Today, I was fortunate enough to attend a Tax Day Tea Party on the steps of the Iowa Capitol Building. Although I'm sure this would get me targeted by a number of groups, not the least of which being the Department of Homeland Security, I decided to take my chances on being put on a watch list and enjoy the spirit (and the warm weather) of the day.
This got me to thinking about the recent memo from DHS talking about "right wing extremists" and their motivations to whip up hate in this country. Some of the people lumped in with the "right wing extremists" include the following:
- people who voted for third party candidates or Ron Paul
- people who dislike big government
- people suffering the effects of the current economic situation
- those opposed to illegal immigration
- people who oppose President Obama
- those who oppose gun control laws, such as the Brady Law
- anyone opposed to a global New World Order
- disgruntled people who disdain the loss of jobs overseas
- people who have a healthy disrespect, if not hatred, for Jews
Two things to consider here. First, some of those descriptors could apply to Democrats. Hillary Clinton certainly spoke out against President Obama. John Murtha's a veteran, as is John Kerry. Think Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton fit the Jew hater criterion? In fact, I'd say quite a few left-leaning folks would be under surveilance by DHS, provided DHS follows the letter of the memo as written.
Second, I don't fit in with all of the criteria listed above, but I fit a number of them. Does that make me a right wing extremist like the oft-cited Timothy McVeigh? Hardly. I have no desire to destroy a government building or kill innocent people. However, I do want my country to be better than it has been under both Democrat and Republican rule. I want this country to be guided by men and women who have a healthy respect for and a thorough knowledge of the Constitution so that we don't go off the track. I want my elected officials to be accountable to us, and I want us to be accountable to do our homework and elect officials who are going to remember who elected them. In short, I want America to be the truly great country we once were, regardless of who can bring that about, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative.
If that makes me a right wing extremist in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security, I'm cool with it.