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We, the members of the Congressional Tea Party caucus, present our first formal list of demands, which we will soon introduce on the floor as HR-666. Our nation is in peril and for it we can no longer stand. We face mounting debts at the state and national level, we have government entering every home, school and church in America, and we need change.

In the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos, California, many residents work in the headquarters of high-tech companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook. The town boasts a median family income of $150,000 and is known for its upscale housing developments, which even now sell for $1 million a piece on average. The town is also a hotspot for marijuana-related violence.

The United States’ national deficit exceeds $13 trillion—over $42,000 per US resident. With U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) at $14 trillion in 2009, our debt-to-GDP ratio is 93 percent and growing. Japan enjoyed 90 percent debt-to-GDP levels in 1995. Following two decades of stagnant growth, Japan now risks exceeding 190 percent. 15 years from now, America’s Debt-to-GDP ratio may double as well.

When I moved to New York City last year to attend Columbia University, I knew that finding housing would be a challenge; after three weeks of frustration, I finally managed to find an acceptable studio apartment one mile north of campus. What I didn’t know was that the apartment was available because the previous tenant had recently leapt to his death out of the 15th-story window. That element of surrealism would foreshadow some of my sociological experiences in the new building.

One of my first assignments at Columbia, for University Writing, was to sit in Bryant Park for an afternoon and write about my experience there. I hopped on the subway and headed downtown excited, eager to discover some wonderful secret of New York City. However, when I arrived at the park, I was immediately taken aback by the scene of poverty before my eyes. Instead of glamorous fashion or an urban oasis, I found a sick, elderly woman digging for food in a garbage bin, and, underneath a tree, an old veteran desperately shaking a cup in hopes of a few coins. A wonderful secret, indeed.

A few years back I, too, was a hardworking, idealistic college student who, like many politically active students, thought I might run for office one day. Friends of mine would join me to discuss politics as I tended bar after class at the West End (now Havana Central). We talked about political races the way most people discussed football stats. To us, watching Meet the Press on Sunday mornings was as exciting as Monday night football (well, almost as exciting). The idea of running for office one day was something we all dreamed about.

We seem to love to consume the myth that some man will lead us to the promised land absent any real struggle or sacrifice on our part. In this, as in other aspects, Barack Obama is a product of the politics of our day. We not only adore the myth that a man will give us a good speech and lead us to progress, we adore the idea that we won’t be required to do any real work or make any real sacrifice ourselves.

Few issues bring forth such bilious bombast as the firefight between gun advocates and anti-gun activists. Shootings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech recently brought questions of gun control back into the public consciousness. Now, as the Supreme Court prepares in this summer’s District of Columbia v. Heller to address the 2nd Amendment for the first time since 1939’s U.S. v. Miller, the bile is rising once more.

It has become a liberal truism that Muslim Americans would not want to vote for the party of the administration responsible for the violation of their civil liberties, but—surprise —Muslim Republicans exist. Columbia Political Science Professor Robert Shapiro notes that these assumptions are rooted in liberal attitudes, rather than an analysis of voting trends and the motives behind them.