Tea Party people are for vague things such as “less government” and “lower taxes.” Well, fine.
But what does that mean, exactly?
Let’s start with ”less government.” Sounds good, right? But does that mean an end to the warfare state as well as the welfare state? From what I have noticed about Tea Party activists, there seems to be a lot of anger toward what they call “welfare” (meaning, subsidies to the poor) but lots of rah-rah cheering in “support of the troops” – which amounts to welfare for the military and support for the American global empire.
Tea Party people don’t seem to get that you can’t object to welfare for L’Quisha and her seven kids by four different baby daddies if you also support $$$ for the “war on terror” – which amounts to open-ended, unquestioning welfare for huge defense contractors.
Their rah-rahing for war (any war, every war – otherwise, you must not “support the troops”) is especially off-putting.
I’ve actually stopped speaking to several old friends over this. That and their defense of Palin I just can’t deal with. (The idea that that shallow, greedy, malignant shill for the corporatocracy is somehow a “conservative” throws my puke reflex into overdrive.)
War ought to be something a free state engages in reluctantly, as a last resort – in response to an actual attack.
But a lot of Tea Party people support the Lincolnian-Wilsonian-Chimponian-Palinonian idea of “pre-emptive” wars undeclared by Congress; also “nation-building” and the maintenance by force of a global empire. To disagree or question any of this means… you must not support the troops.
Or maybe you hate freedom.
“Lower taxes.” Well, lovely. But does that mean Uncle Shithead expropriating just 30 percent of our wealth as opposed to 35 percent? Or is it a question of this far – and no farther? Is the income tax itself an immoral/illegitimate thing?
Yes or no?
What about taxes on property, which have the effect of turning all of us into lifetime squatters and serfs who never really own anything more than that which we can carry? Oh, I forget. “The children” need schools. Even if they’re other people’s children and you’d really rather have your money for other things.
It’s the same with “good” entitlements such as Social Security vs. bad entitlements, like grants to the NEA. If you don’t oppose in principle the idea of using the government as an instrument of plunder, then there’s no point in trying to object to some specific act of plunder.
Tea Party people don’t understand this.
Trotting around in 18th century costumes and holding up signs of Barry dressed in Joker make-up is lots of fun but it doesn’t have legs. It doesn’t challenge anything basic about the suffocating tyranny that is enveloping this country.
Tea Party people fall easily into the trap of supporting – by not vigorously opposing – Republican big government (Patriot Act, the security state, the criminalizing of private, consensual conduct among adults, et. etc. ) while wailing about what they see as “socialism,” not comprehending that right-wing corporatism and militarism result in the same suffocating, top-down oppression as left-liberal “socialism.”
Like the bare-chested potbellied idiots in face paint cheering “their” team at a fuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttball game, Tea Party rallies are a safe way for the elites who control this country to let the masses burn off some steam.
Then they can go home and pay their taxes and follow the rules like the good little subjects they are.
I think we are doomed to a future of even more authoritarian statism, accompanied by lots of flag waving and donkey-like braying of that god-awful song, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m freeeeeeee.”
You can’t even legally buy a firecracker to light off on the 4th of July in this country anymore.
That’s how “free” we really are.