Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Tea Party time-machine!

It isn’t unusual for a party to run a campaign promising a return to the good old days. For the Republican Party this year, it would be wise to run on a campaign promising a return to the Reagan years, contrasting the deregulation and the economic growth of that era with current day expansion of federal power and a stagnant economy. However, many candidates who the Republicans have put forward seem to look even further back than that, to the great years of American history, such as 1953, 1947 and 1692.

First is Joe Miller’s recent assertion that the 17th amendment needs to be repealed to return power to the states. The 17th amendment, for those who’ve lost count already, establishes that the population of each state elects their own senators. Before its passage, the state legislatures or, in some states, governors, appointed their own choices of candidates to the United States Senate. Perhaps this is a sign of admission from Miller that he is not cut out for the rigors of the campaign trail. What fun is there to be had in abusing power when you have to earn the trust of the people first? Then again, maybe he simply wishes the Alaskan political process could have been expedited by his benefactor Sarah Palin simply appointing him to the Senate. Either way, Miller pines away for the days before people were allowed to choose who represented them. It’s not as if he is one of the more well-known faces of a movement that claims to want to take power back into the hands of the people.

  Of course, Miller doesn’t just want to strip away rights from American citizens. He also wouldn’t mind implementing a bit of a police state. In a recent interview concerning his stance on illegal immigration and control of the border, Joe Miller sent a shout-out to his social control model of choice: “If East Germany could, we could,” control cross-border traffic. There is an inherent problem in giving people guns and a blanket order to kill anyone who crosses an imaginary line. I don’t think Miller sees it.

At the same town-hall where Miller rolled out his idea for a Soviet Bloc-style border security arrangement, he also rolled out a small-scale version of his own interpretation of the Stasi. When a reporter started asking him a question deemed ideologically unsuitable, Miller apparently summoned a private security detail to escort the reporter away. The private security guards were also getting used to the new role they would be playing in Alaskan life by “arresting” the reporter for a number of infractions, mainly trespassing upon a public event, and possibly being un-American and a traitor to the people. In the words of his opponent, Scott McAdams, “[Joe Miller], in case you were unaware, the Constitution also applies to reporters.” But in these hard times, some of us have to give up our Constitutional freedoms to protect the constitution. The scary part is that the previous sentence actually makes sense to Joe Miller.

Compared to Joe Miller’s desire to return to 1947 on the wrong side of the iron curtain, Rand Paul’s promise of segregated lunch counters and schools of 1953 seems almost timid. In an appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show, he claimed that the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1954 shouldn’t apply to businesses. It should be any establishment’s right to deny people of certain races entrance, because it is a right they reserve by owning said establishment, he argues. This runs roughshod over Brown v. Board of Education by again reiterating, in a different way, that facilities segregated by race can be separate but equal. It doesn’t help that his metaphor for explaining it likens black bar patrons to loaded firearms. Serving non-white people is a safety liability for businesses then? Paul claims he is “not in favor of any discrimination of any form,” but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind living in an all-white gated community. He might even be willing to locate a polling center in one.

The most idyllic time recalled by the Republican Senate nominees this year is close to our own hearts: Salem, 1692.

Christine O’Donnell has no issues with religious dogma controlling the law. Once accused of witchcraft, she has admirably proven herself innocent by crusading against masturbation, and she is now willing to fight to give Americans the right to be judged by religious tribunals. Because this country is not based on such ungodly concepts as the right to freely practice any religion and separation of church and state. “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” she defiantly asked her opponent Chris Coons in a televised debate. When her opponent brought up the first amendment, she was incredulous. “That’s in the first amendment?” she asked. Naturally, that amendment must be unconstitutional.

We will have to wait until tomorrow night to see, but I believe that American people are not longing for the days of the Salem witch trials, the Cold War, or the segregated South. For one, they’re already too used to those silly yellow buses. Sens. Boehner and DeMint, may I humbly recommend sticking with Reagan next time?

Yaroslav Mikhaylov is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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  • N

    NickDec 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    At least make an attempt at understanding the people you criticize before writing an article about them. While you’re at it, stop letting MSNBC and all your liberal professors form your political opinions, it doesn’t benefit a journalist to be so gullible and one-sided.

  • M

    MattNov 2, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Okay Ben…

    “Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    Seperation of church (religion) and state (the law making body of the U.S. government)

    It certainly is in the first amendment, Have you even read it? it’s only a few lines long.

