Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Not Alice's Tea Party

I've been trying to wrap my head around the Tea Party for quite some time. As I said, I used to be a member until I found out that they had taken a bus to loony-ville and weren't coming back any time soon. The idea for the basis of this movement seemed good: concerned citizens pissed off about the fact that their government was spending money they didn't have on issues their constituents didn't profit from, monetarily or otherwise. That sounds like a good start to me.

There can be books written on the derailment of this good idea but I'm not gonna be the author. I just want to point out some things that alarm and concern me.
The movement is not fully coherent, there is not one leader, there are small groups of people that run their own versions across the country. They do not have a clear cut goal, unless you consider their blatant hatred for anything not outlined in the constitution a goal. Their ideology is based on right wing extremism, with a popular shirt sold at rallies stating: "Proud Right-Wing Extremist." They seem to have no ability to see or care about an opposing viewpoint. It's the good old fashioned, "You're either with us or against us" motif.

Now, I have a fear of any extremist, whether it be religious or secular. The reason being is that, like I said above, they offer no place for opposition, for questions to be raised. How do you know God exists? He just does Timmy, get your ass to church. Same thinking here. What's wrong with this country? It's a corrupt socialist money sucking liberal hot bed! Where's your proof? Shut up, I have a gun!

I wish that last bit were just a joking exaggeration. At a recent Tea Party rally, Richard Behney, a Republican Senate candidate, told Tea Party supporters his plan if the 2010 elections didn't swing in his favor: “I’m cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I’m serious about that, and I bet you are, too.”
On ResistNet.com, a Tea Party supporting blog, "fellow patriots" are encouraged to "grab their guns." Just one day after Stack crashed a plane into an Austin IRS office, Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, told a group of Tea Partiers to take a page from Tiger Woods’s wife's book and “take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government in this country." Tea Party hero and Minnesota congresswoman, said she wanted “people in Minnesota armed and dangerous." In Texas, the Tea Party gubenatorial sweetheart, reminded folks at a rally that “the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”

These are just a few examples. Now, this scares the shit out of me already. But just wait, the plot thickens.
“I voted twice and I failed political science twice,” said Darin Stevens, leader of the Spokane 9/12 Project, Glenn Beck's pet project closely tied to the Tea Party.
Another Tea Partier, Leah Southwell’s admits that “I knew zero about the Constitution," having until recently been a top Mary Kay sales rep.

Ok, so here's how I'm reading this. Let me know if you think I'm off: Tea Partiers are turning to increasingly more violent rhetoric with increasingly less knowledge of their country or its past and what brought it to its current state of affairs that they are so ready to overthrow. Hmmmmm...They don't even seem to realize that one of their champions (Palin) used to be the running mate of a man they think is way too liberal (McCain)!

If you check out a previous post of mine, it shows a link to a video of a man interviewing some of Palin's supporters outside of a book signing. They know DICK about ANYTHING. It is absolutely amazing that they stand outside waiting to meet someone they know nothing about yet blindly support.

We are royally fucked (even more so than now) if the Tea Party movement ever reaches a place where it is legitimately considered a viable political party and not a cult.
Do we have no answer to this? Do we have no response to the "Proud Right-Wing Extremists?"


Anonymous said...

Well, my initial response would be to briskly walk in the opposite direction in the hopes that they don't notice me and try to either attack or convert me, but that's probably not what you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

The Tea Parties I have been do have had plenty of coherent and thoughtful people who do want a more limited government. Every group has its fringe elements, heck liberals run on fringe elements and have made them their whole party. However, I can understand why you wouldn't understand the Tea Party and its lack of leadership. AA, NA and other twelve step groups have no clear leadership roles and yet they clearly thrive and help the people that walk in those rooms. As a 12 stepper myself, though it is neither of the ones I have mentioned, I know it seems like an oxymoron but it does work. And if it can work for addictions maybe the same general premise could work for others as well, where the needs of the group are the focus and the needs of the individual are met because of the willingness to focus on the group. And before you ask, "Well aren't you promoting socialism then?" No, because everyone in the group is doing it of their own free will and not being forced by some outside governmental entity.
In fact, maybe that is why I like the Tea Party despite the depiction here and elsewhere that it brings out the worst in us, because everyone is welcomed and we don't all have to agree on everything because in the end we are all about saving our great country.