During this past week the debt ceiling was raised and a government shutdown was ended after 16 days of political rhetoric and hand-wringing. The attempt by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to defund the Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a complete failure. The Tea Party Caucus of the minority party held the federal government hostage over this one issue — at least initially — and they walked away with nothing and at the end of the day. Their strategy gave them nothing. Their exercise in reactionary politics left them in the same psychotic state as they were prior to their forced closure of the government. They behaved like a whimpering child who has just had a very ugly public temper tantrum, but now they’re all cried out and feeling rejected by a very embarrassed parent.
The Ted Cruz-led coup d’etat was a complete and utter failure — just like the reactionaries’ attempt to destroy the Union was in 1865. So what happens now? Where does the country go from here after this terrible ordeal of financial and political instability? From the sounds coming out of red meat southern states, it seems nothing was learned from the ordeal: Jim DeMint and his Conservative Heritage Foundation have vowed a repeal of the ACA and have stated their mission to derail the Obama agenda has not changed. Therein lies the problem.
In Virginia, the current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has purged over 40,000 voter registrations within weeks of the Governors election which he is the Republican candidate. This is the same man who wants to ban birth control and have invasive procedures performed on women seeking to exercise their constitution rights. Attorney General Cuccinelli is also responsible for stalling investigations of his own personal relationships with wealthy donors and that of the current Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell.
In North Carolina and other states across the South, state legislatures dominated by Tea Party radicals have delivered to their just as radical Governors new laws designed to intimidate voters, suppress the vote and gerrymander congressional district from one end of their states to the next all in the one aim of retaining their ever fragile power.
Jim DeMint is correct; the Tea Party radicals will not go away and that is why those people who find their politics and their reactionary ideology offensive must not sit back and do nothing. Now is the time to keep the pressure on politicians who have nobody’s interests but their own in mind. Now is the time to recharge, recommit and reconnect with liberal-minded people all over the land with one motive in mind — and that is in taking back the U.S. House of Representatives from the GOP.
There is no time to dawdle or relax because the radicals on the right will not. The demographics of the country are changing; people from all areas of the world are immigrating to America and, like each wave of immigration this country has gone through in the past, the rigid thinkers who occupy positions of power will be left behind like their ancestors before them.
Thousands upon thousands of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Asia are coming to the nation in search of the ‘American Dream,’ just as in the early part of the last century, millions of new immigrants from Germany, Ireland, Italy and other parts of Europe and Asia came with the same goal in mind. These immigrants do not understand the “states rights” philosophy of southerners. They come to America with a more global perspective — a view of the USA as one land, not a country fragmented by racist ideology and obstructionism. They bring with them a different way of looking at the world, a world not dominated by the color of a man’s skin or his ethnic origins. They bring with them a sense of community and universalism that some people in Tea Party do not understand because of their isolationism and bigoted misunderstandings of the world around them.
Thinking Americans should view the last two weeks as a cold slap in the face and see what America would look like in a land dominated by demagogues and ideologically oppressive thinking. We can have a country where the issues and problems are addressed and fixed by pragmatic, open-minded leaders or we can have a country dominated by a very small minority that has only their own interests in mind, and not the country as a whole.