I’m not talking about people who are worried – angry even – about the bad economy, high unemployment, the deficit, or the rising national debt. Who isn’t? Everything that’s been happening in the economy – highlighted by the financial crisis of the fall of 2008 – is scary. It’s only added to what I think are highly justified concerns about this country’s growing tendency to rely on borrowing, not only to offset economic downturns (which made sense when it was taught in school), but also as a standard operating procedure. No, the right-wing mania runs deeper than that, and it does no good for America. The Tea Party people just love attacking government itself. It’s their favorite attack target, as if they have this alternative to running things in a free democratic society. What is their alternative, I wonder? The ones that aren’t talking seccession from the Union, like Texas’ Rick Perry, say that they’re for the Constitution – but they keep talking about dumping all the parts they don’t like, like the progressive income tax and direct popular election of senators. The only part of the Constitution that they do like is the Second Amendment, not for hunting, sport or self-protection, but for challenging their favorite target – you know, government. Sharron Angle, running for the US Senate in Nevada, talks about Second Amendment remedies for things that she doesn’t like Congress doing. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann yesterday created a Tea Party caucus in Congress itself, even while saying that “no one” in Congress was responding to Tea Party demands. Nobody? Not even Republicans? A while back, Bachmann got some useful notoriety when, on this program, she called for a media investigation of Democrats in Congress for their “anti-American” attitudes. She’s talking pure Tea Party now … the whole government needs to be dumped? Forgot something: Race. Listen to the Birthers. Catch this latest rant about the woman working at the Agriculture Department down in Georgia. Catch the mean distortion of her story – which she openly told about her awakening to the righteous needs of poor whites as well as poor blacks – and you see a right-wing effort to rip the scab off of Americans’ hard racial history. People who push this line want to justify racism by finding it on the other side. They want to tear the country apart if it will relieve them of the duty of living in modern America, which I truly believe, despite all their anger, continues its march towards making this a more progressive land. That’s something they just can’t stand.
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