Maybe Rudeness Has Its Place

The buzz over SC Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst during a speech to a joint session of Congress (“You lie,” when Obama said that illegals wouldn’t be covered in the health non-care bill) has even some on the “right” saying, “well, he’s rude, but right.”

I had a wonderful lunch and discussion with a local entrepreneur and Republican who said he “cringed” when Wilson spoke up. “They’ll just have more to attack us with,” he said. I noted that they don’t need anything to “hit us with,” they lie all the time anyway. Moreover, as I now preach to every Republican audience I can find, the GOP has played nice for far too long. I’m sick to death of McCain-type reach-across-the-aisle politics. I’m ready for political combat.

Now, I understand this is really tough for some of you. For some Christians, this seems to violate the “turn the other cheek” commandment; and shouldn’t we just love our enemies? Well, a) we dun turned both cheeks and then some, and b) that love is to be extended on a personal basis. But this is politics, and Jesus kept them separate. Would Jesus have shouted “You lie!” if one of the Chief Priests had stated something blatantly false? Absolutely. He called them vipers.

Our model for how to proceed in politics needs to be Saul Alinsky, not the Christ. Alinsky got it. So did Abbie Hoffman. Hoffman said when they occupied a college building, they’d issue a list of demands. When the administration met the demands, they’d just issue a new list. It wasn’t about the demands! It was about demonstrating political power toward breaking down the entire structure. As I suggested a week ago, we need to get radical in terms of deconstructing the entire government bureaucracy. It needs to be a multi-front assault.

Those like my friend who abhor “bare knuckle” politics would do well to look at the Founders. Oh, they tried to reach across the aisle for almost a decade. They appealed to the King. (No go). Then they appealed to Parliament (sound of crickets chirping). Finally they went straight to the British people. (No dice). At that point, Tom Paine said “tis time to separate,” and Patrick Henry said it was either liberty or death. One of the most even-tempered and concessionary of the Founders, George Washington, grimly and reluctantly—but with murderous effectiveness—took up command of the Continental Army. John Adams, no stranger to a musket, took up his pen. Hamilton and Madison strapped on their sabers. Even the Reverend Witherspoon took off his collar and brought out his musket.

When the opposition ceases to listen to you, and imposes unpopular and dangerous laws that threaten your purse and your life, Jefferson said, you have a duty to resist. We need more Joe Wilsons. ALL OF THE GOP MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE WALKED OUT OF THAT SPEECH. Because if the Republicans soon don’t pay attention to the people, they will end up like the Tories after Lexington and Concord. Oh, and Jesus said, I think, that you were either with Him or against Him. We are rapidly getting that point with our elected plutocrats.

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