Tea Party president: What’s the worst possibility?

Mar 19th, 2014 | By | Category: Opinions

By Christopher Day

It’s undeniably true that “myths and legends die hard in America.”
If you need proof, look no further than the Conservative Political Action Conference that took place last week. The Tea Party certainly had a good showing. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin … what’s not to love?
Sen. Paul implored you to “[i]magine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty.”
Sen. McConnell lifted a rifle triumphantly over his head to the delight and glee of the crowd.
In reference to the current conflict in Ukraine, Sarah Palin cheerfully proclaimed, “Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.” She later scolded President Obama for allowing some “very, very, very bad dudes [to] gain ground.”
This is a no-man’s land in the marketplace of ideas. This is contrived nostalgia for a slice of phony Americana that ought to send shivers down the spine of any rational person.
You would struggle to find a room full of grown-ups behaving less seriously.
However, all of this pitiful rhetoric begs the questions, “Why NOT elect one of them? What’s the worst that could happen? I mean, deep down, aren’t we all just a little bit masochistic? Aren’t you sort of interested to see what would happen?”
Think about it – we all have the same morbid desires to stop and ogle at car accidents or to put our finger in a light socket.
Put aside your desire for well-functioning, helpful government for a moment. Don’t worry so much about climate-change or labor rights.
Instead, why not adopt policies that embody the noble American traditions of xenophobia, racism and sexism? Why not brazenly threaten other nations (because why do we have all of these soldiers if we’re not going to expend a few)?
As the saying goes, may you live in interesting times.
The great American journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said, “This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it – that we are really just a nation of [330] million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”
Maybe a Tea Party president would help us embrace this once and for all.
We could build a 100-foot fence along the border (make that BOTH borders), make guns easier to purchase and carry, tell women what to do with their bodies, pass harsher drug laws, pump every ounce of oil we can find out of Alaska (and build that massive pipeline), deport everyone who wears less than 30 SPF sunscreen, fill up our prisons with the poor, get rid of the minimum wage and find another country to invade.
2016 is right around the corner – we’ve had a good run – maybe it’s time to just let it ride.

cday@willamette.edu

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