    Morality is an extension of the human mind, involving our ability to relate to other humans, and perpetuate our genetic lines. You think people would have never realized murder was wrong without religion; and feeding the poor isn’t the right thing to do?

    That’s absurd, religion has no place in politics, because our country is not a Roman Catholic country. It is a country of many differing beliefs. And it’s time for people to stop slamming their personal religious beliefs down everyone’s throats.

    For instance, abortion is a safe medical practice that can be used to prevent a child being born unto parents that cannot support a child. Stem cell research could cure a multitude of ailments. And how is it religions place to govern policies that the writers of the bible could have never imagined.

    Those texts were written thousands of years ago, and do not apply to many of the situations in our modern world. Even the constitution is not capable of governing most of these situations alone.

    And as far as slavery is concerned, why couldn’t religion prevent it if its believers are so perfectly moral? Perhaps it happened because Southern religious believers happened to read

    ” When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)”

    But I guess JUST that part of the bible isn’t true…right?
    Now if you want to talk about being a good moral person…feeding the poor, not stealing, never killing a human being
    These are all beliefs an atheist could understand just as easily…and they wouldn’t believe a fictional story about creation is scientific in any way either.

    It makes me sick to think that some republican/teaparty/conservatives think it’s our freedom to have our children(and future leaders of this country) taught creationism alongside evolution(a tested and documented process). How is an undocumented text from thousands of years ago as legitimate as tangible evidence?

    Can you think of any other countries who are so controlled by radical religious believers? Hmmm…perhaps the ones that Christians, in the name of god mind you, murdered for nearly two centuries in the crusades.

    There are just as many ridiculous things to believe in the bible as there are in the koran. So for the love of “god”, keep it away from our childrens’ minds and our governments laws. (namely the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution)

  • B

    BenNov 1, 2010 at 7:32 am

    By the way, how could Sarah Palin appoint Miller to the Senate when she isn’t even the governor anymore? I swear, this has got to be one of the most nonsensical articles I have ever read in the Collegian. No, it isn’t just nonsensical, it’s dishonest. You have made no attempt to fairly represent these candidates’ views.

    Keep it up and they’ll give you a job on MSNBC!

  • B

    BenNov 1, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Joe Miller is awesome.

  • B

    BenNov 1, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Also, our religious sensibilities are regularly reflected in our laws. Once upon atime, slavery was acceptable in (part of) America. And then a lot of Bible-thumping zealots (abolitionists) made their case to the nation that slavery was incompatible with religious morality. And they won.

    Then came another group of religous men, let’s just call them Rev. Martin Luther King, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and others. And they too made their arguments against segregation in religious tones. They won their quarrel with the American people too. They succeeded in convincing the public that segregation was an intrinsic moral evil. Basically, that it was a very un-Christian way to treat their neighbors.

    As MLK wrote in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: “One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”

    The reason we don’t have pologamy in this country is because the public maintains a moral objection to it, rooted largely in our Judeo-Christian tradition. Even today, there are clergy and laity who organize and fight for all sorts of issues–single payer healthcare, AIDS research, environmentalism, poverty programs–from a distinctly religous viewpoint. Are they trying to legislate their morality? You betcha!

    Why don’t you write an article about them, Yaroslav? Cause you’re a hypocrite, that’s why.

  • B

    BenOct 31, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    This is not a good faith attempt to portray the actual policy stances of candidates. Especially the Rand Paul one.

    If you think that private institutions can’t discriminate just ask Smith College, the United Negro College Fund, and Curves. They all practice discrimination of one kind or another (against men, non-blacks, and men, respectively). So does the University of Massachusetts–and they’re public!

    This sentence jumped out at me: “Because this country is not based on such ungodly concepts as the right to freely practice any religion and separation of church and state.”

    You’re right about that. This country was NOT founded on the “seperation of church and state”! It’s nowhere in the Constitution and no one ever claimed that it was until ex-KKK member Justice Hugo Black salvaged it, wholly out of context, from the letters of Thomas Jefferson. By the way, the letters of Jefferson are not the Constitution and TJ wasn’t even at the Constitutional Convention as he was serving as our ambassador to France at the time. He had zero input into its text.

    O’Donnell was right about the seperation of church and state not being in the first amendment. Have you even read it? I doubt you have, you simply believe it because that particular falsehood has been repreated over and over again so many times that it must be true.

    I guess I missed the part about religious tribunals. I doubt she said that. I wish you would have provided an actual quote so I could see what she said. Based on your extensive dishonesty in this column, I don’t trust what you say.