During the winter I reside in a 250-unit, 55+ mobile home community in Palm Springs, with "community" -- as in: everyone is welcome -- being the sought after objective of many, if not most, of the residents. Included in the park's community activities are group exercises in the swimming pool, shuffleboard teams and Palm Springs' area tournaments, and seasonal gala events in the hall. Scheduled for this evening is an old fashioned hoedown; potluck food, bring-your-own refreshments and square dancing.
The ambitions of the people in the park, in many ways, are much like those across the US: Rodney King's "Can't we all just get along" 3-monkeys; Speak-No-Evil, See-No-Evil, and Hear-No-Evil, regardless that "evil" is now engulfing the country. And the mantra, "We don't discuss politics or religion" rules.
You and your neighbor have decided to go golfing together, and the neighbor has offered to drive. As you're headed down the street, a metallic rasping noise seeps from the undercarriage of the vehicle into the passenger area. "What's that noise?" you ask the neighbor.
"That grating metallic sound. You don't hear it?"
"Oh -- I have one rule: we don't talk about mechanical things. I try to be positive, to not concentrate too much on the negative stuff. Life's too short, you know, to be negative."
Like a tropical depression off the west coast of Africa, a terribly dangerous storm has been building in the United States for at least the past decades. Slowly, but not the least benignly nor covertly, the Republican Party has been taken over by the radical, hate-spewing, divisive, anti-democratic elements. Fully in league with the ugliest, most mean-spirited fundamentalist evangelical religious leaders ("Katrina was God's wrath on America for teaching evolution and the acceptance of gays and lesbians in our schools and society . . ."), the GOP no longer brooked any questions about its right to rule, from any corner. Those with the temerity to inquire were either shunted behind chain-link "protest zones" or, as was the predominant mode, were publicly shouted down with catcalls and epithets; "anti-American," "traitors," "on the side of the terrorists."
With the nomination of Barack Obama everything got worse, got louder, became much, much more dangerous. There is no need to revisit the presidential campaign for evidence of the storm that had grown to gale force. The YouTube web site is suffuse with the videos. Then, beginning the day of Obama's inauguration, the storm intensified to Category 3 hurricane strength and destructiveness. Tearing down a presidency that had garnered the largest popular vote and the largest percentage of votes cast in decades became the official Republican Party platform. "I want Obama to fail" was the GOP watchword. Democracy itself became a total irrelevancy.
But now . . .. Now . . .. Here is the link to a Keith Olbermann "Countdown" segment. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#33700879 View it. View it! VIEW IT! What it shows is the entire Republican congressional delegation, gathered on the front steps of the capitol, calling for an overthrow of the government. By massive protests if possible, by armed force if necessary. But overthrow regardless of means. Hear the speeches of your elected representatives. See their faces. Hear the angry voices of the 4,000 gathered as the audience. See their faces. See the carried and waving and lifted signs of hatred and of revolt. NO! Damn it! Do not take my word. Do not take anyone's word. VIEW IT! Not later, NOW!
Here's a fact: Through history very few republics disappeared as a result of external forces; nearly all perished as a consequence of rot or insurrection that welled from the inside. And you tell me you won't discuss politics. If you won't, then please tell me what in your lifetime could ever be more important?
-- Ed Tubbs