If you haven’t already heard, an odd hodgepodge of nefarious ideological zealots have hijacked the Republican Party and turned it into a Frankenstein-like monster through which the “good ol’ days” of America can be revisited and returned. By “good ol’ days,” these individuals mean the days of the Great Depression, the Civil War, Jim Crowe, and the Robber Barons. You know, the times in America when the federal government didn’t involve itself much in the fortunes and ill-fates of its citizens. What a festive time to be alive, huh?!
Enter our new main protagonist, Rick Perry, a self-proclaimed God-fearing American and scorner of “big government” whose one-liners are as effective at destroying his political competition as a viper’s venom is at killing its victims. Perry is so beloved by the Tea Partiers because he salutes our “brave men and women” in the armed forces while denouncing the existence of the bloated state, denies climate change while Texas continues through a horrible drought, and decries the evils of big government while readily accepting federal subsidies. What more could a truly patriotic Tea- Partier ask for out of his presidential nominee?
On the planet we call earth, in the year of 2011, in the great country of America, we have turned to face the right. Yes, we have turned to the right so considerably that George W. Bush brings back memories of Samuel Gompers and not, well, George W. Bush’s two terms as president…
Regardless of how we’ve gotten to this point in our country (as I’m sure many scholars will be discussing for many years to come), the world as perceived by the Tea Party faithful and their political ringleaders/puppeteers is as frightening as a television marathon of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. But for all of the talk surrounding the Tea Party’s influence and the potential of a 2012 Rick Perry presidential victory, I’d like to believe that America has not gone that far south of sanity.
At the very least, progressives and liberals know they’ll have to refute the radical libertarian message and reinterpret a better way forward for our country. So what else is new, right? America has always been checkered by a history of power struggles between those who wish to horde wealth and those who wish to see a more charitable distribution of it. As we turn and face the right we should remember that our country has been in similar positions before and that every generation has its own internal political crisis that must be tamed. Let’s use this opportunity to strengthen our beliefs and reconstitute a better future for every American, not just the super wealthy few.