Sunday, July 1, 2012

21st Century Know-Nothing Party

Yesterday, I received a tea-party-ish email that I feel compelled to write about. It contained a list of "wants":
Obama: Gone!
Borders: Closed!
Congress: Obey it's own laws
Language: English only
Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!
Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
NO freebies to: Non-Citizens
This list is both comical and frightening - it reads like the Know-Nothing Party platform updated for the 21st century. Let's go through this list and see if any of it makes sense.

"Obama: Gone!" - this is one of the few things on the list that is legitimate: I can understand not liking a politician and his policies. At this point in the 2012 election, however, the only realistic alternative to Obama is Willard "Mitt" Romney. And this is Romney: a mendacious, entitled, sliver-spooned, job-killing vulture capitalist whose (only) major accomplishment as a politician is a state health care plan which Obama used as a model for the national plan. I note here that these are the criticisms coming from Romney’s own party! So how can Romney be any better than Obama? 

"Borders: Closed!" - how would this be implemented? I'll tell you how: this would be a big government program that would cost an immense amount of money, both in actual dollars and in lost potential revenue. It is an absolutely terrible idea.

"Congress: Obey it's [sic] own laws" and "Language: English only" - these two are funny together because of the grammatical mistake in the first sentence. I'm not really sure what it means to demand that "Congress obey its own laws." In one sense, they follow their own "laws" perfectly - it's just that the rules are different for them than they are for regular people. And making "English only" a rule will cut off many sources of knowledge and income, leaving us poorer and dumber.

"Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!" - the Constitution is actually a pretty boring and dated read. Who wants a culture that is boring and dated? The Bill of Rights, however, is a fairly radical document, and activists, lawyers, and ordinary people have been fighting to secure the rights it enumerates for the last 200+ years. This, I like. Maybe a culture based on the Bill of Rights would eliminate kill lists and police brutality and the continuous attempts to control women's bodies through legislation.

"Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!" - This idea can finally die. The State of Florida actually implemented this plan, and found (to few people's surprise) that the program to administer drug testing cost quite a bit more than the money it set out to save by catching supposed cheaters.

"NO freebies to: Non-Citizens" - I'm not really sure what "freebies" non-citizens are receiving. Immigrants have always been a hardworking class of people, proud of their heritage and yet willing to try something new in order to better themselves and their families. Generally, they are just ordinary folks looking for a fair shake, which is why they came here in the first place (much like our own ancestors). Are those really the kind of people we want to complain about and turn away?

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