I have watched the most amazing thing happen in the last few years - friends who used to be normal Americans have become radicalized. These are people I've known for years. They raised kids, worked at regular jobs, went to church, looked forward to vacations on the beach. They sometimes bitched about the decisions made by their government but, like most of us, they mostly shrugged it off and hoped the next batch of politicians would be slightly better. They had their own lives to lead and what went on in Washington or the Statehouse was only of passing interest.
After 911, we all woke up to the shock of terrorism. The Al Qaida jihadists who hit us weren't really that much different than they'd been for years but this time, they actually struck us and that made all the difference. We were horrified at the unreasoning violence of suicide bombers, crazies who would hurt thousands of innocent people for some religious principle we didn't understand. Muslims whose hatred for us was so bone-deep, it excused any excess.
September 11, 2011, alone, was enough to start some of us down the path dictated by fear and vengeance. But then, ah, couple that with the election of an African-American (or at least half African-American) president with the name of Barack Hussein Obama and if you're already tilting in that direction, that giant clue sends you hurtling into certainty.
My formerly sensible friends are now convinced that the Muslims are trying to do by stealth what they couldn't accomplish with bombs. They have somehow inserted an alien Muslim mole into the White House and he is quietly seeding our entire government with Muslim Brotherhood plants.
In the meantime, the death squads are on the roads and the black helicopters are in the air. Barack Hussein (geez, people, how stupid can you be not to see the real story when its right there in front of your eyes!) is destroying our country and ripping our Constitution to shreds line by line. His government is only waiting for precisely the right moment to come for our guns and then we'll be screwed royal.
So, what is the answer? We have to become as single-mindedly militant as they are. You can tell how frustrated my friends and their fellow travelers are that the majority of Americans don't see it. We ignore their hair-on-fire right-wing warnings. (If Breitbart says it, it must be so). We have a foreign Muslim right there in the White House and we naively and blithely go on about our business! We actually believed it when he showed us his obviously forged birth certificate, fools that we are.
But, by Gosh, they aren't going to let that happen. They've bought more guns, more powerful guns, and they are ready for the fight at the OK Corral when it comes. Them and their AK against the forces of the United States military (although, of course, some of the military will side with them so who knows how that will turn out).
The definition of radical is: "advocating drastic reform of existing institutions". That's how the New Radicals view their support of government shut-downs and fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling fights and sequester and a possible default on America's debt. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes, you have to destroy the village to save it and sometimes you have to destroy the country to save it. If you have to resort to a record-breaking number of filibusters to stymie the government (because, you know, when you only control one house of congress, you have to do what you have to do), if you have to refuse to negotiate on the budget, if you have to shut down the whole freakin' government using as your excuse a law that was duly passed and is in effect, so be it. If you have to post lies and vile accusations and scummy cartoons on Facebook, well, all is fair in love and war and this is war in case you haven't noticed.
And most of us haven't noticed. We thought it was just politics as usual, albeit a little more vicious than we've seen before. No, it's not. It's a war for the heart and soul of America and the other side believes absolutely any means are justified for the end they want to reach. And I suggest that our side had better enter into the war with the same intensity and passion the New Radicals are exhibiting if we want to save it in the same incarnation we've always known America to be.
The U.S. has always had contempt for those countries that rip themselves apart in the name of Holy War. We weren't like that, at least, not for over 200 years since the civil war. Sure, we've had our problems and flare-ups but mostly we were tolerant and reasonable. Mostly, we lived together in peace. We watched Sunnis try to wipe out Shia and Protestants bomb Catholics and Hutus perform genocide on Tutsis and shook our heads in dismay.
But this is how it happens. The New Radicals have decided that their mission is to "save" America for the rest of us kool-aid drinking lemmings even if it has to be against our will. The rest of us are stunned at the lengths they seem willing to go, lengths that have already shut down the government and impacted hundreds of thousands of Americans negatively. If they follow through with refusing to pay our bills, it could result in the devastation of the American economy, hell, the world economy.
The most surprising thing is that the New Radicals shock troops aren't young, wild-eyed freedom fighters, they are middle-class middle-aged Americans whose lives, so far as I can see, haven't changed a bit since Barack Hussein Obama became president. They still raise their kids, go to work every day, go to church on Sunday and go to Florida on vacation. They are all insured, thanks to their employers subsidizing most of the cost. They all have cars and houses and credit cards. They obviously aren't seriously afraid of death squads or they wouldn't have nerve enough to post the violence-inciting things they do on Facebook.
But they are ready to man the ramparts as soon as their leaders give the word. They are our long-time friends and neighbors. How committed do you suppose they really are?