Point of View Columns

Save the Date!

As the New Year begins all of us note certain dates on the calendar – weddings, graduation dates, that very special vacation that you have been planning for years. There is one more date that we all need to remember – November 6th.

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of the upcoming presidential election along with all the Congressional, state and local elections that will be taking place throughout the United States. The roaring surge of nihilism that is the Koch-funded Tea Party movement is poised to turn the United States into another country.

Instead of a country where opportunity is a right, the right wing of the right wing seeks to turn opportunity into a privilege for the very few that can afford it. On the Planet Tea Party quality education, universal healthcare, decent housing and a better way of life belong to the few who have no interest, desire or obligation to help the many.

To those who believe that I am giving voice to overreaction I extend an invitation to consider the facts. The current Republican presidential contest features candidates who have unanimously swallowed Grover Norquist’s poison pill call the no-tax pledge. Any president who begins consideration of this country’s challenges with an absolute commitment not to raise taxes under any circumstances dooms not only the poor, the needy and the helpless.

The presidential implementation of the no-tax pledge will absolutely result in the evisceration of services that benefit more than 99% of the people of this country. From dredging yacht basins to food stamps to farm subsidies to college loans American men, women and children will feel the pain.

The Republican playbook has only two plays. One is that President Obama is a failure and must be replaced at all costs and clearly by anyone who has a pulse. The salvation of the automobile industry, the historic attempt to finally reform the financial services industry, the introduction of universal healthcare, the withdrawal of troops from the Bush-Cheney bloodbath in Iraq and the demolition of the Al Qaeda leadership including the death of Osama bin Laden are all conveniently ignored by the Party of No.

The (only) other play is to demonize “big government” and to portray the federal government as the “enemy”. It is an odd and counterintuitive play since most members of the G.O.Tea Party define themselves as middle class. It is odd and counterintuitive since modern American history is quite clear in crediting the creation of the middle class to major federal programs.

Perhaps someone should tap the fake-historian Newt Gingrich on the shoulder and ask him to remind his fellow political dwarfs that the G.I. Bill, the national high way program, federal student loan programs, the Small Business Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Veterans Housing bill, the Civil Rights bill are all responsible for the existence of a true middle class in this country.

Indeed, if it were not for the Rural Electrification Administration of the 1930’s (another devious scheme of big government) most residents of the so-called red states might still be reading by kerosene lanterns.

It is pretty clear that all of the historic legislation referred to would not, and could not be passed by the current Congress due to the boulder-brained G.O.Tea Party zealots who would have us believe that the government that has provided the platform for such an advanced way of life is somehow wrong. Of course, their dirty little secret is that they simply do not wish to pay the bill for everyone to have access and opportunity and somehow believe that they can live in their gated communities, sending their children to private schools while working on guarded corporate “campuses” while the rest of the country goes to hell in a hand basket.

Aside from the heartlessness that is the touchstone of this philosophy it is also pretty stupid. One would think that if they are not watching CNN the Tea Party zealots might see stories on Fox News that have shown unrest and turmoil in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America – unrest and turmoil that arises when too many people feel that the deck is stacked and that there is no hope of opportunity.

Mitt Romney made his millions buying companies, selling off their assets and laying off their workers. It worked fine for him and his family.

Mitt Romney may not be the G.O.Tea Party nominee, but the Romney story is the narrative that is presented as the template for the new America.

Don’t forget November 6th!

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