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Keeping the Tea Out of the Democratic Party
Sure, most of the nut jobs are proudly out, decorated in Republican teabags this year, so they’re easy to find. We can all appreciate their willingness to label themselves for us. Sure is kind of them.
The religious right has mostly co-opted the Republican Party (certainly in terms of platform this is a fact), but there is at least one nutcase out there and I mean nutcase, calling himself a “conservative Democrat” who seems to believe that our country was founded on the bible, not the constitution, “knows” what God wanted to do with Israel’s land and believes that Islam is “evil”.
Now, when I say nutcase, I mean it. I don’t mean some conservative Democrat who believes in the bible. I mean a nut case who should not be allowed anywhere near any sort of public office. A Christine O’Donnell Sarah Palin type nut case; an Apocalyptic Christian who doesn’t understand the difference between their personal beliefs and the law. I mean a tea partying “Democrat”.
The problem is that this strategy of progressive tea-party-ism was a total failure.
George Erdel ran for state legislator in Tennessee. It seems the good people of the 6th District there rejected him (in keeping with George’s own beliefs, it seems God has spoken – I notice these people never like it when God says things they don’t like; Sarah Palin, 2008 God closed a door, but I digress) – but they weren’t all weeded out by astute voters. These are the kinds of things alert voters need to be paying attention to. A quick Google search can tell you whether or not your candidate is a nut job. Look what Google turns up on George. George attended “town hall” meetings during the summer of TeaNuttiness, expressing his concern over “socialism”.
See, particularly in areas where the Republican Party is predominate, you will find people like George running as a Democrat. If only the Tea Party had become a real party, things like this wouldn’t have to happen. He called himself a “Tea Party Democrat.” He was a 912-er. Needless to say, he lost his primary bid; he only got 3% of the vote. Democrats tend to weed out the crazy.
I give you, in his own words, a self-labeled conservative Democrat who ran for state Leader of Murfreesboro, TN (6th district), George Erdel (so close to George Orwell, no?) — leader of the “Stop the Mosque” group. This video is part of a documentary being produced by Eric Allen Bell:
See, this is why it’s not funny when Republicans use fear to get out the vote. There are thousands of people in this country who believe those things, and they become even more unhinged after having their fears stoked by a cynical and desperate party:
Regarding a mosque in his area, “I think it has a lot of potential to become an Islamic training facility….” (Mockingly and scornfully, he tries to imitate a “Muslim” accent) “I see this gal out there with her headscarf on, saying “all we want to do is have peaceful religion!” “We are not supposed to allow these types of people to come in here….” “They have no idea how evil what they’re wantin’ to do is.” “Islam is evil.” “Our nation was founded on Judeo Christian values.” “I can tell you God gave that land to Israel years ago.” “God said you go in here and you take over this region, leave no women, no children, totally annihilate everything…. If they had eliminated everyone of the bad people that God told them to, we wouldn’t have this problem.” “For our president to suggest that a two state is right he’s totally off base, he’s not within scripture for him to call himself a Christian, it’s not right.” “Palestinians want that back? It’s not yours!”
As much as the Republicans run on being the party of morality, currently they are lacking both moral integrity and moral leadership within their party. They are a rudderless ship of desperate, angry people who want power more than they want to be right, do good, and be able to look themselves in the mirror. They are knowingly inciting men like George here, to hate other Americans. Hate. And they are OK with him using God to do it.
On the other hand, Democrats tend to be less willing to tolerate certain behaviors from their elected officials. Bigotry and religious craziness are usually a no-no. Clearly, this guy isn’t really a Democrat, since by virtue of his belief system he can not be for many of the civil rights inherent within the Democratic platform. But you see, these people hear what they want to hear and tell you what they think you want to hear. He’s a part of the Right Wing Theocratic take over.
How can any reasonable person think they have a lock on what God wants? The very thing that makes one reasonable precludes the ability to believe that you know for sure what God wants.
That kind of surety only comes from being a religious fanatic. And it is the same kind of surety that drives the Taliban. The Democrats tend to weed these people out in primaries.
Democrats have a plethora of populist economic issues that are popular with the people, for example, tax cuts for the middle class, preserving social security and the minimum wage. There’s no need for them to embrace the faux-populism of the Tea Party. In other words, when you actually have a populist platform, you have no need to hide yourself under the crazy fear-mongering of the far right Tea Party.
Now, more than ever, America needs the Democratic Party to provide sane, solutions-based alternatives to the phony jingles of the Tea Party that are threatening to take our nation down the path of dangerous religious fanaticism. Instead of running away from their platform, Democrats need to embrace it fully and claim the mantle of sanity. Democrats who run away from their platform are sure to fail.
Keep the tea out of the Democratic Party.
Photo Credit: This picture was taken from a real church in Murfreesboro, TN where mosque opponent Pastor Darrel Whaley is the sinister minister. (Photo credit: John Mack Green