On the eighth anniversary of the death of Minnesota Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone, a progressive firebrand that the country sorely misses, I ask this question. I acknowledge the American public as a whole does not agree with the irrational views of the extreme right and the Tea-Bagger movement, but the noise is there and it is very loud. I want to show an example of a similar situation in a different time and how things began to change.

In 1948, the Democrats were holding their party convention at a time when the party, and the country, were deeply divided by a very intense issue. Race, race relations, and fairness. The United States was divided along geography of the Mason-Dixon line. The National Democratic party was the party of favor and choice of the segregationists of the South. They ruled the southern states with an iron fist. The southern faction of the party wanted no part of integration and equality of standing for blacks. Jim Crow was still the law of the land in the South. This was the “norm” in the country since the end of the War between the States, the mid-1860’s. So for over 60 years this racist policy existed, though morally and ethically wrong.

In 1948, the then mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hubert Humphrey addressed the convention with a fiery speech about the evils of segregation and legalized inequality. Mayor Humphrey’s speech was dubbed as the “most courageous speech to be delivered in the United States in the 20th century” by none other than Bill Moyers. Humphrey tore into the ignorance and hatefulness of Jim Crow and segregation. The entire Southern delegation got up and marched out of that convention. They formed a new political party known as the Dixiecrats. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was the nominated candidate by that party for a run for the Presidency of the country.

Because of that courageous speech given by Humphrey, the institutionalized racism and discrimination in our country began to unravel. It was a slow process, however, taking from that day in 1948 to the signing by President Johnson during his years of the “Great Society” of the landmark legislation known as the Voter’s Right’s bill and the passage of the key civil rights bills. Racism does still exist in the U.S. but, thanks to the courage, fairness, and foresight by leaders like Hubert Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson, and Martin Luther King, it is no longer tolerated.

Now, there is a new threat to the very decency and fairness of how our society operates. It is the extreme right-wing, primarily run by the Tea-Bagger movement, partially financed and 100% publicized by Fox News network. Though this movement is relatively new on the scene, because of advances in technology and Fox’s support, it has already become quite formidable. It took almost a full century to finally snuff out institutionalized racism aimed at Blacks, and we don’t want it to take that long to eradicate this new social blight.

Who is going to be the new Hubert Humphrey? Who is going to be the strong and credible progressive that can start the process of snuffing out the noise of hate, discrimination, lies, disrespect, and the general low-life nature of the Tea-Bagger movement? The way this right-wing movement is rolling its way over the American political landscape has been appalling. They show zero knowledge of our Constitution, they show no respect for their political opponents, they have no idea of how to campaign in a way that is not in the gutter, and they are basically bad for the American way of life. Their methods show them to be very prejudiced, very pro-American imperialism, and very much bought and paid for by Corporate America. Corporate America is the entity that favors tax cuts for themselves and sending production out of the country solely to pad their profits.

When researching the right-wing extreme movement, we find they are truly not in touch with America in the least. They pander to big business, big energy, Wall Street, big banking, and big insurance. This has become the target constituency for these candidates. You’ll notice nowhere do you see they are in favor of tax cuts for the middle class, for health care reform, for improving the quality and affordability of education, for relief from predatory practices by bank and mortgage companies that continue to rip families apart and send people to bankruptcy and foreclosure. No they don’t favor anything friendly for Americans, they favor the interests that actually contribute or cause the misery of Americans.

We need a leader to come forth to lead the fight. Jimmy Carter is the most knowledgable with the right heart, but he’s too old. Bill Clinton has all the right things going for him, but there are still too many extreme lefties that won’t follow his lead. The President can’t because he is the President and has too much else to do, as well as being the primary target of these fascist type right-wingers, so that begs the question again, who? Could he/she come from Minnesota again? Does Senator Al Franken have what it takes? Maybe. Maybe Governor Howard Dean? We need a strong and credible leader to head off what is going to be a miserable next two years for sure, and more likely longer. It’s time for progressive America to stand up for what is right for America. It’s time to stand up the extreme haters on the right, tax cuts and smaller government are meaningless if we are all owned and controlled by Corporate America. Let’s find a leader, a leader to have the balls to tell the Tea-Baggers to shut the fuck up and go read the Bible again to see if they can figure out the wrongs of their ways. Being fair and treating everyone equally and fairly is the “Christian” way. Denying basic civil rights to any group of Americans is wrong! Jesus would agree with that. Let me know how you feel, if we together can find a person to take the lead, I will help find a way to encourage our chosen individual to take the leadership. Thanks for today’s read, and seriously, let me know how you feel.
Cam Obert


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