Has Survived Bouts of Arch-Conservatism Before
Palm Beach Post, Wednesday, December 16, 1998
© Copyright 1999 The Palm Beach Post
thing that intrigues me about right-wingers is the way they profess
to be super-patriots, but don't seem to think this country is
made of very strong stuff.
what issue occupies their zealous little minds, the nation - according
to them - is always about to go down the tubes. They claim to
love the United States. They just don't have much faith in it.
from some letters and e-mail messages I've been receiving, the
impeachment brouhaha has brought this conservative dichotomy to
e-mailer wrote, "We are circling the drain morally and he
(President Clinton) is an indication of how far we have gone .
. . Too bad that we now live in a time when it's a shame to be
Gee, I've never been ashamed to be an American, and neither have
any of my friends, yet none of us claims to be any more patriotic
than anybody else. We stand up when the national anthem is played
at ballgames, vote and pay taxes, and that's about it.
super-patriot ended his message with these words - "But as
our country falls, you and others can pat yourselves on the back
and say, 'I helped.' Congratulations."
mild compared with some of the dire predictions being made by
so-called conservatives. Up in Central Florida, there is a columnist
who recently referred to President Clinton as "a sociopath,"
thereby equating him with serial killers, and went on to write,
"If Congress fails to do its duty and impeach this sorry
excuse for a human being, then this country will never be the
same afterward. No one will ever look at the flag or the White
House or our other symbols in the same way as he or she once did.
will have branded itself incorrigibly corrupt and, like other
corrupted empires, inevitably lose its power."
know about that. I figure if the nation survived such Republican
moments in history as U.S. Grant and the Whiskey Ring, Warren
Harding and Teapot Dome, Richard Nixon and Watergate and the grafter
Spiro Agnew, it can come through any crisis in good shape.
of letter-writers lavished praise on one member of the House Judiciary
Committee who apparently has become their poster boy, Rep. Bob
Barr, the Republican from Smyrna, Ga. He is the undistinguished-looking
guy with the mustache. (I remember another angry little man with
a small mustache who gave the world a great deal of trouble.)
Barr was demanding that the president be impeached long before
anybody ever heard of Monica Lewinsky. He just seems consumed
with hatred for Mr. Clinton. But then, hatred may be part of his
the other day, it was revealed that Rep. Barr was the guest speaker
last June at a gathering in Charleston, S.C., of the Council of
CCC, as it calls itself, is a racist group that advocates, among
other extreme measures, a return to the days of segregation. When
confronted with this, Rep. Barr twitched his little mustache and
said he had no idea the organization held such views when he agreed
to speak to it. He said material he was given before the speech
indicated that the CCC was a mainstream, conservative, grass-roots
group. As a further defense of his actions, he added that the
CCC had endorsements from such other political figures as Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.
those are some endorsements. Trent Lott? Jesse Helms? What happened,
was David Duke too busy?
Lee Baum, who calls himself the national CEO of the CCC, said
Rep. Barr was given copies of the organization's magazine, Citizen
Informer, before his speech. The magazine runs columns and feature
stories warning that the white race faces the danger of extinction.
knew what we were all about before he spoke to us," Mr. Baum
said. "We don't invite people and let them walk into the
dark on us."
the nation will survive even the likes of Bob Barr.
I'm not a super-patriot, so what do I know?