Tea Party Taliban

We know it’s coming; September 11, 2011. We know what we’re in for: a seemingly endless stream of television documentaries, remembrances, analysis and more. We will all relive that dark day many times in the coming weeks.

In small doses we will be moved, in large doses we will be annoyed. We will all struggle to some degree to find meaning 10 years on.

The many many folks who lost loved ones or know people who lost loved ones will be stirred to anger again, just as the family and friends of any murder victim would on such an anniversary.

But Americans by and large, untouched personally by the actual events of 9/11, will have to consider more in the abstract, “what does it all mean?”

Unfortunately I believe those on the far right wing will find only the simple, easy-to-parse meaning. It will be a regurgitation of anti-Muslim paranoid rhetoric, a celebration of military victories (it will be interesting to watch them work around the fact that President Obama is the one who finally got Osama bin Laden), and one huuuuge exercise in special, jackass Republican-styled “patriotism”.

Those not caught up in that sort of thing I imagine will want to consider the more complex and profound meanings.

After all, 10 years ago also marks the first time in US history that the United States went to war with an ideology, not another nation. The people who plotted the destruction of the WTC and Pentagon swore an allegiance to a set of ideas from which they would not waver until the deed was done. They were extremists that used a holy book to rationalize their beliefs. They believed that they were strong in moral character in spite of intellectually knowing that their actions would violate every rule of human decency. In short, their ideology trumped any critical thinking.

Am I comparing the Tea Party to the Taliban? Yeah, a little. Of course, the Tea Party is not bent on violence in the way the 9/11 hijackers were.  Most American citizens aren’t under the impression that Tea Party nutbags stand ready to fly a jetliner into a building or plan in any way to kill masses of people.

However, they are extremists by any American political standard and the mechanism is ideology.

The Tea Party’s actions which led directly to the credit downgrade and current financial situation impacting ALL of us were motivated by the same idiotic misconceptions about what “God” wants and what good character is. In both cases these people consider themselves heroes in the face of strong resistance from people of less moral character than themselves, and in both cases the extremists were most definitely not heroes.

There have already been comparisons of the Tea Party tactics to terrorists tactics…hostage takers and what-not. But I think it’s important on this upcoming anniversary that we find a more significant meaning to move forward with.

As I see it, our war on fanatical Muslim ideology managed to get a whole lot of Americans confused between mainstream Islam and terrorist rants. Of course the dictionary defines ideology in a fairly neutral way… so (in my best Obama)… “let me be clear”; we should have declared war on all religious ideology. Period.

Be it Allah who told you to blow something up or Grover Norquist who convinced you that you will be morally superior by signing a pledge to not raise the debt ceiling …I see it all as religious based ideology.

Declaring war on religious ideology isn’t just pointing guns at people bent on doing us harm in the name of some hocus pocus. It means rejecting the ideological mindset, not embracing it and voting in people who subscribe to it. It means we should move forward with a focus on the facts and clear rational thinking.

I don’t care if you name the voice in your head God, Jesus, Allah, Abraham, or the ghost of your ex-wife…if you propose to govern me by listening to the voice in your head instead of parsing cold hard facts, you are not fit to govern me or anyone else. I don’t care if you signed a pledge on a pinky-swear-cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die that you would never ever or always always do something — if you aren’t going to lead by parsing cold hard facts you are not fit to lead.

Of course after a tragedy of such magnitude we can’t help but try to learn something as a nation from the experience as part of coping with it. But when I look at what happened with the election of 2010, subsequent Tea Party-backed legislation and now the debt ceiling debate, I think, man, we haven’t learned the most important thing.

After the documentaries are over, the 9/11 museum has opened and the solemn ceremonies have passed, honor the victims of 9/11 by voting for grounded critical thinkers in 2012 and let’s make sure religious ideology has no place in our democracy.

More at http://screwrepublicans.com

Edited By: Sherri Yarbrough