The oil washing onto the shores of the American southeast is just the most recent lightning rod for the anger and frustration which has been washing over the United States of America.
Gone is the sense of anticipation, renewal and hope symbolized by the Presidential campaign and election of Barack Obama less than two years ago. In the face of an unsustainable national debt, the President's legislative efforts have stalled; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan persist; the economy tattered; and the optimism trashed.
As the beaches, fishery and industry surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, along with the resources of its precious waters are slowly destroyed; President Obama and his administration along with the giant oil company at the root of the problem are sharing the mounting hue and cry to make it stop!
To digress: When this is over, the only thing that will not have changed is the Continent's insatiable thirst for the energy resources which lie deep within the earth's crust. In reality America burns through the millions of gallons now spilt in the Gulf of Mexico in less than half-a-day...each and every day!
The emergence of extreme right-of-centre partisan movements symbolized most recently by the "Tea Party," may just jeopardize America's last hope of retaining the vaunted and deserved reputation as the greatest nation on earth. Even democracy itself could suffer a damaging blow.
The Washington Post describes the recent hijacking of the State of Maine's Republican Party platform by supporters of the "Tea Party" as a: "Manifesto of Insanity". By implication the support for the movement could have untold consequences on the relationship between Canada and the United-States. As it gears-up for the State's Gubernatorial Elections this November, the Maine GOP has adopted an extremist platform which calls for...(wait for it!) - "SEAL U.S. BORDERS." The platform also advocates abolishing the U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Department of Education.
Passage of the platform caused the Washington Post to ponder the question: "Do our friends Down East fear an invasion from the Canadian Maritime Provinces?" Across the United-States, angry and desperate Americans are identifying with this conservative and anti-government movement; and in the process giving it increasing legitimacy. Observers note that so far the Tea Party has been credited this spring with political victories in several states - Kentucky, Utah, Massachusetts among them.
It's difficult to gaze into the crystal balls of either mainstream American national parties: The Democrats and The Republicans. But accounting for voter anger and discontent will have to figure prominently as the parties gear-up for the mid-term elections in the fall, and further down the road to the 2012 Presidential election campaigns. Those campaigns are likely to launch in earnest by 2011, in as little as eight or nine months.
At this stage; America's drastic political shift away from the optimism of the Obama Presidential campaign and election of 2008 is not likely to bode well for the enduring relationship of our two nations.