I have lived long enough to have witnessed a lot of history and there always seems to be one constant – “Nothing is as it seems”. As a child I can remember was watching terrorist [the KKK] marching through the rural area where I lived carrying crosses.
I have also seen those strains of thinking espoused by the John Birch Society, the so-called religious right, compassionate conservatives, and other right-wing groups during the segregated days of 1950s and 60s. Now there is a new repackaged conservatism that is a diverse movement with many philosophical threads and tensions who call themselves the Tea Party.
In my view, the rise of the Tea Party movement is nothing more than a throwback to the old form of libertarianism that sees most of the domestic policies that government has undertaken since Roosevelt as unconstitutional, to include many civil rights initiatives. The reason, I believe, is because, from their view, the government became socially conscience and began to address the needs of the elderly, the poor, and the least of thee. This element of society typically perceives these issues as dangerous threats to freedom and to the well-educated elitists that support “American values” or as they say “Real Americans”.
Let me be a critic for a moment. These compassionate folks tend to show their compassion, oftentimes, in support of big-business with their public rhetoric intended for their own self-serving agendas. For example, compare government today to recent history, i.e. the Bush years. This is amazing precisely because it underscored how far this element is to the extreme as it relates to mainstream America. When faced with a choice between supporting a large the horrors of Bush and Obama the reality is as stark as black and white.
A group called Tea Party Patriots that describes itself as “a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!” Tea Party Nation says it is “a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers.” My question is to them; have they read the original Constitution? These Founding Fathers were really terrorists, and these same men were slave owners. They wrote Negroes were 3/5th a man, and denied women all rights. Is this what they want to go back too?
What’s remarkable is the extent to which the movement has displaced the religious-right as the dominant voice of conservative militancy. The religious conservatives have not disappeared. But these issues have been overshadowed by the broader anti-government themes pushed by the New Old Right, and the “compassionate conservatism” that inspires parts of the Christian political movement has no place in the right’s current order of battle.
This seems un-American to me, dangerous, and frankly just a resurrection of an America that even they have forgotten the horror of it. Let me digress, this is the place that invented racism through its apartheid like policies, so I guess that is their American way. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…