COLUMBIA — Enough already with the negativity and speculation that everything is designed to somehow promote the policies of the current administration or that the Democrats have some secret weapon to disrupt the tea party movement. In fact, the movement is self-destructing.
We are in the midst of primary season in the U.S. Unlike the general elections to be held in November, the primaries are spread out over months with each state dictating when and how those primaries should be run.
Case in point, Missouri’s primary will be held Aug. 5 and allows voters to choose a party before casting their votes. There is no rule that says because I am a “registered” Democrat that I cannot vote in the Republican primary. The same holds true in the Mississippi primaries.
The problem with this arrangement is that one party could rally votes for an opposition candidate who cannot win in the general election. In Mississippi, it caused a movement to renominate the incumbent Republican Sen. Thad Cochran by a close margin. But all is fair in politics and 50 percent plus one vote wins the election. So what if there was a strong black Democratic turnout? A vote is a vote. Or is it?
This is the argument that challenger Chris McDaniel is making. You see, tea party candidate McDaniel is challenging the vote as somehow being decided by “liberal Democrats.”
McDaniel declared that “(b)efore this race ends we have to be absolutely certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters.” Would he have claimed the same if he had won the black vote in Mississippi?
Still another stalwart of the tea party movement is claiming that the World Cup is somehow a plot by President Obama to distract us from, well, everything that is important.
Fox commentator Keith Ablow thinks it is “suspicious” that there is a sudden craze for soccer and the World Cup when things are so terrible in Washington. He believes that Obama is using the World Cup as a distraction.
He called the World Cup craze another "bread-and circus-routine,” whatever that is, as we “roll out the marijuana and pull back the laws and get people even more crazy about another entertainment event.” This guy may not understand that Fox News also owns Fox Sports.
As the tea party becomes more radicalized and indignant at the political process if it is not their version of conservatism, they are risking the loss of House races by forcing the GOP to move too far to the right, fighting like school-yard bullies to get their way.
I won’t say that the tea party has been trounced in the primaries so far, but I can say that their losses are significant. The GOP will be further split, if the tea party Republicans continue to try to gain power through strong-armed tactics and threats.
Whether it is a newly minted candidate for a federal office or a television commentator, the general public is growing tired of the schemes.
To stop the right wingers from gaining any more traction, moderates from both parties must be mobilized. This is, at best, difficult, especially for a midterm election. If Missouri’s moderate Republicans and Democrats cannot mobilize their bases, then the pendulum will swing farther to the right, tipping the equilibrium attempted by our Founding Fathers in this experiment of democracy.
The infighting among the right will cause irreparable harm to the two-party system we wish to preserve, especially if the tea party activists decide to become the Tea Party. We'd go from a government for and by the people to a government for and by the loudest. And the tea party activists are loud.
With our own primaries one month away, Missourians from both mainstream parties need to gather their faithful and get everyone out to the polls because that is what the extreme is doing.
We cannot allow a few loud voices to control the masses.
David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of his commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.com.