not generally known as America’s most progressive state except perhaps for its early-bird dinners, realized in banning dwarf-tossing in 1989 that it was “dangerous and dehumanizing,” the article reports.

But not Rep. Workman, a mortgage broker from Melbourne, Fla., first elected to represent the state’s 30th District in 2008.

“If this is a job they [dwarfs] want and people would pay to see it or participate in it, why in the world would we prohibit it?” Workman told a Bloomberg reporter, even while acknowledging that the practice is “offensive.”

Yes, why? And why not, for example, allow people to torture their dogs if there’s an audience willing to pay and someone sadistic or deranged enough to provide this service?  (Oh, I’m sorry, the dogs haven’t signed consent forms.)

Forgive me for getting political. But to me, Workman’s proposal is simply the logical, if extreme, extension of the GOP’s “every man for himself” mantra.  Running out of unemployment benefits?  “Well, get a job.” Not enough food for the kids? “Sorry, but it’s time to balance the budget.”  Want the rich to help by paying a fair share of taxes? “Quit being jealous. Get rich yourself.”

Or, in this case, let the dwarfs eat cake, or whatever else they can grab while being slammed around the room.

With a great name like Workman, you know this representative is hard at work on other ways of getting unemployment down while cutting taxes and eliminating social programs.

So, may I urge him, as a compassionate conservative, to call for a monthly non-profit  event at which the public can kick around mortgage brokers on a local soccer field for $10 a shot?  That money could go to local food banks that have lost state and federal funding. Like the dwarfs, the brokers, of course,  would be required to wear protective clothing.

Sounds pretty abusive right?  You got my point.


About jerrylanson

I teach, write, coach and sing, though you're not required to listen to the latter. I'm a journalism professor at Emerson College in Boston. My third book, "Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves," was published in November by Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. You can read a sample chapter at My passions are politics (generally liberal in outlook), music, mountains, golden retrievers and my grandchildren, though not in that order. Please stop by and mix it up with me. I always answer those who post.
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