Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Memo to the Hard Right - It's Our Country Too!

Last week I watched the MSNBC documentary, Rise of the New Right which if you missed it, can be watched online in the preceding link.

I can’t say there was anything really surprising to me as one who follows politics daily. But even so, there was a sad and frankly uneasy feeling about the political landscape here in the US that has become more of a battleground with those on the hard right wishing more to destroy their opponents than working with them to enact new legislation.

For example, there is this quote from Rush Limbaugh:
We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out.
Then there is Alan Keyes who said this about President Obama:
We’re either going to stop him or the United States of America will cease to exist.
In addition, there are those who feel the president is illegitimate and should be removed because they believe that he was not born in the US. And then there is Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) who became famous for his
Waterloo quotation:
If we're able to stop Obama on [health care reform], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him…
What is even more disturbing is seeing militia training to fight what they call “tyranny” by our government which the dictionary defines as “cruelty and injustice in the exercising of power or authority over others.”

In that defintion, we get a clue on what this is really all about — power!

These people on the hard right are angry simply because they are not presently in power (even if it was due to a legitimate election) and will do whatever they can to get back in power.

Unfortunately, this creates a powerful disincentive to cooperate with the party in power. For example, if the Republicans were to work with the Democrats on passing legislation, the result would likely be a successful Obama administration. But if this happens, how will the Republicans ever get back in power? Even so, a one-dimensional strategy of obstructionism can backfire in the long run. So how better to justify their total non-cooperation with the other side than to label them as illegitimate?

So it will be interesting to see how much the electorate will buy into all of this come the mid-term elections this November. Perhaps the most interesting races will be for the US Senate in Nevada and Kentucky where Sharron Angle and Rand Paul will use their hard right Tea Party ideology to as they like to say “take our country back”.

Maybe they will. But then again they may find out that for those of us who don’t go along with their extremist views — that it’s our country too!

No comments: