When Al Qaeda first impressed its murderous intent upon our national consciousness on 9/11, there was much hubbub on the right wing urging moderates in the Islamic world to speak up and condemn the radical nihilists among them. Fair enough. Good people should not stand by when evil arises in their midst.
Today, however, where are so-called "moderate" mainstream Republicans in condemning the likes of Rick "The Traitor" Perry, Governor of Texas, the closet racist secessionists in Vermont, the neo-Confederates of South Carolina, the white libertarian Alaskan split-off movements, and the Sandpoint, Idaho, gold-hoarding, conspiracy theorists?
Why don't Collins and Snowe of Maine; Oregon's Gordon Smith; Minnesota's Norm Coleman; and Voinovich and Warner respectively of Ohio and West Virginia step forward? Are they really on the side of the American Talibans?
I doubt that. But they are so in thrall to their own extremist right wing element that they stand weak-kneed and, in the end, anti-patriotic themselves.
What they condone is talk that harks back to the secessionist prattle of the Yankee Federalist Party during the War of 1812, the Civil War, and more embarrassingly brings to mind movements in Third World regions today. For instance:
- Srpska in Herzogovina, itself born of secession.
- Moldova has been confronted for almost two decades with the secession of Transdniestria.
- Karelia, a small corner of Russia, wants to secede and join Finland.
- Abkhazia-South Ossetia in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
- Southern Sudan.
But let us get back to our own country. The opportunistic separatists lurking among us do not want good things for our country. They want to make money by inventing organizations and creating websites populated by hysterically-toned, poorly-informed legalistic arguments based on the 10th Amendment. They are mercenaries in the truest sense of the word. Many, chief among them Sarah Palin, have enriched themselves in a time of national and international crisis.
More insultingly, they have costumed themselves in the clothing of the patriots of the American Revolutionary period.
In his concise masterwork, "The Crisis," Thomas Paine wrote "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country..."
Paine referred, of course, to people who will remain loyal to an ideal as long as it is easy. Once the going gets tough, only the real patriots, the "Winter Soldiers," will stick by their country.
In the go-go '90s and the acceptable economy of the first decade of the 2000's, these sunshine soldiers were fattening up at the trough of the American bounty. Now that times have gotten a bit tough, and we have a liberal, African-American President, these fair weather friends of our country act like cowardly little mice. So, step up, Republican "moderates." Tell it like it is.