Chris Matthews of MSNBC and Hardball fame? Presented the loyal fifteen with an in depth (By in depth I mean the depth of a thin crust pizza) look at the rise of the new right. In this documentary Matthews aims to link the Tea Party movement, the Michigan militia, and suburban moms with what he sees as an unusually hostile form of conservatism. You know, as oppose to that less threatening less principled form. At first I was suspicious of this documentary and dismissed it as a senseless and ignorant attempt to marginalize, characterization, and smear the movement, but after watching the documentary I came to the conclusion that in fact it was, a senseless, ignorant, characterization of the Tea Party.
He played clips of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan from the 1960 campaign. He even went as far as to lump “go to” conservative Pat Buchanan in this new right movement. He played a clip of Buchanan’s famous speech from the 1992 GOP convention.
Matthews is trying to be cute by half. Unfortunately he’s neither cute nor intelligent, so his aim is off by a mile or two. He assumes first and foremost that this wave of conservatism is new. He also assumes that this is the most hostile movement in our nation’s history. His tone and his over dramatic narration makes you want to join a militia, not fear one. This “documentary” plays more like a news report inside the world of Islamic terrorists or the New Nazi movement rather than an honest fair look at what is truly a diverse, spirited political force in America today. Matthews is no thinker by any means of the word or the act itself, but he could have at least tried harder to assess the Tea Party and their impact on the country and in politics.
The truth is, this is nothing new. The “right” is as old as the country. In fact, ready for this? The country was founded on “right wing” principles by “right wingers”. Limited government isn’t a right wing belief, nor is the idea that yes even if the government was elected by the people, that doesn’t give elected politicians a mandate for unconstitutional government action and policy. See Matthews, and you can tell he’s not a thinker because he assumes just because the government was as he calls it “honestly elected” that means politicians have the power to do what ever they want when they want.
He said as much on his show last night. He said when one party is in power the losing party lets them do what they want until the country gets tired and then they elected new people, and they do what they want because that’s how democracies work. When I heard that I couldn’t help but to take those words and in my mind imagine a five year old saying the exact same thing. Of course its cute when a child says it but when a grown man says something so misguided and ignorant then you have to wonder about that person.
You’re not suppose to let one party destroy the country and then when the people get tired of all the destruction wait until they vote you in. If the constitution is being dismissed, if every fabric of the civil society are being violated and ripped to shreds, if you don’t stand up and say something then you’re no better than the perpetrators of the act.
Someone needs to learn Mr. Matthews on the process of good government. Good government is never having to actually denounce government itself, because the government should never step out of its constitutionally allowed limits. And those holding the levers shouldn’t have to be told how to govern.