Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Majority Rule, Minority B.S.

After eight years of G.W. Bush, Darth Cheney, and company, America spoke up loud and clear. They elected a man of mixed race to the White House, a man who stands pretty clearly in the center left of the political spectrum. They elected a pretty large majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives and to the Senate. The economy was in a shambles. We were at war in two separate countries with little hope of resolution of those wars. We had developed the largest budget deficit in history and subsequently the largest national debt in history, eclipsing that massive debt acquired during the Reagan-Bush years.

America wanted an end to the wars. America wanted the economic mess straightened out. America was promised health care for everyone, and they decided that they wanted that too. That is to say that a majority of America voted for that. Then when the duly elected President, House, and Senate took their places in Washington, the right-wing, the decidedly minority right-wing, erupted. Apparently the idea of democracy and majority rule didn't appeal much to the right. They began doing everything they could possibly do to thwart the desires of the majority of Americans.

Being vocal about your opposition, even if you are obnoxious, is a part of democracy. Solemnly swearing to defeat the people who did what you didn't want done is a part of democracy. It happens. You're welcome to speak your mind. Enlightenment ideals and freedoms are part and parcel of our system. Threats, abuse, and attacks in order to frighten and intimidate are not. Unfortunately, I find ample evidence in American history of other groups who have used the same tactics. The KKK is just one.

As Congressmen went about their business this past weekend and tried their level best to vote their consciences, tea party protestors hurled racial epithets, anti-gay slurs, anti-semitic slurs, left swastikas and threatening notes, and in at least one case spit on a respected Congressman. After they were unsuccessful in scaring Congressmen into voting the minority line instead of the majority line, they have resorted to throwing bricks through windows of Congressmen's offices, leaving threatening phone messages, and in one case cutting a propane line at the brother of a Congressman's house, falsely believing this to be the residence of the Congressman. This goes beyond free speech and loyal opposition into simple criminal behavior.

Then there is the Republican Party's Congressional delegation trying to do anything they can to put a stop to healthcare reform after the fact, using any procedural trick they can pull from their hat. Various states have threatened to stop healthcare reform in their states by passing state laws that stop the federal action. I have news boys and girls. This already was tested in the late 1850's and early 1860's. There were the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions and an idea known as "nullification." It had to do with "states' rights." A Civil War was fought over the issue. The federal government has supremacy and individual states do not have the right to override the actions of said federal government. It has been deemed unconstitutional. That's the difference between federation and confederation. Remember confederation? They lost the Civil War. Slavery was outlawed once and for all.

Here's the thing people. The right-wing ascendency that started with Ronald Reagan is over. The right-wing is going to have to accept it. The idea of less government, less taxes, and less oversight of all things has been proven to be a bogus concept. The era of less social safety net and unrestrained military buildup has come to an end. It produced the biggest national debt in history. It produced the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression. It produced the biggest international backlash to American foreign policy in history.

It is time the minority stopped trying to intimidate the rest of the population into accepting the same policies that got us into this mess to begin with. The majority has spoken. It is time for sanity and reason. It is time to end the ascendency of racists, bigots, and those who somehow think that those with different skin pigmentation are lesser beings. It is time to end the ascendency of those who think that people who grow up speaking a language other than English are lesser beings. It is time to end the ascendency of those who cannot accept those with different religious views, or those who have different sexuality. It is time to end the ascendency of those who have scads of money and who don't give a damn about what happens to anyone else.

And while we're at it, it's time to remind Rush Limbaugh that he promised to move to Costa Rica if healthcare reform passed. And it's time to remind him that Costa Rica has universal healthcare. He's welcome to take Sarah Palin and all of those tea party set people with him. Let's see how they like Costa Rica, and how Costa Ricans deal with them.

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