Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh, it's a tea party. Red queen, mad hatter and all...

I concede that I am largely cynical about Americans lifting their heads to recognize their corporate overlords, never mind rising from their knees to oppose them. Today, I am less certain of the outcome. Is it possible that, at long last, right-wing overreach will shake us from our torpor?

My note of caution. Remember 9/11. By this I mean, not so much the awful day, but the fear, loathing, and general bad behavior that resulted. I know this is akin to sacrilege. We prefer to memorialize our fallen citizens by accentuating the positive. We tend to dwell reverently on the heroic actions of fire fighters and other first responders. And rightly so. The problem is that we tend to do this to the exclusion of some rather heinous events that shortly followed those tragic days.

I suggest that we also recall the power grab that ensued with things like the so-called Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq, and on and on. Americans are really quite good at coalescing in a determined manner following a tragedy. They are, arguably, less good at identifying those at whom they should direct their efforts.

What is our 9/11 for 2011? The fallout from the economic crisis coupled with the Republican/Tea Party sweep in recent elections. Now we have folks who, as often as not, believe their agendas are sanctified by a higher power from the outset. Just to make things more dicey, the elections have armed them with legislative majorities and gubernatorial  seats across the country.

In short, the workers and middle class of this country need to stand on their hind legs and demand fair treatment. However, each one should keep his wits about him. Don't underestimate the extent to which righteous idealogues will go if their long sought goals begin to slip away. Keep in mind that even when they are the majority and control almost everything, they are able to perceive themselves as an oppressed beleaguered minority. With this mindset, these same people who blather on about the 'rules' and 'personal responsibility' will chuck that baggage in a New-York-Minute if it serves to secure their aims.

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