The mightiest nation in the world has been brought to its knees by a small group of activists enraged by changes taking place in the world. The Nazis couldn’t do it. The Soviets couldn’t do it. But a few dozen members of the House of Representatives did it.
Naturally, everyone is spinning the coup to put the blame on someone else. But the underlying cause is nothing more complex than white rage. The putative dispute this time is over health care reform, but it could have been anything. The Tea Party caucus shut down America for one simple reason – because they could.
The world is changing. The sun set on the British Empire. Civilization is no longer the “white man’s burden.” The Chinese now share responsibility for the global economy and, consequently, global society. Asia is emerging as tomorrow’s consumer superpower. Atomic submarines and missile bunkers in the desert cannot hold this new world hostage.
In this new world, America is seeking a new role. And in American society, global changes are causing powerful ripple effects. It’s useless for white Americans to demand a return to “their America.” The face of America is changing – forever.
But in about 10 percent of the country, the culture of the past persists. In their world view, the white American male calls the shots. Here is how Ryan Lizza describes that America in a recent New Yorker article:
While the most salient demographic fact about America is that it is becoming more diverse, Republican districts actually became less diverse in 2012. According to figures compiled by The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman, a leading expert on House demographics who provided me with most of the raw data I’ve used here, the average House Republican district became two percentage points more white in 2012.
Lizza notes that half of the Congressional districts represented by the new crop of radical Republicans are in the South, and a quarter of them are in the Midwest, while the others are in the rural West and rural Pennsylvania.
The Tea Party revolution has been brewing for a while. The 10 percent of America that yearns for a lost empire could not abide the election – and re-election – of a black president.
They want their America back. And if they can’t have it, they figure nobody should.
But this is their last hurrah. They’ve had a gun to Uncle Sam’s head for a while, and they’ve finally pulled the trigger. History will show the gun was loaded with blanks.