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June 26, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)

For a long time I harbored the illusion that somewhere between the ethereal and nether worlds people of a liberal mind and people of a conservative mind might meet for a genteel discussion regarding the human experience. Although I am unable to discern with precision what the Tea People embrace I include them in the Conservative camp because they cling to common tenets.

Both groups talk of liberty and freedom but see those who believe we ought to change our national anthem from the war-inspired Star Spangled Banner as enemies of the state. Never mind that America the Beautiful more appropriately captures the spirit of a still young and vibrant nation.

When one even hints that Congress had no right legally or artistically to change an artist’s work by adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance both groups declare him “godless” and condemns his soul to perpetual torment.

The Tea People and Conservatives intensely dislike government and insists it incapable of performing the simplest of functions but hold rallies in support of the ultimate in governmental intrusions—the death penalty —regardless that an innocent might be executed.

To suggest that marriage is a thing of value in the lives of homosexual men and women becomes an all out assault on the institution of marriage instigated by people who simply want the same liberty as heterosexuals.

I expect any day to hear the words “Mexican Lover” flung toward those who believe there is something intrinsically foreign about the erection of walls on the borders of a free country.

The two groups are equally horrified at the thought that demands for a living wage manacles the free market despite the deaths of six hundred thousand men in a great Civil War that rejected the ultimate in free markets.

The idea that the least among us might have access to a free education or access to quality health care is of little concern to those who are willing to withhold citizenship to children born on U.S. soil of foreign parents.

A common weld that fastens the two groups tightly together is that neither group cares one wit about the ideas or ideals of those outside their tribe. That was the authoritative standard of primitive peoples. The caveman was reluctant to share his food or fire with those outside his own group but one might suppose an enlightened people would rise to greater heights.


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