The New Counter-Culture
September 27, 2010
During the ‘60’s, there was a great deal of interest in the “counter-culture,” meaning a large group of people that were outside of the “establishment.” The counter-culture of the time was largely the drug-taking, free-love practicing, psychedelic-rock music listening, Karl Marx reading crowd of young people. Well, I have some bad news for you. That crowd is all grown up, many of them still have that same mind set, and they have moved into positions of power in the Federal government. In other words, that counter-culture has become the establishment. But if that bunch is the establishment, where is the counter-culture?
This past Sunday, President Obama did something he rarely does as our nation’s Chief Executive, he went to church. In fact, he has not attended church since this past Easter Sunday. Obama normally fills his Sundays with a round of golf or a pick-up basketball game. U.S. News and World Report speculated that the reason for Obama’s sudden interest in Christian worship was the recent polls that suggested that as many as one quarter of those polled believed Obama to be a Muslim.
I, however, think the reason may be more directly related to the TEA Party. The President’s handlers know that the TEA Party members are from the grassroots of the people (regardless of what they admit). And the vast majority of TEA Party members are devout Christians, meaning that the grassroots of the people are also Christian. So, regardless of the President’s ideas of religion, if he is to be seen as “a man of the people” he must be seen as a Christian.
As for Obama himself, he laid down a challenge to the TEA Party. In a recent speech, Obama said, "So the challenge, I think, for the Tea Party movement is to identify, specifically, what would you do?" he added. "It's not enough just to say get control of spending. I think it's important for you to say, I'm willing to cut veterans' benefits or I'm willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits or I'm willing to see these taxes go up.”
OK Mr. President, I’ll take your challenge. Let’s start with getting rid of two of the most worthless departments in the Federal government; the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. Children can be educated and energy can be produced without some executive branch department. How about cutting the Stimulus package that, from where I sit, didn’t seem to stimulate anything? What about cutting this endless unemployment compensation? Finally, must we spend $50 million on “clean-burning” cook stoves for third world countries? These are only a few examples of, not only possible, but very must needed cuts.
Of course, all is not smooth sailing on the sea of the new counter-culture. Karl Rove (thought by many to be one of our own) attacked, TEA Party favorite, Christine O’Donnell after she won the Delaware Republican Senatorial primary. Rove accused O’Donnell of having a “checkered past” and questionable finances. To understand Karl Rove’s attack, you must know that Rove is an establishment Republican. He doesn’t really want a smaller government, he simply wants to change who is in charge of the same bloated, all-powerful government. He, like all establishment Republicans, are as threatened by the TEA Party as the Democrats.
On the CNN show “State of the Union” Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) warned that the Republican Party could be “dead” if they did not hold to their conservative principle of limited government. Demint has good reason to warn of the demise of the GOP. Once conservative voters had no choice but with the rise of the TEA Party, but now they do. Demint is not the only one who sees the demise of the GOP if they fail to push conservative principles. On his radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh warned that if this happened, the Republican Party would relegate itself to third party status.
The new counter-culture is a group of hard-working, church-going, Founder-revering Americans who want to drag this country, kicking and screaming, back to the principles of its founding, get the Federal government off the backs of the American people and lock it within the confines of the Constitution. Our task is not an easy one. It will not be complete regardless of the outcome of this November’s elections. It took many elections to get the country into this mess; it will take many more to get it out.
Humphrey Stevenson has BS degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MBA and makes his home in Tulsa, OK. He is a chemist by trade, has been published in trade journals, and is a recent "tea party" participant and political writer. His inspiration, as with many conservatives, is Ronald Reagan.