They come from the shadows, from the corners, from out-of-the-way places. They seem, on the surface, to be normal, average Americans, concerned citizens who only want to change things, to get America back the way it ought to be.
None of them look like Joe McCarthy. Even Joe McCarthy didn't look like Joe McCarthy. There was little chance of knowing to what depths he would go to ferret out the "Red menace," and in the beginning, he was able to fill a power vacuum, and turn himself into the most feared man in Washington, D.C. He might have thought his motivations were pure and that he was saving America from Communism, but in the end, he was merely a bully and a thug, so busy raking innocent people over the coals and ruining careers, that the spies and sympathizers he claimed to be exposing were still firmly ensconced in the halls of power, only to be revealed after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Well-meaning, well-intentioned, but ultimately hypocritical people attempt to steal into the spotlight in an effort to push their agenda, always couched in terms of "saving America" or "reclaiming America" or "restoring America," as if America were a venerable old house that had fallen into disrepair and required rehabilitation to bring it back to shining glory. If America can be said to be in some form of disrepair, then these champions of restoration might wish to peer into the looking-glass to behold the faces of its absentee landlords.
Where was The Tea Party during the Reagan years, when taxes for the rich were cut in half but the Federal budget deficits skyrocketed? Or during the reign of George Bush, Sr. when reading his lips led to higher taxes, which failed to do anything to halt a near doubling of the national debt? And it's still shocking that they were not roused form their slumber during the reign of George Bush, Jr., when the reduced budget deficits of the Clinton era were exploded by rampant spending on wars, unsupported tax cuts, and an increase in pork barrel spending. And why is The Tea Party now not vehemently standing up against the reinstatement of the Bush era tax cuts, which would add an unsupported three trillion dollars in debt to the budget deficit?
It isn't about looking at the whole picture, picking facts from amidst hyperbole and obfuscation. It isn't about coming up with reasonable and actionable plans that would create a stabilization of the economy and lower tax rates while increasing revenue through the creation of more jobs. It is about peddling an agenda, taking advantage of a seismic shift in American society with the election of a black President, to hurl forth long-hidden desires to wrest control of the nation from the "Socialists" and reestablish America "as it should be." It is about trading on fear, xenophobia, and ignorance, to whip sycophantic followers into suspending rational judgment to feed the egos of small people who insist that their way is the right way, and the rest of America is just going to have to accept it.
Far from being defenders of liberty, these half-baked "patriots" are its greatest threat, secure in their belief that their view of America is the "right" one, and that anyone who disagrees with them is unpatriotic or traitorous. Far from honoring the contributions, sacrifices, and work of the Founding Fathers, they denigrate their struggle to bring about a new birth of freedom and liberty by ensuring that it is denied to as many others as possible. They would strip away the rights of women, homosexuals, immigrants, and anyone else they felt was "undeserving" of the same liberties they have. They would force gays out of the military, denying them the right to defend their own country. They would make a woman or young girl bear the wicked spawn of incest and/or rape, simply to salve their conscience and perpetuate their dogma. They would hand the wealthy more money, and wait for it to "trickle down" out of their bank accounts. They would pull the rug out from under Americans struggling to survive, by doing away with health care and unemployment benefits and aid to the poor, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility." They would force us all to pray to their god, and would deny anyone who would worship otherwise the right to do so. They make a mockery of the Constitution and all it stands for.
Change in Washington, D.C. is necessary, but the change must be for the better and not the worse. These candidates are not interested in furthering the bond of humanity, or doing their human duty to help all their fellow citizens. They are in it for self-aggrandizement, for their own enrichment, coveting power which has been heretofore in the hands of others. They wish to enslave us with their wretched "morality," taking away liberty in the name of returning America to some colonial time, whereby races and classes were kept in their place, and obedience to god was paramount. It is the 21st Century, and they wish to live in the 17th Century. The world has passed them by, but they refuse to go away quietly.
Americans of good conscience must stand up to these bullies, and send them back to where they came from. We need serious people, willing to use reason, provide accountability, and agree to compromise, to put our house in order. America does not need to be restored, it needs to grow, to struggle up from the muck, and to once more become a nation of principles. To do so, will require us to step up, to realize that we are greater as a whole, than as a nation of classes and social barriers. We must reject the strident voices that would divide us, and embrace the song of fellowship that will unite us.