Stephen Arons: Rule of reason and decency are in big trouble
To the editor:
What is developing in American politics is one of two things, or maybe both.
This is an ideological Civil War. The tea party — its allies, henchmen and hangers-on — are trying to dissolve the Union, not by seceding from it but by crippling the federal government and stripping it of many of its nonmilitary functions. It is more than ironic that President Obama appears to so much admire and emulate the only other man to be president during a Civil War, Abraham Lincoln. The Union may very well lose this war.
The Republican Party has adopted a policy of crippling and undermining democracy itself at the federal level. That which they cannot absolutely control (and bend to their minority interests), they are attempting to make dysfunctional and repulsive to the majority in the Republic. This is the Fifth Column of the right in the media age. In the end, this may make democracy into a plutocracy.
We are in big trouble. The American experiment is in big trouble. The rule of reason and human decency are in big trouble. As Yeats put it after World War I, “Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.”