More or less quietly, a group of Republican luminaries and Tea Party types are stoking the fire for the Repeal Amendment. The idea is to get Congress to send out to the states a Repeal Amendment, which would allow a two-thirds majority of state legislatures to throw out any law passed in Washington, D.C…. What you won’t read in the statement — at least not explicitly — is that one of the group’s core interests is to take away your right to vote for Senators and give it instead to your state legislators…. Really, it means that the state legislatures would have more power and the people in those states would have less. It’s such a weird and revealing conundrum, when the folks who stump so vigorously for freedom also come out so ardently against it.
I’m not necessarily adverse to the idea of the Tea Party- dissent is, after all, the hallmark of a healthy, functional democracy. I don’t think it’s too much to expect, though, that such dissent be rooted in reality, truth, and the way things really are. I can’t help but wonder what it is about democracy that so scares those who call the Tea Party their ideological home. Though they’re ostensibly about smaller government and returning power to the People (whatever the Hell that might mean), the proposals they put forward are truly frightening. When you break down the Tea Party ideology, such as it is, it quickly becomes clear that it’s pretty much all about looking after the interests and prejudices of the White Folks running the show. Not that things are perfect; I get that. But, really, what system IS perfect? Does dissatisfaction with “less than perfect” justify advocating for changing American democracy to reflect the fear and self-interest of angry White Christians?
What interest would be served by repealing the 17th Amendment, which allows for the direct election of US Senators? Do those who profess to believe in the Power of the People really want to devolve power to an oligarchy which would undoubtedly fashion a Senate population amenable to their own interests? Given that the Tea Party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, the assertion that they’re looking out for the interests of the middle class rings quite hollow.
Dissent is good; Lord knows I’ve engaged in more than my fair share of it. That said, dissent is really only useful when it’s firmly rooted in reality and truth. When it’s rooted in lies, propaganda, and corporate-funded talking points, dissent becomes just so much noise. This noise does nothing to advance the public discourse, nor does it promote and further the democracy those in the Tea Party profess to revere. In the final analysis, this noise is merely camouflage with which the Tea Party hopes while hide their true intent. No, it’s not about liberty and it’s not about freedom; those are merely code words which the Tea Party has rendered vacant and meaningless. What it’s really about is concentrating power within the White majority and their corporate benefactors. That so few Americans seem to understand and recognize what should be so obvious and transparent is what truly frightens me.
Or do we really just not care that a loud minority is willing to deny and/or curtail many of our constitutionally-guaranteed rights in the name of protecting those rights?
Then they came for my right to free speech and expression. Of course, I really wasn’t using that, either….