Democrats, throw down your gauntlets!
This past Wednesday morning reminded me oh-so-many things I thought I’d forgotten. I remember now the clear sense of sadness, impotence, and rage I felt when George W. Bush was elected in 2000 (I was just half a year shy of being eligible to vote). I remember the potent sense of unfairness I felt at Bush’s reelection in 2004 — when I DID vote even though, at the time, I had very little faith in the meaningfulness of it. I remember the strange feeling of ennui that I had when, in 4th grade, we were forced to listen to Bill Clinton’s first inaugural address in class (I’d been a Perot defender at the time). All these mixed sorts of feelings of devastation. The sensation of having lost.
And it reminded me of one night above all others. I remembered the rampant celebration of Election Night 2008. I remember that we were LITERALLY dancing in the streets when they called it for Obama. I remember the joy of winning. Of thinking things had, at last, turned out right.
Now, I have many dear conservative friends. And I am probably somewhere just left of center when it comes to liberalism. I suppose on some issues my positions are considered radical, but I’ve always been a proponent of compromise and sensible governance (see: my 9-year old mock-debate video as Ross Perot). I think America works best when things reasonable compromises can be achieved. Yes, I think there is a level above all the in-fighting and discussion of ethical, religious, and/or cooperate imperatives where one simply takes into account the clarity of governing. I think government in necessary. I think government is just. And I think government acts in balance with the mob-of-individuality in order to keep things stable, but dynamic.
And I suppose, when it comes to my more conservative acquaintances, I like to think we can all agree that humanity is the fulcrum upon which this whole apparatus is balanced.
But this year it would seem that there, we diverge. I am born pessimist and cynic. I think that humans left to their own devices will smother their better selves and resort of violence and malice in the name self-preservation. I think that people set up government because they know, in the most enlightened moments, that they cannot ultimately be trusted to do what is right for themselves and for others. Not everyone, of course, but as a species. By and large — we’re idiots.
And for me, there is nothing in the new Republican/Tea Party movement that is at all worth being reasonable or sane about. When unemployment is above 9% and the economy is JUST slowly starting to get back on its feet. When we’re not quite a decade away from the worst attack on American soil ever in the history of this country. When the global economy and global warming and global energy consumption are the most complex and multi-faceted issues we’ve ever had to face — this is just not the time to be reverting back to lesser selves.
I apologize for the generalization, but judging purely by the candidates and spokespersons they’ve put in power, the Tea Party represents the most regressive, bigoted, small-minded movement this nation has seen in over a century. They rear before the Constitution like the 12-headed beast of the Rapture. They spread the pestilence of ignorance and hatred and misunderstanding. They take advantage of hopeful people who are not quite sure of themselves in these changing times. And I truly believe that many of them KNOW what they do. That they willfully act against the best interests of the American people because they think so little of us. Because they subscribe to a belief in absolute right, in divine wisdom, and survival of the fittest — all concepts that were useful in the early days of human development, but are like pointless vestigial organs in this day and age.
I view the Tea Party as an enemy of democracy. And I REFUSE to take shelter in the assumption that, because human beings are human beings, they are all good people (I’m looking at you, Jon Stewart). And I REFUSE to be told that I mustn’t be passionate in my opposition of the new GOP/Tea Party. There is a time for sanity, for moderation, and for mediation. This is NOT one of those times (you hearing me, Jon?). This, mark my words, is the rise of something awful in America. You need only look as far as reputable history book to see it. This is the kind of movement that eats a nation from the inside out until there is nothing left. It is parasitic. It is gross. It is a crime against true decency — and yet has the audacity to use decency as one of *it’s* titles.
This is the tipping point, then. These next two years will determine America’s future. I kid you not, dear reader, the next hundred years set in motion with the things we do here. Now.
Reason and sanity are the tools one must use with other reasonable people. When faced with the brazen charlatanism of the Tea Party, we must band together (left AND right, so to speak) to be swift and devastating in our renunciation of such things. We cannot allow this to be come the new order of things.
I love my country, and I support it in every incarnation it has manifested. Even when, at times, it was persecutor of my own people. I believe in the perpetual potential of America. I believe that greatness and leadership and ingenuity may be our greatest legacy. And should this country take a turn for the worse, I will remain a loyal citizen to her. In a true — but poetic — sense. I love the very land that is the United States of America. As such, I view it as my duty to call foul when we have gone astray. I will NOT calm down. And I will NOT accept this present state. I will rage, agitate, and demonstrate in every way I can muster against this new beast.
I will not resort to the radicalization that they use, but neither will I blithely stand by and not defend against it. THIS is the moment we have been waiting for. This is the crucible of my generation. I hope that Obama can gather us to the banner of Change once again. That he will exhort us once more — into the breach. 2008 was only the beginning. Here is where we must turn the tide.
Are we fools, or patriots?