Arizona law exposes Tea Party hypocrisy



Arizona’s new, police-state immigration law is so repressive and un-American, even hard-core rightwingers and anti-illegal-immigrant stalwarts like Karl Rove and Rep. Tom Tancredo are speaking out against it. Under the law, police in Arizona can stop anyone at any time and order him/her to produce proof that he/she is in the U.S. legally; all the police have to do is say they had a “reasonable suspicion” that the person was here illegally. If this kind of police action sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen war movies in which fascist or communist authorities stop people and ask them to “show us your papers.”

What this writer wants to know is where are all the folks from Fox/TeaParty World? You know – those who say they’re strongly opposed to tyrannical government intrusion into citizens’ lives? So far, we haven’t heard of even one Tea Party spokesperson or honcho speaking out against Arizona’s particular brand of homegrown fascism. In fact, the Arizona Tea Party website builders are really excited about and supportive of the law; one commenter there wrote about banning the “criminals from Mexico” who “rape our women, murder our men, and make our children drug addicts.” (Wow, those must be some super-powerful immigrants to do all that.)

I’d love to be able to say I’m surprised, but more often than not, Tea Partiers’ anti-government pose is based on either paranoid fantasies such as health care death panels, or personal grievances over having to pay taxes.  Their silence about, or outright support of, this new Southwestern Reich exposes the shallowness of the Tea Parties’ “Don’t Tread On Me” sentiments and their rhetoric about personal liberty. If  the Tea Partiers don’t have enough genuine belief in freedom (i.e., freedom for everyone, not just white conservatives) to condemn Arizona’s drift toward authoritarianism, they will confirm the opinion many Americans have already formed of them as ill-informed racists.


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