The Greatest Danger America Has Ever Faced
Almost all the articles and papers on this website were first published in the print media, while a few first appeared on-line. An exception is the following piece, which makes its debut here.
First came the hippies and the yippies, then the yuppies, the nimbies, and all of their ilk. I wonder if another such group hasn't already invaded. They're all around us, we constantly see them, even when we do everything in our power to ignore them.
This time it's the "SIMPIES." The letters stand for "Single Issue Militant Partisans." They keep getting in our way, they're constantly under foot, and they never stop bothering us and everyone else about their favorite cause, whatever it may be.
What's more, they're not the least bit quiet. They love to make all the noise they can, and they love to get into arguments with you. Getting into arguments is really their life blood.
But you can't really argue with Simpies. They're already convinced that they're completely informed and totally right. Some would go further and claim the "p" in Simpie stands not just for partisan but for pest or punk instead, even phoney or psycho, or perhaps something quite unprintable.
What Simpies support is one sideand one side onlyof a single and seemingly simple issue. For them, it is the only side that matters, the only one worth fighting for, almost regardless of what the cause may be.
Because their cause matters, they matter, and because they matter, whatever anyone else may think is irrelevant.
There was once a time when people were supposed to think in terms of an entire society, consider all the issues at stake, try and form some overall view of those issues before reaching for the flags and banners.
Even 'Sixties activists paid homage to this notion in their way, launching not just single issue crusades but a whole spectrum of causes: peace, civil rights, feminism, drugs, ecology, free sex and respect for other people's free sex.
Naturally some people preferred one cause over another. But you'd find all of them covered in most underground newspapers of the day, and all were considered part of the "movement."
Now any group with a publication, a mailing list, twenty people with strong lungs, and a few members willing to be arrested for misdemeanors can seemingly score vast political victories.
They can aim at blotting from the national landscape all rival groups, regardless of their size, importance, or more carefully researched positions.
We all know exactly who these groups are, we know that they do not constitute anything like a real majority on their issues of choice, and yet their members continue to beleaguer and besiege us with their campaigns.
Who are these people I call Simpies? You probably already know all too well. They are first and foremost the anti-abortion activists, who insist on turning a heart-rending decision into a virtually impossible one for many American families.
This brand of Simpies insists that it is wrong to commit what they call murder but perfectly permissible to go on torturing poor and defenceless women and children for years to come.
Simpies can be made to leap on cue as a single mass, chanting and screaming their shouts and songs, creating the illusion that a new and vast movement is abroad in the land, when we know from almost all public opinion polls that this is simply not true.
Others too have followed the Simpie path and cheated this nation of what would have been the first catastrophic health care program for senior citizens in our history. In many states they have also attempted to legislate what language this nation of foreigners must speak.
Or they have attempted to define what constitutes science, not only the natural history of life on earth, but even the age and scope of the universe.
Or they have deafened our ears with their never-ending cries for silent prayer in our schools.
Other Simpies are opposed to flag burning, they are absolutely convinced beyond all possible persuasion that America is mainly about the beauties of our flag, not about our freedom to criticize whatever we choose, including the flag.
Almost anyone has a chance of starting a Simpie crusadeI recently heard a Philadelphia radio announcer haranguing his listeners to sign up behind his constitutional amendment to revoke the national income tax.
Once this enormous injustice had been corrected, he said, all the nation's other problems would take care of themselves. He boasted that he and his listeners would soon be in a position to bring the nation to its knees. Who knowshe could just turn out to be right.
Although our government has rigorously tried to separate church and state, there has been a persistent element of religious dogma in at least some of these Simpie campaigns, not to mention overt religious hysteria.
And there is indeed a strong religious side to the Simpie make-up. It is as though all those infected with such convictions, regardless of the cause or the stand, were filled with such divine inspiration that they cannot help but preach the One and Only Truth, cannot help but stand up in the revival meeting to declare themselves among the faithful, cannot help but act out their feelings in other more ominous ways.
It is also not surprising that when Simpies and Simpie sympathizers are asked to elaborate on their beliefs, they fall back on near paranoid notions of a "secular humanist" plot depriving humanity of true freedom and dignity.
According to these Simpies, such fiendish secular humanists have been contriving for centuries to befuddle humanity, and any belief in normal curiosity, including all of modern science and technologyeverything since the Renaissance, in factmust be a part of this horrendous plot, with the ancient Greeks and Romans not much better.
It is obvious that the Simpies cannot run a modern nation: they lack the skills, the sophistication, perhaps even the belief that modern nations are necessary. And so they treat other members of society to prolonged screaming fits.
They keep all the rest of us in a state of constant disarray, fighting unending brush fires in unexpected forums across the nation.
But ultimately the Simpies have no answers beyond their screaming, no coordinated strategy, no programs for the future, assuming they even believe in one.
Yet our elected officers, even our highest leaders, have not hesitated to play along with these simpies and their sentiments whenever they find it appropriate, even to encourage them.
As the nation gears up for the rigors of an election year, we might all do well to consider how far we intend to cater to these simpies, to what extent this nation can continue to grant favors and legislative power on the strength of revival camp enthusiasm.
If we fail to stand up to Simpiesor if we prefer to postpone the battle until we are better prepared to wage itwe may discover that there is no America left to defend.
This piece is Copyright © 2000
by Alexander Gross. It may be
reproduced for individuals and for
educational purposes only. It may
not be used for any commercial (i.e.,
money-making) purpose without
written permission from the author.
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