Turns out, the Observer's fears over the retirement of Bedford state Rep. Jonathan Stickland may have been a little exaggerated. The Republican firebrand and official large adult son of the Legislature may be stepping down from the Texas House in 2021, but he is still, as he proved this week, just as capable of stirring up a tornado of bad ideas on social media in or out of session.
If you know anything about Stickland, you probably know that he loves guns, loves to hear himself talk and has some medically dubious views about vaccines. All three of those qualities are on display in Stickland's latest dust-up.
Our story starts, as any good Twitter story does, with Stickland replying to a tweet in which he is not tagged. This one in particular comes from Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and one of the United States' best advocates for vaccines.
Stickland, of course, latches onto a celebration of recent fundraising to equate promoting vaccination with "witchcraft."
Somehow, things go downhill from there. Another doctor, not Dr. Hotez, jumps into the thread and calls Stickland an anti-vaxer. Stickland, who, again, has just called vaccines witchcraft, insists that he is no such thing.
The soon-to-be erstwhile state representative then explains that he, a high school dropout, knows better about when to vaccinate his kids than the medical experts.
There's some back and forth between Stickland and Dr. Gorski about who's bullying whom, and then Stickland gets to what he's best at, calling the doctor a "sissy," before going for a playground insult.
This all went down Wednesday. Stickland has still not had the good sense to delete. Good for content's sake, at least.