Call me cynical, but when Tea Party backed candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino, advocates housing the poor in prisons, I must wonder if the right wing splinter group has plans to manufacture new ovens and gas couplings. If so, based on the mid-term election results, many in our nation would not believe it until they smelled the burning flesh. Although Andrew Cuomo soundly defeated his radical opponent, I do not sleep easily knowing that more than a dozen House seats, three Senate seats and the Governor’s mansion in South Carolina are now occupied by men and women of varying extreme, right-wing views.
Trent Franks, the U.S Representative for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district stated in a 2010 interview that, “Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery." In this interview, he stated that abortions in the black community are having a greater adverse impact than slavery. Whoa! Franks must have been absent when his American Politics 101 class was assigned to write the following phrase 100 times: “I promise to never, ever compare anything to slavery, the Holocaust, or rape.” While he laments the state of the black community, I find his hypocrisy loathsome if he wishes to condemn abortion by contrasting its adverse impact on the black community to slavery. What about its affect on the white community? or the Hispanic community? One would think, considering Franks’ lamentation of the “devastation” that abortion has had in the black community, that he would express a similar anguish for his own ethnic group; especially since it accounts for the majority of abortions in the country.
Congressman Steve King, representing Iowa’s 5th Congressional District, dishonored the election of the first African American to win the U.S. Presidency by saying, “The al-Qaeda, and the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers that they did on September 11th,” referring to Obama’s victory. Oops! He must have also missed his American Politics 101 class on the day the professor cautioned white politicians against besmirching President Obama’s historic, presidential victory. And then to suggest that al-Qaeda took more pleasure in his victory than it did in annihilating nearly 3,000 American citizens is. . . I’m struggling for a word(s) here, but “insane” is the most print-friendly expression that I can offer.
Despite the ridiculous positions that these and other Tea Party members subscribe to, my favorite for pure absurdity, with a massive dose of hypocrisy goes to Tea Party backed, Alaska Senate candidate, Joe Miller. Miller has advanced the outrageous notion that government aid, like unemployment compensation, is unconstitutional; however, after leaving his employment at the end of 2002, his wife, Kathleen Miller, received unemployment payments. By the way, Miller has yet to concede his race against incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, because write-in and absentee ballots are still being counted.
What is chilling about Miller and his Tea Party colleagues is that they churn out these radical viewpoints with straight faces. Perhaps they really do believe them: housing the poor in prisons; abortions having a more harmful affect on blacks than slavery; President Obama’s historic victory igniting more revelry in the al-Qaeda training camps than the sneak attack of September 11th; and Unemployment benefits being unconstitutional.
Is this really who you want running America during its current fiscal, employment, international, and leadership crises?
Former president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in his book Perestroika, admitted that the country’s leadership realized as early as the 1970s that it was headed on a collision course with disaster: “Back in the 1970s many people realized that we could not do without drastic changes in thinking and psychology, in the organization, style and methods of work everywhere—in the Party, the state machinery, and upper echelons.” This concession by President Gorbachev that the Russian leadership was aware that the country was on track for collapse as early as 1970 is very significant. It seems to suggest that the entire U.S. military build-up to contain the so-called “Soviet threat” was marginally needed on one extreme and superfluous on the other.
However, notwithstanding the Soviet Socialist Party’s observation, that there were cracks in its foundation, what is more significant is their response to the hemorrhaging. According to Gorbachev, “Certain personnel changes at all levels were needed. New People took over leadership positions, people who understood the situation and had ideas as to what should be done and how.”
Can you see where this is going?
The reason that the Soviets’ response to their dilemma of the 1970s is so significant is because within four years of Gorbachev’s announced wholesale restructuring, or the duration of a U.S. presidential administration, the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries. In other words, Russia committed suicide! Will America be next? Perhaps another country will outrun the United States to the grave, but death, and most likely by a self inflicted wound, is inevitable.
I grew up in a nation that revered names like John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Sam Rayburn, Barry Goldwater, and Walter Cronkite. However, today when I see names like Carl Paladino, Trent Franks, Steve King, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly establishing the national agenda, I wonder if Thomas Cole’s prophetic, allegorical depiction of national destruction will happen in my lifetime. But what is really scary is that if Sarah Palin is the face of modern politics, then maybe America is only waiting for the pathologist to pronounce its cause of death.