Wednesday, October 6, 2010


In a world where Lisa Rinna’s lip reduction surgery and the Octomom’s home foreclosure are considered news, is it any wonder a whack job like Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (right) becomes a high profile media figure? Her newest campaign ad begins with the line, “I am not a witch.” Hey, we’re living in a moment when the Governor of Arizona gets legislation enacted that allows a cop to stop a person if he thinks he or she looks like an illegal immigrant. That being the case, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Nevada Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle had the balls to actually call her opponent and suggest he drop out of the race. Let's say this all together now: ANYTHING GOES.

Angle, (left) another big bowl of crazy like O’Donnell, recently had this to say about unemployment in her state: ''People ask me, 'What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?' Well, that's not my job as a U.S. senator.'' I promise you she said that. Out loud. Really.

While all of this craziness is splashed across the headlines, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)(right) comes forward to say he believes unmarried, sexually active women and gays should not be allowed to teach in the public schools. (Apparently sexually active single men do not present a problem). I wonder if he has any idea how many empty classrooms there would be throughout the U.S. if this came to pass. And how many married, heterosexual nut jobs would end up as teachers?

Meanwhile, Rand Paul,(below, left) the Tea Party Senate candidate from Kentucky (who happens to be the current frontrunner) wants to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and give full control of the schools to the states. I can’t help wondering: If that would happen, how would
each of the states make up for the millions of federal dollars that are pumped into their economy for education? I guess the individual states would have to raise taxes – a lot. Paul also once said, "…a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination,even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin." Did he not get the memo that we passed a Civil Rights Act in 1964?

And then there’s good old Joe Miller, (below, right) the GOP Senate candidate from Alaska. Joe, who has been vocal (read: LOUD) about the importance of Federal government bowing out of people’s lives and spending less and less, turns out to be something of a hypocrite. It was widely reported that he accepted farm subsidies from the Federal government in the 1990s, and that his wife received Federal unemployment dollars after she left a job – working for Joe! Miller, it should be noted, is on the record in opposition to Federal unemployment insurance, which he says is not authorized by the Constitution. And still he wins the nomination. Am I missing something here? I don’t think so.

These few examples of the chaotic and often discriminatory mindset of contemporary politicians clearly illustrate the extreme social confusion in our country. Some elements of our culture that we accepted as standard are now being marginalized. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state, for example? Ultra-conservative radio entertainer Glenn Beck (left) is inching closer and closer to preaching when he talks politics. "People aren't recognizing his [Obama’s] version of Christianity," Beck said on "Fox News Sunday." His recent heavily-attended “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington D.C. was described by some as the closest thing to a religious revival they had ever seen. Blogger Dan Riehl interviewed one of the attendees: “He has a spiritual connection to us; you can hear his heart speaking,” said Susan Trevethan, a psychiatric nurse from Milford, Conn. “I believe he has been divinely guided to be here in this place,” she said. “He is doing the research. He is teaching us.”

You know, if Glenn Beck can become Jesus, maybe I can morph into, say, Brad Pitt? Come on.

Guess what other traditional American standard has been marginalized: Civility. It doesn’t really matter, for example, what your political party preference is, when it comes to respect for the office of President of the United States. Even in the worst of times, if Americans were not sold on their chief executive, they moderated their comments and actions in deference to the sanctity of the office. Not now. Now we have people carrying signs at rallies that show President Obama made up to look like Hitler. Just the other day, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Obama a “jackass” and an “ignoramus” live, on the air. At Tea Party rallies, Obama is routinely referred to as a socialist. That is particularly baffling, since many of the attendees are on Social Security and Medicare, arguably the closest programs we have to real socialism. And those programs have been in place and unquestioned for decades. Let’s review: When we abolish the Department of Education and raise their taxes, should we also eliminate Social Security and Medicare? I’m just sayin.’

The bottom line: The Americans who are sullying the political process, promoting the dissolution of Government agencies and departments, blurring the lines between religion and government, lowering the bar on respect for the presidency and generally questioning American standards without offering viable alternatives are radicals. They may point to others in the society as dangerous and un-American, but the truth is that these people are extremists.

I do not want extremists of any ilk or political affiliation making decisions for me. I do not want to see the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution construed to mean that people can carry guns into churches or schools. I do not want the 1st Amendment to the Constitution twisted to suggest that hate speech and bullying are protected under the law. I do not want to see white-haired, white-skinned male legislators enacting legislation that disallows a woman to have an abortion after she has been raped. I do not want to see a Governor use her power to endorse racial profiling. I do not want to see the widespread dissatisfaction with the flailing American economy become the rallying cry for the deconstruction of almost three centuries of American government.

What about you? What do you want?

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