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Hands waving American flags at a parade, in front of marching marines.
The good ol' days. Democrats were communist hippies and Republicans believed in patriotism, law and order. My how things have changed (or not).

We have a rancher refusing to pay grazing fees and calling in "militias" for help to prevent federal agents from doing their jobs. All because Cliven Bundy seems to have this very bizarre idea that, and I quote, "I don’t recognize [the] United States Government as even existing." If the United States government does not exist, then who in the hell's army did I serve in? Who sent me that tax refund earlier this year?

In Wisconsin (and other states) Republicans have brought up secession. Secession. Yes, the Wisconsin Republican party is voting on a plank in their platform that supports secession under extreme circumstances. Which I am pretty sure means that if there is a black or female president that is a Democrat the state can secede. I thought the whole secession thing was settled between the years of 1861 and 1865.

At one time the Republican Party, the conservatives of America, would have been shocked and appalled at this kind of behavior from any American citizen (at least to your face). They would have been screaming about patriotism and how wrong it is to fight the government or threaten to secede. During the George W. Bush presidency, it was unpatriotic to say anything that could be construed as unpatriotic. Just ask the Dixie Chicks what happens when you publicly criticize a sitting Republican president.

More about this sudden about-face on so-called patriotism below the fold.

So in the Republican worldview of the last few years it is not okay for Natalie Maines to say:

“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

To which Ted Nugent replied with:

So DIXIE CHICKS, I just recommend you shut up and sing and let the warriors take care of your freedom. You love to deny the truth and live in an insulated world of fantasy and then criticize the very system by which you can live free and brave. Suck me!
This from a man who recently called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

Just a few short years ago, Ted Nugent said that you should not criticize they very system that allows you to live free and brave. Now he criticizes this nation and our president almost daily.

What has changed to make the American right go from being patriotic, never criticizing the government and following the letter of the law to this bizarre combination of fake patriotism/hating the government, tin-foil hat stuff? Is it because we have a black president? Is it the barrage of Fox News misinformation 24 hours a day? The dumbing down of the U.S. media? The astro-turfing of the Koch brothers? The anti-intellectualism of the American right? Fears of the unknown?

In April of 2008, then-candidate Obama stated during the Pennsylvania primary:

They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

President Obama took a whole lot of heat for that comment in 2008 and he was forced to apologize; however, he could not have been more correct with that statement. Thanks to the do-nothing Congress, no help has come for the common man/woman. The middle class is dying and people are scared. They cling to what is comfortable to them and their fears are being stoked by right-wing media and Republican leaders who will not say or do anything to correct those who are spreading lies. The GOP establishment sees this as their way to return to power. Instead of doing something to help the citizens of this country, the Republican Party would rather see our president fail. If our president fails, then our nation fails. I was critical of the George W. Bush administration. He was, in my opinion, the worst president our country has ever had; however, I never once wished for him to fail.

If you look at images from the civil rights protests, and you look at the people who were against civil rights for people of color—they look kind of silly in today's context.

Little Rock, 1959. Rally at state capitol, protesting the integration of Central High School. Protesters carry US flags and signs reading
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1959

The protest signs from the right are very similar as they were in the 1950s and 1960s (although they could spell better back then). During those decades, American conservatives feared integration. They saw society changing and it scared them. At times the protests and their actions turned violent. And you know, the same things are happening today. The world is changing. They are afraid of these changes. In 20 to 30 years we will look back upon their protests, their threats of secession, and the American right will look pretty silly once again.

Today's Republican Party is on the wrong side of history, and in many ways history is repeating itself. While the GOP has tried to portray itself as the "law and order" party, they have never really been about law and order for themselves.

That is for other people.

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