Note: The initial publication of this post omitted a critical section of the argument. Without it, the 9/11 comparison seems bizarre. As usual, I had organized what I was going to say in my head, but had limited time to write it and simply omitted the section. The following contains the missing text. (Published 11/05/10 @ 12:15 A.M.)
The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, should have been a warning to our ultra-liberal friends and their White House messiah. Americans woke up from their self-indulgent, inward-focused lives and banded together in an outburst of patriotic outrage that shook the nation. Al Qaeda woke up der Schlafenlöwe (the sleeping lion), and suffered mightily for it. Two nations were invaded, not without controversy, a depraved despot eliminated and a terrorist base and infrastructure destroyed. Der Schlafenlöwe became der Böserlöwe, the angry lion, with dire consequences for the instigators.
The United States of America, as opposed to most of Europe and the rest of the West, was founded in freedom. It never was a feudal or monarchic society from the day it began. We Americans value our free society and independence, which is why we sacrificed nearly a half-million lives in World War II to preserve it. The 9/11 attack threatened part of that freedom, the freedom to feel safe in our own country. It's one thing to kill 40,000 each year on our highways and totally another to lose nearly 3,000 to foreign attack. We all feel we can avoid a highway death, but a terrorist sneak attack is beyond our ability to control.
In the minds of many today, government itself has become a threat to our freedom. The last two years have seen a massive intrusion, or the means thereof, into the lives of our citizens. While this threat may not be of life and limb (except perhaps for the elderly), It is perceived by many to potentially affect our independence and freedom of action. While this fear may be exaggerated, it is real nevertheless. Thus, many Americans rose up or changed political allegiance to combat this perceived intrusion. Not everyone understands his or her discomfort in these terms, but feels strongly that something is very wrong and scary. Thus, the shift to conservativism, conservatives being seen as favoring limited government and less intrusion in our lives. Also, there is the principle that if what you are doing isn't working, try anything else. "Change" swept the liberals in and is in the process of sweeping them out.
The economic situation, particularly unemployment, simply adds to the feeling of insecurity but is not the sole cause. We have had economic crises before without the kind of public uprising we saw Tuesday. We the people have lost that precious freedom from fear in our own nation, which is intolerable. The Tea Party movement and the determination to "throw the bums out" are consequences of that fear of freedom lost.
The Democratic Congress and our President in a orgy of leftist activism scared the public with their excesses and again woke der Schlafenlöwe, this time represented by the Tea Party movement, and the result was a political catastrophe for them. They tried to boil the frog by throwing him in a pot of boiling water*, and the frog is unhappy. Make no mistake, the Tea Party movement, regardless of unsubstantiated and unjustified characterizations of racism, bigotry and ignorance, was a major catalyst for a public voter uprising that has shaken the nation.
Professional politicians of both parties are discomfited by this public "interference" in the sacred machinations of government. Thirty of the new Representatives are Tea Partyers, a potential thorn in the side of the Republican hierarchy as well as the Democrats. These new "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" folks are a whole new element on the political scene. It remains to be seen how effective an element, but it could hardly be worse than what has been going on these past two years. "If what you're doing isn't working .... ."
The most encouraging factor in the election results is the burgeoning of public intrusion into that fog-bound region across the Potomac that so long has felt safe in ignoring the "flyover" public in favor of its own paternalistic social engineering concepts. The mainstream media has fostered this political arrogance by largely reflecting coastal attitudes and neglecting the heartland.
Well, the heartland has spoken. The Schlafenlöwe is wide awake and watching, and both political parties better pay attention. I deliberately include the Republicans, because there is a clandestine liberalism even there among the party elite. The Tea Party folks and their even more numerous sympathizers are not going away.
I for one couldn't be happier.
On second thought, maybe I better wait for some results.
*For anyone who hasn't heard this little fable--I've used it twice--here is a short version: If you try to boil a frog by dropping him in a pot of hot water, he'll jump out violently as soon as he feels the heat. However, if you drop him into cool water and gradually heat it, he will fall asleep and be obliviously boiled. Our Washington liberal friends made the mistake these past two years of flinging Mr. Frog into a hot pot.