Gah, what is up with the Tea Parties? Are they driving everyone else nuts too, or am I the only one?
I know that all the media types tend to focus on the crazy ones (and there are a lot of them), but it seems like many people in these groups are regular, nice-enough people that have gotten fed up with the way our government runs things.
To whom I say: Welcome to the fucking club. You're a bit late, but you made it.
What I want to know, is what happened that suddenly caused this great epiphany?
It's not the health care debate, there were plenty of you around before that. As far as I can tell, there are only two significant changes to have occurred in America in the past ten years that could possibly spawn such a weird, widespread movement of anger.
We've been at war for almost a decade, and military spending continues to increase even though the size of our opponents' militaries continue to shrink. So that's nothing new.
Lobbied and corporate interests continue to hold the attention of our lawmakers, nothing new there.
Really, I can only think of two things.
The first is the election of America's first black president.
I am having a hard time thinking of a period (during my lifetime) when I can recall a similar quantity and tone of blatant and deliberately racist comments directed at a human being from such a wide number of people as what I have read and heard directed at President Obama.
Is that what has gotten Tea Party people so riled? Their membership is comprised of mostly white, mostly conservative citizenry; could it be that they are just tired of paying their politically correct lip service?
When I read about our black and our homosexual elected representatives getting spat upon, as well as the hate speech directed their way, during last week's health care debacle, it doesn't sound to me so much that people are concerned about health care. It sounds like they are fed up with having "fags" and "niggers" run things.
The only other significant change to have occurred is when the economy tanked and millions of people lost their jobs.
Except you gotta remember, there were a significant number of people offering a significant number of warnings that current Wall Street behavior was going to cause problems. While the money was rolling in, however, no one wanted to pay attention. Only after the shit hit the fan did we start hearing calls for reform.
I tend to believe that most of the people in Tea Parties are in this second group. The problem is while they may have kept their heads in the sand prior to the economic meltdown, now they got their heads in the clouds. They vehemently argue for lower taxes and less government, even though many admit they receive monthly Social Security or unemployment benefits.
What they really mean is that they want to have all the benefits of social services without having to face the obvious drawback that somebody has to actually pay for it. What I continue to find hypocritical is that most of the people who demand smaller government support our wars in the Middle East.
The thing that really scares me about these people (whether they are racist or not), is they have no concept of action and consequence.
"I'm so sick of paying money to a government that doesn't care about me," they cry, even though if they got their wish, the unemployment checks they rely on to live while they are out protesting big government would stop rolling in.
I hear a lot of people clamoring for government to stay out of way of business, that their interference is causing people to lose jobs. As if American corporations are just waiting for the opportunity to bring their production jobs back to American shores, but government regulation is getting in the way. The only way those jobs would come back to America and offer the kind of wages that citizens would demand is if government got more involved, not less.
What I don't see from Tea Parties are solutions. What I don't see are spokespeople offering intelligent debate or alternatives. All I see are the temper tantrums of spoiled children who've had their candy taken away, and now all they can do is lash out in a rabid, blind fury.
It's kind of hard to see, but the sign underneath the flag in this photo reads, "...take your racist un-American ACORN 'groups' and arrogant wife back to your own country and strip their rights away!"