7.15.2010

The Tea Party cause

Ryan Rhodes, spokesperson for the Iowa Tea Party, defended the statewide organization after an affiliate, the North Iowa Tea Party, erected a controversial billboard in Mason City.

The billboard, which has been papered over, pictured President Obama, Adolph Hitler and Vladimir Lenin under the phrases, “Democrat Socialism,” “National Socialism” and “Marxist Socialism.” The word “change” appeared under each image and above the phrase “Radical leaders prey on the fearful and the na├»ve.”

Rhodes, in a statement to CNN (LINK), said the billboard did an injustice to the Tea Party cause of “American exceptionalism.”

If the reader wants a dissertation-level understanding of “American Exceptionalism,” there are plenty of online entries and even books on the subject.

A fairly simple definition opens the Wikipedia entry:

“American exceptionalism is the theory that the United States occupies a special niche among the nations of the world in terms of its national credo, historical evolution, political and religious institutions and its being built by immigrants. The roots of the belief are attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, who claimed that the then-50-year-old United States held a special place among nations, because it was the first working representative democracy.”

Opponents of the theory put it in simpler terms: “jingoism” and “nationalist propaganda.”

Ironically, other political entities claiming such an exceptional destiny were the Third Reich and the U.S.S.R.

I love the country of my birth. I’m sure Mr. Rhodes’ Tea Party does, too, although many in its ranks would deny President Obama’s love of the country of his birth.

A myopic view of exceptionalism, howeve, does not allow for correcting faults and righting wrongs. A claim of perfection denies a need for improvement and results in stagnation. It impedes the “change” mocked by the billboard and brought about by such Democratic programs as the New Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. In each of these programs a Democratic president moved America beyond the restrictive bounds of poverty, parameters, prejudice and its own self-importance.

Once more this nation has a leader with a progressive vision encompassing all its citizens, and a “confederacy of dunces” has risen up to put him down.

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Sometime this morning, DemWit, my stepchild blog, will mark 20,000 visits. Thanks to you!

7 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

According to your traffic meter, that would be me!

tnlib said...

" A claim of perfection denies a need for improvement and results in stagnation."

I like this thought best of all.

B.J. said...

Jerry Critter: CONGRATULATIONS! You have won a DemWit certificate suitable for framing, a DemWit T-shirt, a DemWit Frisbee and a spot on the panel at the next CPAC convention – topic of discussion: “The Future of the Republican Party.”

tnlib: I like it, too. :-)

BJ

Jerry Critter said...

Thank you very much, B.J.

The certificate will have a place of honor on my Wall of Awards, I will wear the T-shirt proudly, I will throw the frisbee with liberal abandon, and I will clearly lay out the future of the republican Party at the next CPAC convention.

Tiny said...

Tiny asks people: What's the biggest room in the world?

Her answer?

Room for improvement!

Working in that room gets rid of the stagnation, if one so chooses.

Tiny looks forward to the CPAC convention and the discussion of "The Future of the Republican Party."

Without a miracle, looks like Dick Cheney won't get to participate in this one!

Loulou La Poule said...

Our myopic view...too right!

In individuals, that kind of self-absorption and self-congratulations results in narcissism--simply defined, that's an inability to detect the effect one has on others and on the social milieu (add: planet) and a resultant callousness toward anything outside the self.

Nations do it. We do it. The only treatment is to remove head from ass and take a larger view. We suddenly discover that the world was watching us all along.

Frodo, CPA said...

Frodo demands an audit. Perhaps he wasn't the fustest, but he has to be the mostest.