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Joke’s up.

October 20, 2010

Christine O'Donnell

When Sarah Palin’s first interview with Katie Couric aired, I laughed along with everyone else. I remember marveling at how inept a decision the McCain camp made in selecting Palin as his running mate. How could anyone take this woman seriously?

Then when the Tea Party first emerged in early 2009, I thought, alright: there are some “punny” radicals out there who aren’t very fond of Obama. As unsubstantiated as their claims are, good for them. They’ll make fools of themselves and only dig the Republican Party’s grave deeper.

The Tea Party gained more traction than I expected, but I guess I can understand its attractiveness to out-of-work and frustrated Americans (of which there are many). As John Kerry explained to a group of Organizing for America supporters in May, 2010, the Tea Party had successfully harnessed this anger and frustration and used it to the political advantage of Obama-denouncing, tax-decrying political candidates.

I regarded the Tea Party up until a couple months ago as likely a passing trend. Sure, the movement had gained momentum and had widespread support from Americans, but I still didn’t see any feasibility in such candidates as Sharron Angle or Rand Paul winning public office.

Clearly, that was short-sighted of me. Luckily, many of the most extreme Tea Party candidates, like Rand Paul and Sharron Angle are seeing their leads quickly lessening as election day nears.

But… wait. How does someone like Paul, who called Obama’s criticism of BP “un-American” back in May, even stand a chance? How is someone like Angle, who called the separation of church and state an “unconstitutional doctrine,” towing half of Nevadans’ support?

I’ll cut to the chase and be brutally honest. The reason why I’m writing this article is Christine O’Donnell. While everyone has been laughing at her utter and unequivocal stupidity about everything political, I’ve been shuddering in fear. Folks, I’m going to quote Matt Damon and say this is totally absurd. I am terrified about the future of my nation when forty precent of the voters in Delaware, traditionally one of the more rational states, say they plan to vote for this lunatic.

Coons is likely going to win this election, I know this. But the year is 2010. Are you seriously telling me that the oldest, most renowned, democracy in the world is, in the first state nonetheless, entertaining the idea of electing someone who doesn’t even know that the Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state? Someone who would prohibit abortion, even in cases of rape and incest? Someone who isn’t coherent in the most vital amendments to the Constitution?

I’m not bringing these points up to continue the constant barrage of criticism aimed at O’Donnell by the liberal media. I’m mentioning these deficiencies in her fundamental understanding of our Constitution and individual rights to express my anxiety about the future political discourse of this nation. It scares me that this Tea Party extremism is a field day for the media. It scares me when real issues are not being discussed and, instead, large portions of news broadcasts and articles are being devoted to wackos like Christine O’Donnell. I pity Chris Coons for having to run in such a childish election (however, he looks to be capitalizing on it).

We obviously can’t simply ignore the Tea Party phenomenon, but we’re giving them exactly what they want and thrive on: ridiculous amounts of attention.

Let’s shift the tide. Let’s stop laughing at these people, stop giving them attention, stop giving them exactly what they want.

We have plenty of problems larger than nonsensical, ignorant radicals. Let’s talk about them.

Photo credit: Reuters

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Will permalink
    October 23, 2010 11:54 am

    Good summary Simon of the political state of things we find ourselves in today. I’m sit in utter shock every day when I see the sort of airtime some of these whack-jobs attain. I feel like we are on the precipice of a new dark age sometimes…especially if some of them get elected.

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  1. Palin: Good for Democrats, Bad for Discourse « The Harvard Political Review

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