The GOP unveiled its "Pledge to America," a pledge with little explanation on how it might be carried out but one with plenty of ideology on America. The pledge itself demonstrates that the Republicans think the battle to win hearts and minds in the next months, for the midterm elections and after, will be won by appealing to what they think Americans believe about America.
The Pledge's opening reminds Americans that the very idea of America is under attack. Implicit is the idea that the presidential election of Barack Obama somehow ravaged America's very identity. It shows the GOP is afraid that they are losing control over determining the norms by which Americans live by and the way with which those norms will be created, established and preserved.
If it isn't they who are deciding what is right and wrong, moral and immoral, beautiful and ugly, healthy and sick, than they fear the tyranny of someone else's beliefs.
The thrust of this Pledge is that America is an "idea" and not merely a country. Here, GOP leaders conveniently depart from the experiential and enter a realm where circumstances can presumably exile reason.
Citing key principles from the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge also asserts, "America is an inspiration." No doubt, that is the case for many of the globe's citizens. But, one thing is for sure: world public opinion on the United States has dropped significantly in the past decade as America has pursued unilateral foreign policy actions like wars, as America has shown contempt for international laws, treaties, and principles of human rights.
The Pledge promotes the idea that, when government is destructive of these ideas, that are intrinsic to the nation's founding documents, the people have the right "to institute a new working agenda." That's an idea too, one that has helped sell books like Kenneth Blackwell's "The Blueprint: Obama's Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency" or Dick Armey's "Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto."
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, through extended interviews with both authors, has exposed the idea that Obama has brought tyranny to America to be really a fear of democracy. The stimulus, permanent bailouts, "government takeover" of healthcare, and additional uncontrollable spending, etc. have all passed through legislative procedure. Millions of Americans watched health reform move painfully slowly and slowly become less reform and more frankenreform, a measure to appease the private insurance companies responsible for America's health care problems and the people making demands that government reform health care.
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