Extremism, though it is from the left or right of politics is not a good thing. We have all seen what extremism has done to other countries, such as in the Middle East where Muslim extremist have wreaked havoc, not only to foreign interests but also to the Muslim populations of those countries.
Moderates, though they are liberal or conservative, all want some sort of balance to our government, and they all want our government leaders to compromise and take care of the nation’s business beyond political ideology. Unfortunately, even though moderates are the largest majority of Americans, it is the extremist and those to the very edge of the political landscape who seem to have their way when it comes to governing.
In 2010, there was a political upset in our nation’s capital, which gave power to the Republican Party, thanks to an outrage from the far right over the election of Barack Obama as president and his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. Of course, those from the right deny that racism played any part in their unprecedented all-out attack on a standing president.
Yet, it is easy to see for anyone outside these groups known as the Tea Party, that the level of hate and cynicism is much higher than ever has been shown to other presidents in the past. Yet, this president has not done anything so over-the-top that would warrant such hate and cynicism. If anything, President Obama has been very moderate in the policies he has sought for the nation, compared to other U.S. presidents, which leaves one to believe that much of the hate for this president is based upon the color of his skin.
The rise of the Tea Party and its control over the Republican Party has brought this nation to the brink of disaster, as unyielding, uncompromising and deaf to any form of reason, elected Tea Party legislatures wield a heavy hand to obstruct and bring down this president anyway they can, even if it means destroying the country in the process.
A government shutdown has cut off needy services from around the country and a huge majority of Americans want Congress to work together to get it open. Yet because of a small band of right-wing extremist known as the Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, the country remains in shutdown mode, unable to move forward without giving into to the demands of that same Tea Party Caucus.
The government shutdown is not the end of it, as those right-wing extremist set their sights on our government’s treasury as it runs out of money, presumably this coming Oct 17, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. A need to raise the debt ceiling or risk default on our debts gives Tea Party interests another way to force their will on our nation and override our democracy. I believe there is no limit these extremist will go to accomplish their mission, and if it means taking the nation down the road to economic ruin, they will remain unmoved, with their hearts set on destroying this president and all of his accomplishments.
This shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crash is not what a majority of Americans want from our government and its lawmakers. Because of gerrymandering and dark money, which now floods our campaign system, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. FEC, the voice of moderation has been drowned out of American politics. Perhaps it is time to take our country back, back to the middle where it belongs.
The question is; how do we take it back. Obviously, elections, or in other words, democracy is the answer. Yet, democracy seems to have been compromised when gerrymandering and the flow of unfettered campaign cash gives those with exceptional wealth the ability to override the voice of moderates and therefore the overriding of democracy.
Still, there is hope as the general election in 2012 has shown when unprecedented piles of cash from wealthy donors failed to throw the election toward the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney. Will that always be the case? Probably not but what else is there, besides the rise of protest and civil disobedience against the forces that would take America down a road that leads away from democracy and equality. Perhaps that is the only method left, once democracy fails and once the forces of fairness give in to the power of Big Money and corporate interests.
I still believe in America and what America has always stood for and that there is a basic goodness in all of us to do what is right. However, the closed hearts and minds of those from the far right and the control they seem to have gained since 2010 in our government, makes me also fearful that this could lead to the undoing of America. Our standing in the world and our very existence as a great nation hangs in the balance. Essentially, we from the middle must take back our country, back to the middle or else watch our nation, our America, crumble before our eyes, into the abyss of obscurity.