Today, Richard Nixon would be considered a flaming liberal. In Nixon's day, Barack Obama would have passed as a typical conservative; except, if you remove considerations of civil rights from consideration, he might even be a fairly hard line conservative.
The Bill of Rights is pretty well shredded. Freedom of speech is fast becoming the special privilege of corporations. Economic pressures, fueled by greedy shareholders, have eviscerated the press, leaving freedom the press virtually meaningless.
The most important part of the Fifth Amendment is probably the takings clause, which is interpreted to restrict the right of the government to regulate property.
Perhaps, the Second Amendment is the most important amendment, giving people the right to arm themselves with anything short of a nuclear weapon.
All this right-wing nonsense might be somewhat understandable if it were necessary to provide for a good life; however, the economy is becoming as dysfunctional as the ridiculous political system.
Watching people rebel politically or in the streets in Iceland and Greece, while people in the United States express their frustrations with the tea party, makes me noxious. My problem with the tea party movement is one of political jealousy. Many of the participants share my frustration at the class bias of the system, but they seem confused, mistaking late capitalism or socialism. Sure, the tax system is rigged against ordinary people, but it works in favor of the same people who are running the tea party movement.
Unfortunately, the left (if there is such a thing) seems unable to articulate a strong call to action. Instead, our anger bubbles up periodically -- today, over the evisceration of education; tomorrow, over an escalation or extension of the war; or maybe even the promotion of a protest candidate, but a systematic program is nowhere to be found in the public dialogue.
What is to be done (but vent)? I hope not.