Think it’s wrong for a vocal minority to tell the rest of us how to live our lives? Me, too.
I’ve had it. Enough is enough. Our country has been held hostage since the 2010 midterm elections by a vocal minority that somehow thinks if they scream loud enough, waving woefully misspelled signs and threatening their puppet-strung representatives with primary challenges, the rest of us will just have to fall in line.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve watched Tea Party extremists put gun targets on maps of the districts of people like Gabby Giffords. Even before she was shot in the head, a reporter asked her if she was afraid of rhetoric like that. I’ve heard the shouts of angry mobs suggesting a female candidate be raped with a hot curling iron. I’ve heard lie after lie after lie about nearly everything imaginable, many coming from my own U.S. Representative, Kerry Bentivolio, who won his seat in large part by spreading lies and creating fear because his opponent, Dr. Syed Taj, is a Muslim.
The extremists tell us over and over that this is a Christian country. No other faith — or a lack of faith — will be tolerated, apparently. We must live by their rules or suffer the consequences. I have no problem with whatever faith someone chooses to practice or not practice. But my beliefs are my choice, not theirs.
In Michigan, there’s been legislation proposed that would let healthcare providers and hospitals dictate medical decisions for the rest of us based on their religious or moral views. Similar legislation may move forward letting adoption agencies use the same criteria for making placement decisions.
Right to Life of Michigan is trying to force legislation on the state that would require women to buy a separate insurance policy for an abortion, bullying their way past both voters and Republicans like Governor Rick Snyder. Because they don’t believe in abortion, they want to make it harder, if not impossible, for women to have one — even though it’s legal for any American woman to make that choice. Many groups like this don’t think employer-provided insurance should cover birth control, either. Yet many of these same people are claiming that Obamacare “gets between you and your doctor” in making medical decisions. Setting aside the fact that it’s a complete lie, explain to me how that isn’t completely hypocritical.
The anti-Obamacare extremists have spread more lies than I can even keep track of, because they “don’t want to pay for everyone else’s healthcare.” Well, neither do I. But I will be until the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate kicks in on January 1, every time someone uses the emergency room for a routine health matter because they don’t want to buy insurance. I’m not talking about those who can’t afford it, who will be covered by Medicaid expansion in Michigan. I’m talking about people who choose not to buy insurance. I pay my premiums every month so I can get care when I need it. The penalty imposed on those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it is a small price to pay for unlimited free visits to the expensive emergency room. Tea Partiers claim to be all about individual responsibility, except when it comes to paying for their own healthcare, it seems.
This weekend, Members of the U.S. Congress will speak at the Values Voter Summit, where they will spread despicable lies about the LGBT community, African Americans, Hispanics, women and anyone else they choose to vilify — all in the name of “family values.” It’s a conference of extremism, and these representatives will stand up proudly and display their hate for all to see, encouraging their followers to take that hate into the streets.
The entire American economy is headed for a freefall if the extremist factions of the GOP get their way and don’t fund the government, which they say they’re determined to do if their demands aren’t met. This is extortion, plain and simple, and it’s a plan that’s been in the works for months.
They claim President Obama is unwilling to negotiate, but he’s rightly said he’ll gladly negotiate if extremists stop holding a gun to the head of the American people. Not to mention that President Obama and the Democrats have negotiated, time and time again. The GOP has run out of “good faith” negotiating tokens. And if those of us who are sick of the extremists’ reign of terror vote against them in 2014, they’ll run out of power, too.
The Affordable Care Act is the law. Roe v. Wade is the law. The right of Americans to practice the religion they choose — to lead the life they choose — is woven into the fabric of everything we stand for in this country. Yet a few extremists are willing to tear our entire country apart just so they can force everyone to live they way they think we should, instead of letting each of us live the way we choose.
I never again want to hear Tea Party extremists claim they’re fighting for their liberty. Because they’re actually fighting for their narrow-minded beliefs and, in the process, they’re trying to take away the rightful liberties of everyone else in this country who doesn’t share their views.
That is as un-American as it gets.
[Photo credits: Top, Amy Lynn Smith; bottom, Chris Savage | Eclectablog]