The phrase literally means we should not prejudge the value or significance of something by its outward appearance.
The wife and I love oleander plants. We have seven planted in front of our home. They produce beautiful red and white blossoms.
LiveScience reports that the Nerium oleander produces “crimson, magenta or creamy white” blossoms. Its outward appearance is incredibly beautiful, but, as LiveScience says, it is “one of the most toxic plants in the world.” From stem to its sap, the plant is “incredibly poisonous” whose ingestion, or even inhalation of its smoke, can be fatal.
So, my advice is “don’t judge a Nerium oleander by its cover.”
The same can be said about most but certainly not all people.
For example, if you look at media photos of a Trump attorney (reportedly disavowed) named Sidney Powell, a QAnon conspiracy theory follower, you would almost instantly conclude that she has serious mental health challenges in need of immediate therapeutic attention.
But that would be judging a book by its cover. When she opens her mouth, however, and speaks about the 2020 presidential election, she leaves no doubt that she is utterly, absolutely, totally “batshit crazy.”
Consider one of her latest public statements aired on the December 1st Rachel Maddow Show:
“Dear Mr. President
“WE will not stand by and watch Foreign and Domestic enemies further destroy our Constitutional Republic.
“Eighty or more million of us request that you use the Insurrection Act, suspend the December Electoral College Vote, and set up Military Tribunals immediately to properly investigate and resolve the cyber warfare 11-3-20 election issue.
“Further, we request you suspend the Jan 6 GA Senate Runoff Race, and January Inauguration until this issue is resolved.
“We The People”
Powell, and her legion of Deep State conspiracy theory associates, would like the 2020 presidential election declared “null and void,” have all Republicans who say the election was fair and honest summarily executed, install military tribunals with the power to investigate and summarily execute all Democrats who participated in the voting process, install the President for life, and force every Democrat in the country to be branded with “Make America Great Again” across their foreheads.
That is Sidney Powell’s definition of a “Constitutional Republic.”
Sidney Powell looks batshit crazy and is, in fact, batshit crazy—a term the Urban Dictionary defines as a person who is “certifiably nuts.”
That is where we are folks!
Honest and loyal Republicans, who have testified to the honesty of the 2020 presidential election, being threatened, the lives of their families being threatened, and their professional careers being destroyed by other Republicans so far adrift in extremism that there will never be a rational lifeline that can return them to the shores of reality.
They are, for want of a better description, incurably batshit crazy.
Worse yet, somewhere between 5o to 70 percent of so-called honest, rational Republicans do not believe the 2020 presidential election was “free and fair.” This despite the fact that the nation’s Republican-controlled intelligence community, the FBI, the Justice Department, a dozen or more federal and state judges (some appointed by Trump), a laundry list of Republican governors, officials, and legislators have all declared that the election was both free and fair.
I suspect, and with a long history to support the suspicion, that the Republicans (most of who are white) do not believe the election was “free and fair” because so any black people exercised their constitutional right to vote.
And, now amidst all this batshit crazy social and racial anger, hate, and hostility, America must confront and deal with a deadly virus pandemic that has also gone batshit crazy.
So if you see someone that looks batshit crazy, I suggest you assume they are.