Have you ever heard of Karl Rove? If you haven’t, allow me to introduce you to him. He is a very conservative political strategist, consultant and policy advisor. Rove has been a consistently outspoken voice for conservatives, a position that has resulted in him being labeled one of the most conservative men in America.
Now as anyone who knows me will testify that Karl Rove and I would not get along; our politics are diametrically opposed on just about every issue. However, having said that, I was surprised to find that an action by one political group earlier this year led me to feel offended on Mr. Rove’s behalf, something which I had honestly believed was impossible until it happened. That political group was, as you might have already guessed, the Tea Party, and that action was comparing Karl Rove to a Nazi and even going so far as to Photoshop a picture of Rove wearing the uniform of none other than Heinrich Himmler, who as we all know was the prime mover behind the Holocaust and its atrocities.
The first question to ask is: why would they do this? It doesn’t make any sense; Rove should be a poster boy for the Tea Party – why would they do something so heinous? In addition to raising money for the now irrelevant Tea Party, this political ad was a response to Karl Rove’s creation of the group he refers to as The Conservative Victory Project. The Victory Project’s focus is to nominate conservative candidates that are actually “electable” to run for government office. The way Rove sees it, candidates like Michelle Bachmann or Todd Akin (you know, the “legitimate rape” guy) will never be elected because their views are so extremely conservative that they wind up alienating more voters than they attract. If the Republican party wants to have a real future in government, they need to start backing more serious candidates, ones who are more capable and centrist enough to attract larger numbers of voters, as opposed to people who, say, consider witchcraft to be a legitimate issue. Rove sees that too, which is why he created the Conservative Victory Project.
Naturally, the Tea Party did not share Rove’s view on the electability of their candidates and they went on the attack. They sent out a letter to all of their members. Attached was the aforementioned image of Nazi Rove and it read as follows:
Karl Rove thinks he can raise hundreds of millions of dollars, crush the Tea Party, and protect the big-government status quo in Washington from millions of freedom loving Americans. Well, he’s wrong.
The letter goes on to ask for monetary contributions to the Tea Party, which would ultimately build up to the million-dollar mark they want to reach.
I have to say that I am angered and disgusted on yet another level by the Tea Party. They have crippled sophisticated, respectful and productive political discourse but in doing so they fall back on unfounded personal attacks and historically and factually invalid claims. Just because you disagree with someone politically does not give you permission to attack them on a personal level or to wrongfully label them a Socialist, or a Communist or a Nazi. I have news for you, Tea Party: Karl Rove is not a Nazi, nor is President Obama a Socialist, nor would it really be that bad if a president were a Socialist, because it is a legitimate political theory. But the Tea Party, along with anyone else who throws those arbitrary insults around, doesn’t seem to know that.
And furthermore, Tea Party, I can assure you that just about everyone in this country, Democrats and Republicans alike, loves freedom; we just have different ideas about how to govern a nation. But that’s the whole point of political discourse: to discuss, decide and compromise on the best ways to manage our country, and that’s exactly what the Tea Party has, to a large extent, successfully worked to derail. I stand happily beside Mr. Rove in saying, “enough is enough.”
American politics desperately need to get serious again, which is why I commend Karl Rove for his creation of the Conservative Victory Group. We have a right to state and debate our opinions without being called a Nazi. There are rational voices on both sides of the aisle, and everyone should make more of an effort to enable those voices to be heard and not drowned out by the cries of a vocal but misguided and uninformed minority.
So if Rove’s Conservative Victory Project results in a greater number of centrist Republicans being elected, I’ll be happy. No, I might not agree with them on most matters – in fact I probably won’t – but I’ll be happy because it is my hope that those who are elected will be more willing to come to the table and compromise on important issues rather than continue to let petty elementary school politics continue to divide and lower the level of conversation. •