Does art imitate real life?
My novel, Tea Party, weaves a fantastic tale of how radio and television talk show hosts are used by a scheming anti-federalist named Brigadier General Thompson to take control of the United States.
Using the canard of government overreach (much of which was created by his army of conspirators), General Thompson is able to rally millions of weekend Patriots, hot with the fanned flames of talk radio and television pundits decrying an oppressive government out of control.
Today’s anti-federalists have embraced Cliven Bundy – a scofflaw to the tune of over $1 million dollars – as their government-gone-wild spokesperson of the moment.
Herein lies the Bundy Moment (I’m hoping to copyright the phrase) of the anti-federalist movement spreading across conservative America.
As hundreds of news cameras aimed their lenses at the cowboy-hatted rancher, the inevitable War of Aggression soliloquy proceeded to spew forth causing more reasoned anti-federalists to back-peddle faster than Almira Gulch in a whirlwind.
Not Sean Hannity.
For him, the principle of the thing is at the crux of the debate, not the spokesperson’s prehistoric views on race in America. And on this, we can agree.
And, what is that principle?
Let me be honest. I very much dislike the types of programming that Sean Hannity’s producers shovel over the airwaves. Shouting at guests, hammering three word slogans over and over again and lingering on mistaken concepts long after they’ve been disproven on factual grounds is not how I envision enlightened discourse.
I do not hold Hannity in the same contempt I do the likes of Rush Limbaugh, because I think that Hannity actually believes in his heart that he has a moral imperative to evangelize his worldview, in much the same way a religious fundamentalist proclaims The Truth – as though the Truth is an abstract, fixed singular reality one can embrace without question, to the abandonment of all other worldviews.
Hannity is a disciple and true believer of the doctrine of white man’s rage that has made Rush Limbaugh a very wealthy man.
But, the kernel of truth these talk-show hucksters understand is that American citizens sense an overwhelming loss of control in the day to day operation and direction of our country. This is the thing that motivated Jensen Michaels in Tea Party to support General Thompson originally – and what ultimately [SPOILER ALERT]: empowered him to take him down.
Cliven Bundy is representative of that basic, core instinct that things have gone terribly wrong in our country – yet, we lack the words or a course of action to address it.
I say that this is a Bundy Moment because of what it reveals about the dark heart of the distrust of our Federal Government. At the core is the yet unresolved issues of the reason behind the American Civil War, namely; how far should the United States Government go in regulating the moral actions of her citizens?
Cliven Bundy may be no more than a racist, opportunist using the issue of State’s rights to graze his cattle on the taxpayer’s dime, but Sean Hannity is right – it goes much deeper than that.
Perhaps, rather than make this Hannity’s petard, we can make it a true Bundy Moment and come to a reasonable discourse in America.