Column: Extremist Parties Holding Country Hostage

Fanatical fringes have always existed in our country’s politics. From almost obscene and trivial groups like the Know-Nothing party, The Greenbacks, and The Bull Moose party to heavily influential groups like the Populists, the Whigs and a newer group, Neo-Conservatives. These groups, often started as angry minorities, grew into such large movement that they have swayed the countries leaders and laws. A new group has emerged in the past five years. That group is the Tea Party. The Tea Party isn’t the only group, though. Among them exist the 99% Movement, Libertarians, and the Green Party. The one difference is that the Tea Party has, almost without question, hijacked a major political party from within and taken control of a majority of the government. This is a scary proposition to think that less than 8 percent of the country can control so much power.

Some might say, “What is the big deal about the tea party’s control?” Well, it means a lot. As of September 30, the non-essential parts of the government were shut down. This includes the CDC, FDA, SEC, The National Parks Service, and many other parts of the government that work for the benefit of the people. (October 16th, the Senate and House reached a temporary compromise by passing a bill that funded the government through Jan. 15 and raised the debt ceiling through Feb. 7). The question is why would a political faction do this voluntarily? Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare, as it is known) in 2010 the Republicans led by the Tea Party have been trying to destroy it. It was even upheld by the Supreme Court, and still they are trying to strike it down.

So, because of health care reform, the Tea Party wants to shut down the government and in a more sobering idea, not raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is the limit of which the US can rack up debt on its “credit card”. Defaulting on our debt would mean we potentially cause economic collapse according to Christine Legarde, head of The World Bank. The US government could not pay its bills for the military, social security, its debt, and countless other things. Without our spending, we would likely see a worldwide economic collapse that is much worse, but similar to the one in 2007. So should the Democrats and President Obama give up The Affordable Care Act so we don’t go into economic collapse?

The question that is being asked now is if ideology outweighs the public good? The Affordable Care Act is law and a much-needed piece of law to help start to fix our broken healthcare system. It is by no means the best idea, but it is a start. Is it a good idea for the Tea Party to hate something so much that they are willing to bring down the whole country with it? Republican Party approval is sitting around 28 percent, according to an October 9th Gallop poll. So even though most Americans are fed up with the deadlock and partisanship in Washington, the Tea Party isn’t going to stop its march to financial collapse? Compromise, anymore, is a dirty word in Washington. Any Republicans who are willing to compromise are automatically questioned on their allegiance to the party and the country! Hopefully, common sense will somehow prevail.

One indicator that it will is that throughout American political history, fanatics never last long in power. Whether it is Populists, Greenbacks, or Bull Moose, Americans never let crazy politics last for long. Regardless of political allegiance, to even think that the US, and subsequently the world economy, is a pawn in a game of political chicken is absurd. Eventually, moderate Republicans and Democrats hopefully will do what is best for the country and we will see compromise again as the norm in Washington. As of now, America needs to realize that this hostage taking of the US government and economy by the Tea Party is not healthy for the country. The Tea Party is quickly losing its grasp on the country. Hopefully in 2014 cooler heads, and moderate ideals prevail in congressional elections.

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