In a time when common sense seems to have gone into some kind of witness protection program, insanity parades across the public stage masquerading as common sense. Somehow we are supposed to believe that it is possible to dismantle the federal government and still maintain a quality of life for American citizens that is, at the moment, unsurpassed in world history. Somehow we are supposed to believe that multiple wars are worthy of contemplation and serious consideration. Somehow we are supposed to believe that lowering taxes for the wealthy while diminishing services for most Americans will make this country a better place.
In these times we seek inspiration and solace wherever we can find it. I was attending St. Charles Borromeo Catholic church in Harlem – http://www.churchofstcharlesborromeoharlem.com -with my son this past Sunday and the choir was singing “Its Only a Test”. Here’s an excerpt:
It’s only a test that you’re going through,
It’s gonna be over real soon.
Keep the faith; don’t give up for it’s only a test.
I have tried to keep those lyrics in mind as it seems that the entire country is going through a “testing time”. Perhaps it will help to remember, the next time that Newt Gingrich, a major presidential candidate says that the Obama Administration is the greatest threat to the United States since Nazi Germany, that….” it’s only a test”.
We have seen Ron Paul, yet another major presidential candidate proclaim that, if elected, he would dismantle the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank. We have to remember “….its gonna be over real soon”.
Rick Santorum would have us believe that it is a sign of snobbery for President Obama to want to insure that every American has the opportunity for post high school education – college or technical school. He would also have us believe that the root cause of this country’s problems are somehow connected to the national sex life and, as Saint in Chief, he would ban abortions, contraception and seek to dismantle the American public school system for good measure. We have to remember……….”keep the faith”.
Mitt Romney asks us not believe our lying eyes and to believe that the Obama Administration bailout of the automobile industry didn’t save millions of jobs, even though it did. He also asks us to believe that the Obama Administration stimulus didn’t work although millions of jobs were saved and almost all economic indicators including unemployment and the stock market indices are more positive than they have been at any time in the last four years……..”Don’t give up for it’s only a test”.
It is one of the great historical ironies that the Republican Party, which was formed for the express purposes of opposing and outlawing slavery, has now transformed into the G.O.Tea Party which typically speaks of limiting the rights of blacks, women, gays and lesbians. It also seeks to lessen the protections of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the children that we parent. The Teapublicans seek to dismantle “big government” even though it was big government that created the physical, educational, technological and economic infrastructure that is the modern United States.
The founders of the Republican Party would certainly recoil from the Teapublican vanguard that is so mean spirited that it will refer to women who advocate choice and control over their own bodies as “sluts and prostitutes”. The G.O.Tea Party of today has substituted meanness for compassion and sharp elbowed selfishness for a sense of national community.
In Tampa this summer the Teapublicans will chant for more guns, more wars, lower taxes, fewer social services and schools if you can afford them. That is the mantra of a major political party in the United States in the 21st century……………”it’s only a test”.
We keep waiting for the American public to wake up and realize that the Teapublican would-be emperors have no clothes. They have been stripped naked without even a fig leaf of intelligence, sanity, common sense or compassion. And all the spin masters and Koch-funded attack ads in the world will not change this fact…….”it’s gonna be over real soon”.
As this election year progresses we can hope that the bright light of day and the glare of honest inquiry will reveal the G.O.Tea Party for the destructive and offensive vehicle for change that it is. Certainly the Teapublicans are advocates for change. But it is change that we can never believe in.
It’s only a test.