Let’s fire up our imaginations for a moment, and picture how the political landscape in America might appear if a radicalized “Islamic Caucus” existed within our nation’s Congress. Their goals are simple: destroy the American government and install a theocracy in its place, while insisting — demanding, even — that the government be wholly run by them, and only by them. It’s their way or the highway, and anyone who disagrees is a Godless heathen who hates America.

Many of you read that first paragraph and thought “well, that’s never going to happen.” You’re probably fairly confident about that, too. But unfortunately, you’re dead wrong. That caucus does, in fact, exist, for all intents and purposes. They aren’t Muslim, but Christian, and that’s literally the only difference of note. They’re the American Taliban, a political force capable of holding the nation itself hostage on a whim. They are the far-right Terror Caucus. And they’re growing stronger and stronger every day.

The Terror Caucus is a group of radical right-wing politicians hellbent on destroying the American government. They believe the government is an inherently evil organization — wasteful, Godless, and wrong — and that its destruction would bring about a golden age of “freedom,” so long as you agree with them fully, that is.

For the Terror Caucus, there’s no room for compromise. You’re either with them or you’re against them. They call themselves “Christians” but, like a radical Islamic terrorist organization, they very selectively choose what their faith means and how to abide by it, ignoring messages of peace and love and disavowing the poor while swearing allegiance to corporate interests. Failure to agree fully means you aren’t really a true Republican. You aren’t a true American. And this means you’re an enemy of the State, an enemy of God… an enemy of the Terror Caucus.

Who Is The Terror Caucus?

The Terror Caucus consists of three cells of radical right-wing groups on Capitol Hill. The first and largest is the Tea Party Caucus, with 48 members, including big names in the Republican theater, like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Rand Paul, and Louie Gohmert, just to name a few. Next we have the Liberty Caucus, with 36 members, and the larger, younger, more extreme Freedom Caucus, with 42 members.

Members of these three factions are variably interchangeable, switching between caucuses the way a Mujahidin fighter (The Tea Party Caucus) might join Al Qaeda (The Liberty Caucus), then leave Al Qaeda for ISIS (The Freedom Caucus). Some of them, most notably Louie Gohmert, are radical enough to appeal to all three groups (he himself is officially a member of both the Tea Party Caucus and the Liberty Caucus).

What Are The Terror Caucus’ Goals?

Together, these three splintered factions inadvertently form one larger, more sinister group: The Terror Caucus. And while they might vary in radicalism and methodology, they all share a unified end-game: fundamentally alter the United States government in a way that suits their own interests, regardless of what the rest of America might think, because it’s God’s will. Or at least, the will of their version of God.

Like most normal, non-radical Republicans, the Terror Caucus believes the government is too big and too wasteful, and they want to see that changed. But where a standard-issue Republican might disagree with a liberal and then work toward a fair compromise, a Terror Caucus Republican believes compromise is for the weak. In their view, America must work precisely how they envision it. You either fully agree with their views, or you’re an enemy of the State, an enemy of God, and utterly incapable of contributing toward the betterment of the United Sates.

Like every other aspect of their existence, the Terror Caucus’ religious views are equal parts radical and absolute. They label themselves Christians, but no self-respecting Christian would dare identify with their motto of greed before need, of safeguarding your own wealth before helping the poor. Theirs isn’t a message of peace, of understanding, of loving your fellow human and valuing them equally, but of self-reliance, of the poor being a second-class subspecies, of the wealthy being supreme to all others. Their Christianity extends only so far as their hatred of homosexuality and abortion will allow. They’ve effectively weaponized their faith; it’s a tool in their war on the government and on self-perceived heathenism. But otherwise, they care very little about the message Jesus Christ had for the human race.

How Do They Reach Their Goals?

For the Terror Caucus, the end will always justify the means, and they don’t seem to care much what said means might entail. If “fixing” the government and “fixing” the American way of life involves lying to the American public, manipulating the electoral process, defunding critical agencies, and even shutting down the Federal government, then that’s precisely what the Terror Caucus is going to do. Even a violent coup d’état isn’t off the table.

The Terror Caucus is made up of politicians who fundamentally believe the government they’re employed by is a force of evil. These figures have joined the government in the hopes of busting it apart from the inside out, and they’re willing to utilize any means necessary to accomplish that.

When it comes to disrupting the American political system and wreaking havoc on our government, global terrorist organizations are surely in awe of America’s Terror Caucus, the only such group to ever successfully shut down the American government. But the short-lived 2013 government shutdown, brought to us entirely by Ted Cruz and his Terror Caucus cohorts, was only one of the many examples of the Terror Caucus effectively… well… terrorizing America.

The Terror Caucus has disrupted the processes in Washington on too many occasions to keep track of, like, for instance, the GOP’s current struggle to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner. The Terror Caucus refuses to allow a moderate into that seat and will do whatever it takes to either keep the Speakership open or fill it with a Terror Caucus member, who will help push their radical agenda to the forefront of the American political landscape. They hate Democrats and progressives and the Republican party establishment with near-equal disdain.

How Do We Stop These Terrorists?

So what can America do to cast out these terrorists? How can we fight back and prevent them from holding this nation of ours hostage? How do we end the Terror Caucus’ sinister reign and rescue our political system from the brink?

Republicans need to oust these maniacs from Capitol Hill. We might not agree with Republicans on much of anything, but let’s face it: if we wanted America to be “our way or the highway,” we’d be no better than the Terror Caucus. We need sane republicans to take their party back to where the Republican party was in the 1960’s and 1970’s: fiscally conservative, supportive of equal rights, and willing to compromise when the going gets tough. And if they want to be socially conservative, without being rabid and hateful in the process, that’s fine too. We can, should, and definitely will disagree with them, but at least they’ll be sane.

That means those sane Republicans will need to break from the Terror Caucus in a big way. Publicly, openly acknowledge those accomplishments of President Obama that Republicans should find agreeable. Don’t propose we should get rid of something until you can actually offer up a counter-proposal. Don’t be afraid to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats on issues all Americans want to see fixed. Be honest, acknowledge facts, and call out others when they fail to do either.

There isn’t much liberals can do to stop the Terror Caucus. This is a Republican problem that negatively impacts the country as a whole, and only they can truly fight back and stop the tide of radical extremism within their party. It suits everyone’s best interests to see the Republicans get this done, too: they’ll save their own party from going the way of the Whigs, bring America back from the brink of political annihilation, and inject a healthy dose of sanity and progress back into our political system. Those Republicans could be the heroes for a change, and help heal the deep, awful wounds they gashed into this country to begin with.

Will Republicans actually get this done? I can’t see the future… all I can do is hope. As a lifelong, diehard progressive, it’s hard for me to admit this, but America, we need the Republican party more than we ever have before. Because it isn’t Al Qaeda or ISIS I’m worried about. It’s the American Taliban… the Terror Caucus. They want to destroy America, folks. And every second we ignore them is six seconds in which they grow that much stronger.

Photo by Jagz Mario