THE BLOG
09/16/2010 11:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Christine O'Donnell and the Diminishing of America's Number One Status

Christine O'Donnell's election in Delaware's Republican Senate primary on September 14th was a big surprise and a big win for the Tea Party movement. This is the same person who argued that masturbation was a form of adultery. Even Karl Rove said about O'Donnell, "there's just a lot of nutty things she's been saying." When a crazy person accuses you of being crazy, that's bad. That's like an alcoholic who prefers beer disparaging another alcoholic because he drinks whiskey. That doesn't change the fact that they both wake up on the bathroom floor with a black eye and missing shoes. Yeah, I speak from experience.

Christine O'Donnell and the rest of the Tea Party movement love to say that America is number one! Yet it is precisely the candidacy of people like O'Donnell, Sarah Palin, and Alaskan Senatorial candidate Joe Miller and the generally extremist language of the Tea Party as a whole that are devaluing America around the world. How can you see a poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache and not think we're a nation full of crazy people? Tea Party members are so ridiculous they could see a baby with a smudge of dirt right below his nose and accuse that baby of supporting Hitler and hating America. They might even call that baby a communist, not knowing that communism and fascism are entirely different things.

The argument that America is number one always makes me laugh because people say it with no sense of history. People act like we're supposed to be number one forever. Did you graduate 8th grade social studies class? History books are littered with the rise and fall of empires far greater than our own. Remember Rome, Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt? I don't think Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was walking around wearing a shirt resembling the Roman flag chanting "we're number one, we're number one."

We don't have to go back to ancient times to find former number ones. Portugal, the same country that is now an afterthought for rich white kids planning their European summer vacation, once had the largest empire in the world. During the 16th Century, Portugal controlled all trade in the Indian Ocean and established colonies throughout the world. However, due to its smaller population and inability to defend all of its trading posts, Portugal was overtaken by Spain as the most powerful country in the world. Spain enjoyed a nice run on top but they got greedy and tried to attack England, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 shifted power from Spain to England. Then a bunch of rowdy colonists put an end to British world supremacy. My point is that you don't see any of these countries getting all butt hurt over their place at the dinner table now.

In fact, as number ones go, we've had a pretty short run on top. We've really only been the most powerful country in the world since World War II. A Tea Party member would never admit it, but the main reason we became the most powerful country in the world is that World War II was not fought on our soil. We received all the benefits of economic stimulation and none of the disadvantages of having our homes bombed. It's amazing how you can jump to number one when you don't have to jump over big piles of rubble.

Members of the Tea Party movement love words like freedom, honor, pride, and they say things like, "We're the only nation like us in the world." I agree with this point. I would go so far as to say every country in the world is the only country like it in the world. Maybe that is why it is an independent country. In fact, every country is number one at something in the world. Estonia is number one in the world for adult literacy, Italy is number one for caesarean sections, and Australia is number one for car thefts. Maybe we should be more specific when we say America is number one. Or maybe we should celebrate our number one status by eating cake, and then we can overtake American Samoa as the number one country for obesity in the world.

America is definitely not going to be number one if the Tea Party movement continues to gain steam. Even most Republicans seem less than excited by O'Donnell's win. The National Republican Senatorial Committee simply said, "We congratulate Christine O'Donnell for her nomination this evening after a hard-fought primary campaign in Delaware" and offered no predictions for November while Karl Rove went on Fox News and delivered his "nutty" remarks.

However, maybe Christine O'Donnell can overtake Sarah Palin as America's number one political cougar.