Saturday, March 02, 2013

Explanation, Please

Consider the definition of treason from an online dictionary:
: the betrayal of a trust : treachery
: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family.

Now consider the following:
  • “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."
“This goal of a radically reduced government is not simply the dream of small-state ideologues within the Beltway in Washington D.C. Consider the 2008 platform of the Republican Party in Texas. It called for the elimination of every federal agency not mentioned in the original constitution – including the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Commerce and Labor. Programs like Social Security and policies like the minimum wage would also be abolished. And Texas Republicans believe that not only should taxes never be increased, but that most current taxes should be abolished, including income taxes, inheritance taxes, capital gains, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, and property taxes. In short, this GOP platform is a blueprint for how to cripple the federal government.”

“… the President should let the public see the Tea Partiers for who they are — a small, radical minority intent on dismantling the government of the United States. As long as they are allowed to dictate the terms of public debate they will continue to hold the rest of us hostage to their extremism.”

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

I suppose one could accept the goal of making the President of the United States a “one-term President” as a reasonable goal from a political standpoint. In a general way that is perhaps the common goal of most minority parties. However, when the means to bring about such a goal involves an absolute refusal to allow a President to do anything at all, to effectively refuse to participate in governing, and therefore harms the government by not allowing any positive changes to come about, it seems to me that is close enough to treason to warrant an explanation of why it should not be so considered.

When Grover Norquist said “I don’t want to abolish government, …” that (perhaps questionable) disclaimer is in my opinion the only thing that keeps the goal of “drowning it…” from being treasonous, or certainly borderline treasonous.

It is becoming more and more obvious that the goal of the current Republican Party, apparently now controlled by the Tea Party, is to essentially dismantle or cripple the government, to “eviscerate” it if possible (to take out the entrails of : disembowel).

At least a few of these anti-government nutcases have even suggested “second amendment remedies” if they don’t get their way, and even more extreme ones have   suggested less euphemistic violent means, “we have come unarmed this time,” or worse. These could be dismissed as the outrageous rantings of a few, which of course they are, but it does seem to me that this type of behavior is close enough to treason to be almost indistinguishable from that unpleasant possibility. In our “democracy,” with its emphasis on free speech, there is nothing that can be done about this (unless it were to actually happen), except to wait for the next election, which may or may not make a difference (depending upon the whims of voters). While I am not advocating a more serious solution to this problem, I cannot help but observe that in some other nations these kinds of people would already be incarcerated in jails or mental institutions, if not shot or hanged.
Harold Macmillan

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