Tuesday, December 25, 2012
The Tea Party is definitely on the road to irrelevance
You know, I just *love* democracy! :-)
I despise the Tea Party and pretty much everything it stands for; I like the activism, the involvement, of the people within it. It's an activism I am denied, and deny myself because I'm not an American citizen. To be honest, I'm also a bit saddened that it was taken over by "corporate" money, although they have only themselves to blame, considering that they basically touted "approved" messages from a variety of conservative orthodoxies, causes and leaders. There is, to be blunt, very little original thinking within the Tea Party movement; there's a lot of derived and contrived meaning, but nothing anyone could say was/is "original". And whatever thinking exists is very shallow; scratch the surface of many of their ideals and rants and you stare into an abyss of thought. It's almost as if Tea Party adherents decided to reduce the complex to the simple, while ignoring that the (politically) complex is that way because it's constructed of many simple ideas that don't quite go together, or are in active opposition to each other! An analogy comes to mind: the Tea Party argues that the Saturn V rocket is simple because it's a rocket and rockets are simple.
Mind you, that simplicity is not surprising when you consider that one of the leading lights of the movement, Glenn Beck, is all about manipulation, not "truth" or "honesty" or whatever it is he's touting. He's a snake-oil salesman, who mixed that old racist and anti-Semite, Father McCoughlin, Bircher conspiracies, an updated anti-Semitism and modern "news-entertainment". On top of that is that wildly inaccurate, ridiculously inarticulate, very contrived and astonishingly effective rant from Rick Santelli. Mix in a bit of good old fashioned populism, and you have the Tea Party movement. A political sentiment that opens itself up for manipulation by canny operators; indeed, it can be argued that it welcomes such manipulation.
But I will be sorry to see the Tea Party go. Oh, it'll take a few years, but its extremism and its unthinking populism, not to mention its "we're not racist" racism, astonishing naivety and willful ignorance will stick around for awhile - but it will disappear as its members are challenged, not by more extreme conservatives, but by more pliable ones. It is in the process of being taken over, subverted and diminished by the corporate interests of the mainstream Republican Party and the special interests that ultimately control the conservative cause these days.
William F. Buckley would, I think, be saddened.