We shall have much to discuss as the summer progresses, however, as political opponents prepare themselves for battle during the late primaries and fall elections. Many of this year’s contests may be, shall we say, amusing.
It’s always interesting how the cultural shifts brought about by new technologies or new movements seem to spawn new vocabulary over night. In the past decade or so, the political “right” in this country has lost its center and shifted toward what used to be regarded, even by traditional conservatives, as the extreme. This has resulted in the creation of some new terms and the popularization of others, such as “birthers,” “anchor babies,” and “Blue Dog” Democrats—not to mention tea parties, tea bags, and the like.
A word that seems to be used more and more often is “tentherism,” the belief that the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be construed to greatly limit the powers of the federal government. The amendment reads as follows:
As anti-government sentiment and right-wing extremism continue to grow, more and more people are beginning to ascribe extreme interpretations to some parts of the Constitution, including this one. Extreme “tenthers” interpret the Tenth Amendment in such a way as to essentially invalidate most, if not all, powers of the government that the document as a whole created.
This is one of issues at the root of all political discourse in this country: Are we Americans first? Or are we New Yorkers, Arizonans, Californians, or Floridians first? To what collective body do we most owe our allegiance?