Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Tea Party

On the one hand, I like the Tea Party because it represents people speaking their minds, rabble rousing against our crooked government, and (sometimes) trying to step outside the established political process and its parties. My parents have been to a Tea Party event, and they forwarded me a sampling of some of the slogans. Alas, the Tea Party is - like communism - an idea that sounds good but, when seen in the light of day, is just tired, sad, and pathetic. This first slogan I like and agree with. It's a good, traditional American sentiment.

And here's one I thought was funny. However, I can't agree that Nancy Pelosi is the Wicked Witch of the West. I'm thinking the witch in Hansel & Gretl. When she smiles, doesn't she look like a twisted hag who might have caged children in her home, getting plump, and waiting to be eaten? Anyway, these were the exceptions.

The rest of the slogans were just pathetic. Here's a sampling of the idiotic opinions these people actually go around touting.

So, what is this saying? Diversity is bad? Gee, that's American. Let's only let the Protestant white straight guys into the military, because you have to watch out for those...others.

Huh?! My mom explained that Obama had a friend in college who did something at the Pentagon. A friend from college? C'mon! My Aunt Petunia went to college with someone who became a nut thirty years later. So what? 

If you're going to say you stand for traditional American values, then you should know what they are. Abolish Congress? Fuck you! Move to North Korea or an African dictatorship if you hate democracy.

And this one sums it all up for me. To me there's a difference between challenging authority and being a whiner. If people want to complain, fine. But at some point you have to stand for something to replace what you are fighting against. Who do these tea partiers support? What do they believe in?  All I see here is a lot of anti-this and anti-that.

I asked my parents to explain what the Tea Party was for, and all I got was 'small government'. Well, what the hell does that mean? "What are you going to cut," I asked. "All the pork," was the answer. I am now convinced that the Tea Party are a group of upset people blurting out slogans when prodded with intelligent questions. 

The problem is that one person's pork is another person's justified government spending. I'd love to see how quickly some of these tea partiers stop whining about socialism and big government if anyone asked them to put their money where their big mouths are and send back their Social Security, Medicare, and/or Medicaid checks.

Don't get me wrong. I think Congress is filled with crooks, and I definitely think government spending is out of control. However, I don't remember the kind of outrage we're seeing back when Bush deficit-spent a trillion dollars on his wild goose chase in Iraq. Am I the only person who finds it weird that these tea partiers are so mad about government spending that helps Americans (Obama's health care reform), when they had no problem with government spending that didn't (and doesn't) help the US at all (Iraq)? Where are the 'Bail on Iraq' slogans? 

T-shirt slogans and bumper stickers can make us chuckle, and I'm sure it's fun to go to a rally and 'party like it's 1773'. However, unless the tea party puts together a coherent, realistic platform that can be implemented, they will be nothing more than a loud - and ultimately irrelevant - freak show of ignorant whiners and sloppy malcontents. As it stands now, I predict the whole movement will evaporate as soon as the jobs come back.

Sorry for the diatribe. This is why I avoid political 'parties'.

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