His successful bid for the Presidency inspired millions, and even billions across the globe. Here in America it also inspired millions to rise up and declare America in decline, that the elevation of a socio-fascistic-communistic Kenyan to the Presidency was the utter destruction of the United States Constitution and the doom of all American kind.
Of course, it’s 2013, American is still here, and our Union is strong.
However, this seminal moment in American history gave those who voiced such opinions power by virtue of their combined thunder, their clarion call to action. They came together and protested. They came together along grass roots lines finding each other from one state to the next, galvanized in their belief that it was time to fight the government with word and action, and, if necessary, insurrection.
They came together and formed the Tea Party, an offshoot of the Republican Party, which promised to up-end Democracy, drown the Federal government, and take us back to the glory days of the 1950’s.
Just to be clear, for many of us a 1950’s American would be far from glorious.
The Tea Party movement was formed and at its very root it was born of division and as with many things of socio-political inventions rife with conflict. There were those founding Tea Party adherents that wanted the movement to be about strong fiscal accountability and the popular oxymoron small government.
Just to be clear, small government as a viable premise is a sincerely ignorant proposition. Now understand, as I always say, ignorance is not bad. It simply means you lack knowledge and understanding. Small government is a premise supported by those that lack understanding, and aren’t viewing government with a rational mind.
Of course, such a statement will anger many, as it is difficult for us to divorce our emotions from our politics and act in a logical rational manner. Without question we want our government to not be overly large, or burdensomely small. Logically, we want a responsible government that is of the people by the people, and for the given era, the right size for the people, expanding and contracting in services as need arises or dissipates. Consider this critically.
Conservatism as a state of human nature is understandable and rational. As a political proposition it does not make sense, because by the very definition of conservatism it indicates a resistance to change. Historically, this is how the GOP can so readily stand together despite some of their divisional issues, whereas liberals are all about change of varying degrees, and thus the Democratic Party catches hell trying to stand together in action as one consistent Congressional voting block. However, in truth it is the labels and the emotions we tie to them that serve to divide us.
At the heart of the Tea Party as the social conservatives joined their fellow fiscal conservatives there began to grow with the seeds of dissension. Republican strategists took hold of the movement and sought to use it to their own ends. This strategy was very successful and worked to give the Republicans control of the House of Representatives. However, such a strategy also gave us Congressional gridlock and one of the worst Speakers in American history, presiding over one of the worst House of Representatives in American history.
As time went by the Republicans would seek to assert their control, to change the tenor of the Tea Party, to mollify the fire they created, while at the same time seeking to continue to use that fire to their advantage. When you purposely release chaos, there is most often no recourse but to descend into it.
Today, the Republican Party consistently rests on the precipice. Speaker Boehner cannot control his party members. Many of them have publically stated they would rather see America go down in flames before agreeing to collaborate and compromise with Democrats and the President.
Even as economic prosperity and American endurance persists, you have people like Senator Rand Paul, unbelievably a possible Presidential candidate, touting how well the Tea Party message will resonate with young people.
Will that message, a legacy of intransigence borne of chaos take hold in our youth?
Tea Party strategists say the messages of small government, defense, and entitlement reform will appeal to young Americans. Does it truly? And if it does, is America doomed?
Clearly, small government makes no sense. If you support strong defense you support so-called big government. Our military alone constitutes big government in terms of population, material, and budget. The two cannot be in the same sentence. It is illogical.
And though entitlement reform is absolutely essential we know that the emotional motivating factor behind the Tea Party message is that entitlements are evil and they give free food and money to poor black people in the ghetto.
Tea Party supporters will deny this. They’ll point to their black supporters and say things like, our black people are better than your black people. They won’t mention the working and non-working poor in Appalachia and vast swaths of rural America who are dependent on those very same entitlement programs, and who most certainly constitute the larger majority of need, not an ethnicity that only constitutes 13% of the population.
They won’t acknowledge the evil of pushing a human being who relies on a monthly social security check to come out and protest against their own social security check, their own entitlements.
Can the youth embrace Randian ideals in the search for every man to become John Gault? They most certainly can. Will it doom America if we were to rise from our youth in a vast reversal of freedom, pushing a social agenda the marginalizes women, gays, and minorities, including immigrants under the guise of supporting them in some half-hearted attempt to draft Hispanics onto the self-same plantation where they accuse Democrats of keeping their pet voting African-Americans?
Yes, it most certainly will.
America, of its own volition, is moving to be more accepting, to move from tolerance to loving embrace of all Americans in our varying diversity. The Tea Party won’t destroy America. It doesn’t have the power. It would if we were to turn our backs on one another, and live awash in the illogical, embracing ideals that clearly limit the freedom and liberty inherent in the promise of America. However, the weight of history reminds us, and the very real strength of our diversity moves us forward. We will continue to rise.
The Tea Party won’t lead us down a path of destruction, no matter how hard it tries to do so under the guise of saving America. However, we must remember that it is vigilance in the crucible of political conflict that preserves the ideal. America has not diminished. America is not in decline. Don’t let anyone tell you it is. If the Republican Party and the Tea Party don’t open their eyes, embrace logic, and empower their emotions in the spirit of compromise and collaboration, then it is they who are doomed. America will persist, and rise to greater heights.
The Aspiring Critical Thinker,