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Opinion: TEA party perdition


Perdition- Entire loss; utter destruction; ruin; the utter loss of the soul, or of final happiness in a future state; future misery or eternal death.


Like many Americans, I’ve been watching the Republican Party primary race with equal parts fascination, amusement, disbelief, and horror; which makes it an accurate reflection of the current state of the union. And now, here comes Sarah Palin (remember her?).

Writing on her Facebook page, after a motherly scolding of the candidates for their negativity, Mrs. Palin makes the point that the race should continue no matter what happens in Florida.

The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up.

This strikes me as too little too late. The TEA party grassroots have already been disenfranchised, although some are yet to be disenchanted. Disenchantment is scheduled for later in the year for those still active in the movement.

Say what you will about Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, they were there at the beginning, before the punditocracy and self-appointed organizers showed up. They were on the barricades with the rest of us. Where were these other people when it counted? Herman Cain was discredited over nothing more than a rumored infidelity, and now we’re supposed to line up behind Newt Gingrich? No thank you.

The TEA party of today is only an image in the minds of the media. Most of the original members have long since returned to the political wilderness; replaced by conventional thinkers. One need look no further than the ‘strong military’ argument to find the big government conservative in disguise.

In 1979, when Ronald Reagan was running for president, he said, “We are in an arms race, but it’s only the Soviets who are racing.” He was right about that, as later events would prove. The military build-up was necessary, as was a morale boost after the Viet Nam debacle. That build-up has reached fruition and then some. There is nowhere on earth our military can’t go at any time and for any reason. In the age of undeclared wars, they are directed by the whim of a single politician.

From time to time, I like to read Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. It’s the one where he coined the phrase, “military-industrial complex.” It’s too bad the speech is only known for that term. One can not read through it without realizing that Ike not only loved his country and his countrymen, he understood us; our capacity for greatness as well as our penchant for blindness. He had lived long enough, survived enough, and seen enough that as he neared the end of his life he had achieved a level of wisdom.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

History never travels in a straight line. Ike lived at a time when the wholesale give-away of our manufacturing industry was unimaginable. So too the rise of the financial powerhouses, then still in their infancy. The Orwellian nightmare contained within Ike’s warning is now nearing critical mass, just not in the way it was predicted. We are becoming a nation of money changers and warriors: Sparta in the age of mercantilism.

The blindness of the current TEA party movement, as well as conventional thinkers of both political party’s, is an inability to see that an aggressive military, an overly influential finance industry, and the shredding of our Bill of Rights all spring from the same fountain. The big strategic mistake of the grassroots was we all went looking for the next Reagan, or the next Kennedy, when we should have been looking for someone more like Ike.




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