Ever since the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008, a segment of the population pursued an agenda to force their ideas, goals, and expectations on the entire nation that purports their comprehensive vision and philosophical tendencies are exclusively American and unquestionable. Conservative ideologues belief that their system of abstract thought is intrinsically superior to any other is central to their political inclinations that lead to the divisiveness and intransigence preventing governance in Washington as well as the notion of America as a collection of United States. By definition, conservatism is resistant to change whether gradual or rapid, and it is a regressive mindset that provokes its adherents to harken back to an era based in fantasy and wishful thinking.
It is true there has always been an idealized, albeit fallacious, vision of an idyllic conservative America that never existed, and dreaming of a personal utopia is not in-and-of-itself a bad thing, but the notion that a contrary worldview is anathema and worthy of violent opposition is a new development borne of fear, racism, and xenophobia. In order to advance their vision of America, conservatives are proposing legislation that subverts the Constitution in their drive to transform this nation into a white Christian theocracy, and if that fails there are calls to break the nation apart.
The 113th Congress was barely in session when Republican Steve King (R-IA) proposed, with 13 co-sponsors, a bill to prevent the children of undocumented immigrants from becoming citizens in direct violation of the 14TH Amendment to the Constitution. The fourteenth amendment clearly says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” and the key word is “jurisdiction” that refers to people that are subject to American law. Undocumented immigrants and their children are not immune to U.S. law, so their children born in America fall under the citizenship purview of the Fourteenth Amendment. King’s goal in subverting the Constitution is to prevent the children of undocumented immigrants from becoming citizens, and his extremist vision of an all-white America supersedes the oath of office he swore to uphold just a day before introducing the unconstitutional legislation.
Last year, Republican concerns over ‘birthright citizenship’ reared its ugly head when anti-immigration Republicans called for debate on the issue leading Senator Lindsey Graham to say he was considering a constitutional amendment to prevent children born to undocumented immigrants from becoming citizens. Despite the 14th Amendment’s unambiguity on birthright citizenship, King, Graham, and Republicans in five states with a conservative vision of America do not interpret the 14th Amendment that way. It is hypocritical of Republicans and conservatives who claim to adhere closely to the precise wording of the Constitution to actively subvert the document to fit their idealized vision of an all-white America, but that is the mindset of a growing number of Republicans.
Another Republican in Indiana’s legislature, Republican Senator Dennis Kruse, introduced legislation to mandate daily recitations of the Lord’s Prayer in public classrooms by “giving” public school districts the authority to force Christianity on students. It is a long-standing goal of evangelical Christians to subvert the 1st Amendment’s Separation Clause, and despite the blatant unconstitutionality of such a law, the idea of forcing god into the classrooms is gaining support as the be all, end all, remedy to all of America’s ills, and another sign that conservatives will subvert the Constitution to force the population to adhere to a conservative vision of America.
In Texas, the Republican drive to transform America to fit their vision has led to a growing movement seeking to secede from the United States and form their own country. The executive director of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Cary Wise, discussed his group’s growing movement to secede, and according to Wise, the reason the secessionist movement is expanding so rapidly is that “people are frightened; people are scared” because “people understand that we have a federal government that is completely out of control.” Wise parroted a teabagger complaint that “political freedom” and “cultural freedom” have been lost and is driving the country towards “certain coming disaster” even though his ilk cannot cite one instance of loss of freedoms whether cultural or political, but it serves to incite other conservatives to secession.
The president of the Texas Movement, Daniel Miller, explained just why Texas conservatives feel they need their independence. Miller expresses a popular opinion among teabaggers and hardline Republicans, and acknowledged that many people fail to understand why the state would want independence, but he took the time to detail that “that there cannot be a union between those that esteem the principles of Karl Marx over the principles of Thomas Jefferson. What we have seen in the recent election was that a majority of the people in the United States, and the states in which they reside, esteem the principles of Karl Marx over those principles.” It is interesting that shortly after President Obama won the election in 2008, one of conservative’s daily complaints was that America was on the road to Marxism, and although the nation has not made the slightest shift toward Marxism, or Socialism for that matter, it is a recurring complaint, and now a reason for Texas conservatives to call for secession.
Besides being deluded that America is lurching towards Marxism, conservatives are so desperate to impose their vision on the entire nation that they are willing to legislate the Constitution out of existence to meet their ideal of a white Christian nation. The notion that religion belongs in public schools, or that birthright citizenship is an affront to American ideals is contrary to the wishes of a majority of voters, and patently unconstitutional, but voters’ wishes and the Constitution have come under sustained attacks by conservatives who see their twisted worldview losing favor among Americans. Although there have always been extremists willing to take any steps to impose their will on the population, the recent push to subvert the Constitution is borne of opposition to an African American man sitting in the Oval Office and the wishes of “a majority of the people in the United States.”
It is entirely plausible that as the nation moves forward as a multi-cultural population with varying, or no, religious views, conservatives are making their last-ditch, injured beast effort to drag this country into Puritan-era, pre-colonial America, because their vision does not comport with the Constitution or a United States of America. Their ideology that unfavorable election results gives them grounds for subverting the Constitution and secession characterizes them as un-American, and does not bode well for maintaining democracy, but then again, conservatives have never been too keen on democracy when Republicans lose elections.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.