Perhaps my brain is too small to process the information. Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed by the Jew-run liberal media. Perhaps my lack of faith in deus ex machina as the solution to our ills prevents me from seeing the long-term wisdom, but I do not comprehend the irrational fear and hate being spread by the right-wing militia groups. Are they simply upset that an African-American is in the White House? Are they terrified that white-skinned people are no longer the dominant majority? Are they just bloodthirsty radicals who need to shoot their guns?
On a rational level, the obvious question is where was their moral outrage over big government intrusion when the Patriot Act became law. Why weren’t they actively plotting to attack government officials then? It seems hypocritical to endorse certain forms of government intrusion, such as internal spying or sanctioned religious ideology, but then to reject other forms simply because they come from a different viewpoint. Government intrusion is government intrusion. Of course, radicals rarely care to look at things rationally. Emotional battlecries and menacing rhetoric fit more closely to the Tea Party way of doing things.
What bothers me about this is that it undermines the rule of law. I’m not so naive as to think our system is perfect. Yes, a lot of things need work. There are a lot of corruption and inefficiencies plaguing our nation, and if we are to survive and regain our footing as a world leader, we will have to rectify those issues, but our way of life is about settling issues peacefully, through debate and deliberation. The Tea Party militias behave like spoiled toddlers. They didn’t get their way, so now they’re throwing a fit. Nevermind that Mr. Obama was elected legally by a fairly significant landslide. They didn’t get their way legally, so now they’ll bully, threaten, and coerce until they are either get their way or are imprisoned. Guess which one is more likely?
Not all Conservatives are right-wing nuts. Many respect the laws of this land and abide by them faithfully. Many adhere to the principals that if you don’t like the outcome of an election, work harder to win the next one. That’s what happened in 1994. I didn’t like the Contract on America, but I respect that it was born from a sincere grass-roots effort to change the government legally, and I also concede that the balance between that conservative Congress and the moderate White House are what led to the most prosperous economy the world has ever known. That’s how things should change.
I will not lie. This wave of irrational fear and hatred scares me. Irrational hate is what spawned the Holocaust, and while I don’t believe the Tea Partiers represent enough of a threat to reach that level of power, I do believe they are organized enough and crazy enough to do some serious damage before they are put down. If you are someone who is letting the fear and paranoia they are spreading creep into your consciousness, look out your window. There are no tanks in our streets, and other than the Tea Partiers, no armed troops forcing order. The economy is chugging back to life. Our system is still intact, and in the words of FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That’s true today more than ever.