These days, Steny Hoyer, our elected public servant from Mechanicsville, continues to amaze and dismay me every time he opens his mouth.
He had the nerve yesterday to state during his weekly press briefing, "the need for all public officials—all members of Congress of either party—to urge the American people and conduct ourselves in a way that provides an environment for civility.... That debate ought to be civil, ought to be constructive, and ought to be designed to educate the public, not incite the public."
Is this the same man who called the citizens who refused to be cowed during last summer's town-hall meetings "un-American"?
Isn't he the House Majority Leader for the party that has called everyday Americans who disagree with the current administration just about every derogatory name in the political playbook - Nazi, brownshirt, thug, Astro-Turf, racist, and a vulgar term I refuse to repeat?
Isn't he from the ideological side of the aisle that excoriated President Bush for most of his term, frequently describing and portraying him as a Nazi, and promoting a book that advocated his assassination? Does he think our memories are that short?
Or is it all good because it's Democrats and liberals and all their dependents doing it, and it's only wrong when the serfs, whose labor pays for everything, have the nerve to speak out and push back?
Mr. Hoyer and others of his ilk have no authority to urge civility. Columnist and scholar Victor Davis Hansen concisely and accurately describes who killed civility with their histrionics during the 1st decade of the 21st century:
"Like it or not, between 2001 & 2008, the 'progressive' community redefined what is acceptable and not acceptable in political & public discourse about their elected officials. Slurs like "Nazi" and "fascist" and "I hate" were no longer the old street-theater derangement of the 1960s, but were elevated to high-society novels, films, political journalism, & vein-bulging outbursts of our elites."
So in response to Mr. Hoyer's request, I offer the following: You first.
How about an apology to the military veterans for declaring their expressions of anger toward a government that no longer listens to them "un-American?" These men and women swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution," wore their nation's uniform and flew her colors overseas, and made sacrifices which were immeasurably greater than becoming a career politician. They deserve better from their elected officials.
How about making amends with the women who comprise the majority of the Tea Party movement? When you declare us to be racists, Nazis or worse, you disparage the millions of mothers and grandmothers who work hard every day, obey the law, raise our families, and have taken to the streets for the first time in their lives because they are afraid of the damaged nation you're leaving for their children and grandchildren.
How about refraining from lecturing everyday Americans about race when your party has treated black Americans like lab rats for 45 years? Since 1965, your social experiments have destroyed the two-parent black family, killed over 17 million unborn black children, rejected parental choice in education, thereby condemning generations of young black people to lives of poverty and crime, and neutered the black church into apologists for the Democratic Party rather than a transcendent force for righteousness in the world and charity in the neighborhood.
We don't need a lecture from any Democrat on racism, especially when they are expert practitioners of the velvet-gloved racism that presumes people of color are perpetual victims, incapable of navigating Thomas Jefferson's "boisterous sea of liberty" without holding on to the heavy hand of government.
To the black apologists who've been whipping white liberals into a frenzy over racism, real or perceived, giving cover to their condescension toward us, I ask, "Whatever happened to liberty?" Wasn't the goal of over 400 years of struggle to become sovereign individuals in a land of freedom, rather than a monolithic group demanding conformity to a single worldview and shunning anyone who dares to think critically and differently? Why have we exchanged the physical and legal chains of slavery and institutionalized discrimination for the mental and spiritual chains of government dependency and victimhood?
Civility is a two-way street, and I categorically reject the notion that the responsibility rests solely with those who oppose the current government. Our anger comes not from racism or incivility, but from being ignored, then belittled, and now demonized. Mark well the words of a CNN correspondent who recently traveled with the Tea Party Express, and learn who it is you're really slighting:
"When it comes to the Tea Party movement, the stereotypes don't tell the whole story. Here's what you often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: offensive posters blasting President Obama and Democratic leaders; racist rhetoric spewed from what seems to be a largely white, male audience; and angry protesters rallying around the Constitution.
"But here's what you don't often see in the coverage of Tea Party rallies: Patriotic signs professing a love for country; mothers and fathers with their children; African-Americans proudly participating; and senior citizens bopping to a hip-hop rapper.
" By and large, no one I spoke with or I heard from on stage said anything that was approaching racist. Almost everyone I met was welcoming to this African-American television news producer."
When I was young and naïve, I used to think politicians respected the people because they owed their positions of power and influence to them. If the Tea Party movement has accomplished anything, it's exposed these pompous would-be potentates and their sycophants in the press, academia and the entertainment industry for who they really are. They are so taken aback by this popular uprising that they couldn't hide their contempt, and it's been captured on TV, in print, and the Internet for all of us to see. Their supposedly superior brains are drowning in venom, and all they can do is hurl insults, the last refuge of scoundrels.
So spare us the lecture on civility. We'll bring civility back to our nation's capital - once we rid it of career politicians like Steny Hoyer and replace them with citizen representatives who understand the proper positional relationship between our government and its people.
Ron Miller, of Huntingtown, is a military veteran, conservative writer and activist, communications director for the Calvert County Republican Party, and executive director of Regular Folks United, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Ron is a regular contributor to RegularFolksUnited.com, American Thinker, and RedCounty.com. You can also follow Ron on his website TeamRonMiller.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook.