Everyone should be angry, anxious and ready to counter any and all challenges from the extremist right wing after the fear and hatred extravaganza this weekend at the Lincoln Memorial.
The effrontery to the memory of Martin Luther King and all he stands for is self-evident. The insensitivity is beyond calculation. King had a dream. Beck offers America an Ayn Randian nightmare where radical individualism - the worst of Social Darwinism - will rule our lives.
Should the radical right seize much power, from cradle to grave even the well-educated let alone the poor and struggling, will struggle for a shirnking piece of a shrinking pie.
It sounds like hyperbole, but in all seriousness, this right wing is dangerously anti-American. They are the anti-patriots.
Cicero, in the late 1st century B.C. in one of his speeches, said of different traitors in different times:
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
But it cannot survive treason from within.
For the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague
Speaking of baseness, here are some thumbnail sketches of "Tea Party" type candidates:
- There's health industry executive Rick Scott, the Republican nominee for Governor in Florida whose former company was forced to pay $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare fraud committed during his tenure and who led one of the most birulent anti-health reform groups last year. He's already spent $50 million of his own money to buy the race.
- There's Joe Miller, running for Senate in Alaska. He's questioned the constitutionality of unemployment insurance and wants to phase out Social Security.
- There's Dan Maes, Republican candidate for governor in Colorado, who asserted that efforts in Denver to promote bike riding could "threaten our personal freedoms." (Seriously, he said it.)
- There's Sharron Angle, running for Senate in Nevada, who said she believes there are "domestic enemies" serving in Congress and has urged using "remedies" under the Second Amendment to change that. (Why use ballots when you can use bullets, eh?)
- And then there's Rand Paul, the nominee for Senate in Kentucky, who has said he wouldn't have supported key provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans With Disabilities Act. (Spoken like a true son of privilege.)
- Carl Paladino, the Tea-Party-backed Republican candidate for governor of New York, sent an email that shows a video of an African tribal dance, entitled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal," while another depicts hardcore bestiality.
- A leading Tea Party funded Republican candidate for Tennessee's 6th congressional district, Lou Ann Zelenik, condemned the plans for a mosque's expansion in Murfreesboro.
Nearly half say blacks lag in jobs, income and housing "because most African Americans just don't have the motivation or willpower to pull themselves up out of poverty."Over half of all Tea Party'ers believe that immigration (not illegal immigration, mind you) is "changing the culture in the U.S. for the worse" (54%), compared to 32% for everyone else.
When asked if we should single out Muslims or Middle Easterners for airport security stops, 63% of Tea Party supporters said we should, compared to 43% of all voters, a disturbing percentage of all Americans.
Over half of Tea Party'ers believe gays "have too much political power" compared to "the size of their group."