Here it comes, folks. The handful of elections that occur in various parts of the country today are, I predict, going to result in mostly right-wing victories. The governors' mansions in Virginia and New Jersey and the congressional seat in New York's 23rd district are likely to be awarded by voters to the right-wing candidates.
We can be sure that Fox News blowhards and talk radio demagogues will be trumpeting these "victories" as proof positive that the American electorate rejects President Obama and his agenda. And, believe it or not, that's fine with me. Because I think that as a result of these elections, Republicans will conclude that their path back to power is to purge their own ranks of all those who are not displaying the proper "revolutionary fervor." And that is bad for them.
Here's why: The so-called "conservative movement" is an ideologically rigid entity that, I believe, is the reaction of a particular demographic within the United States to the realization that its lofty perch at the top of the American political ladder is irretrievably lost.
It's a panicky knee-jerk response to the irreversible changes that are occurring within the United States. Changes in demographics, changes in religious make-up, changes in social mores.
Go right down the line with the issues:
- Immigration - the conservative movement is for more or less militarizing the border with Mexico, has attempted on more than one occasion to formally recognize English as the official language of the United States, and refers to undocumented workers as "illegals." Translation: xenophobia.
- Religious freedom - the conservative movement is unabashedly Christian. Jews are tolerated insofar as they are allies in foreign policy issues, advocating aggressive military posturing. But Muslims are certainly not welcome within the movement, which is ironic considering how very conservative are most Muslims. Translation: eschatological fervor.
- Social issues - the conservative movement is dead set against gay marriage, fanatical (to the point of murder and terror bombings) about abortion, and mostly in favor of the "War on Drugs." Any infringement on corporate behavior, any public spending for the common good, any recognition of the rights of different demographic groups, they call "socialism." Translation: recognition of a permanent decline in political status.
I think this movement, this tea-bag thing, is bad for the country. This is not like people protesting a war. This is a people flirting with armed rebellion. The news is full of stories of violence from the conservative movement. From Dr. Tiller to the unfortunate security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Frenzied jingoism permeates the public airwaves, and even echoes in the houses of Congress.
This so-called "conservative movement" is a virulent strain of the nativist, Know-Nothing movement that has always existed in this country. As our own American history has shown, when this movement is faced with new realities that threaten to upset its ever-tenuous feelings of security, it lashes out with real violence, even open warfare.
(Just two days ago, people who call themselves conservatives tried to hold an online raffle on eBay to raise funds to defend Scott Roeder, the assassin of Dr.George Tiller. You know what they were selling? A David versus Goliath representation of Dr. Tiller’s murder, autographed by Scott Roeder himself!)
I'm not afraid of them. "Wary," would be a better word for it. This "Night of the Long Knives" within the Republican party provides an opportunity to expose the true nature of the conservative movement; an opportunity to strip away the phoniness and spin to reveal the fear and loathing that is behind it all. And then, the American people can decide in the stark light of day, whether or not it offers anything at all for them.
So there you have it.