While Rand Paul was marching to victory in Kentucky on Tuesday, Faisal Shahzad was arraigned in New York.
Much has been made about the story of Shahzad, mostly about his ineptitude as a terrorist.
His other story line is more common.
In these diverse times, Shahzad, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, was no different from many Americans and considered a normal suburbanite . But when the American dream slipped away due to foreclosure and money pressures, the radicalization of the “boy next door” began.
Darn it. If he were white, he could have joined the Tea Party.
But that group is so radical in a different way that a Shahzad wouldn’t have been welcome to pass out tea bags.
If there was a doubt about that, Rand Paul dispelled it this week.
Paul –a Tea Party devotee and as of this week, the newly minted Republican nominee from Kentucky to the Senate–showed his true colors when he made his victory speech for public office in a private country club.
Being elitist is one thing, but when you add his public denouncement of the Civil Rights Act, you have a true radical in public life in America.
It’s as radical a perspective from a different direction as the radical fundamentalism of Shahzad.
I won’t condemn Paul for having his views. That would be undemocratic. And our democracy allows for the freedom to have stupid opinions.
But I will condemn his vile beliefs as having no place in modern society.
To be a poltically-fundamentalist American is no less radical a belief to fear in a new diverse America.