Sunday, October 31, 2010

Name-Dropping the Constitution and Holding a Rally

      These mid-term elections have an unsettling quality to them, beyond one party losing power to the party currently in the minority. The new element in play is the Tea Party, which launched itself within the past 20 months or so and now counts a slew of likely successful candidates whose claim to power is being true conservatives. Okay, that's not a trend, that's just politics, and this blog is not about politics. But do you not see a trend here?
     I'm seeing two. One is the Constitution. The other is rallies organized by TV personalities.
     The Tea Party candidates and representatives sooner or later bring up the Constitution as their guiding light to get this country back on track. And who can argue with the Constitution?

    But we all might be arguing about it soon, if the new class of congressional leaders, in the name of the Constitution, start proposing and supporting legislation that flies in the face of basic tenets of life in America, as for example, the separation of Church and State. (It's been all over the news, but in case you missed it, Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell questioned where in the Constitution is the separation of Church and State established.)
      So, here's my thought on this "behold the Constitution" trend: I better brush up on the beloved document. Not only is it a good intellectual exercise, it might be my only grip on political reality for the next few years.
      As for rallies, I thought Glenn Beck's "Rally to Restore Honor" was bizarre. Then again, I think Glenn Beck is bizarre the moment you think of him outside the role of entertainer. But hey, a big crowd showed up, speeches were made -- not political, according to Beck, even though Sarah Palin was one of the speakers -- and a good time was had by all.
     Then this past weekend comedians Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert organized their "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear," also not political, even though Arianna Huffington, founder of  the liberal blog that carries her name, hired buses to transport people to the event for free. By all accounts, this rally  was a display of humor and satire targeting some politics, but mainly targeting media for dumbing down political discourse. I think I would have enjoyed this one.
     But what does it all add up to? Apparently, when the economy is tanking and two wars keep us mired in ugly conflicts, the Constitution becomes generic political slogan, while entertainment morphs into a rallying call for protest.
     Maybe the next political movement will be inspired by Lady Gaga.

1 comment:

  1. Astute observations on your part. You are right, very unsettling. Although the nice thing about democracy is the possibility of having multiple political parties, (and in fact there are) I don't think of the Tea Party as another party, but rather a very conservative movement and potentially quite damaging. The Constitution is a wonderful document (like you I better brush up on it) which in the wrong hands can be misconstrued and misused. Shades of the Bible? Like you said...