Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Tea Party

Over the past several days I have been seeing some new backlash against the Tea Party.  Honestly I am pretty surprised by what I am seeing, given that it has been with us for several years now.  So, here is the gist of it, the Tea Party is nothing more than the most current revival of the Confederacy, or in a more blatant term white supremacy.
For my part I have always felt that on some level the Tea Party was driven by a fear that non-Caucasians were assuming too much control over our nation, but there were enough people who weren't racist within the group to say that the whole of the group was getting a bad rap, and I still feel that way for the most part.  I do not believe that all members of the Tea Party are racists, but some are.

Let us quickly rehash some terms.  Conservatives are disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.  They like things the way they are or were.  Liberals on the other hand are disposed to favor progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.  We like to move things forward, if it doesn't work we change it again until we find something that does work.  The Tea Party finds its roots in libertarianism, which is an offshoot of conservatism.  

Way back when in the 1800's and early 1900's the conservative party was the Democratic Party.  It was not the Democratic Party that freed the slaves, but by the 1950's and 1960's it was the party that fought to ensure that the decedents of the slaves had the same rights and privileges as the white people.  Where as in the time of the Civil War it was the Republican Party that fought to free the slaves, and fought against equal rights (something they are actively doing today).  

The parties switched ideologies, If you as a Tea Party member or a conservative in 1914 you would have registered to vote as a Democrat, and as a liberal I would have been a republican, but that is a history lesson for another day.  But this entry is about the Tea Party, and something I have noticed recently that should be brought up for discussion.  The Tea Party is all about the "rights of the people" but look at the make-up of the party itself, look at the ideology of the members. 

See the Tea Party is extremely conservative, and it shows when the members start speaking out.  I do believe that many, again not all Tea Party members are not upset with Obama because of some of the things he has done while in office.  Sure, they might dislike some of his policies, but for some the angst they feel is that a mixed race man is in the White House, it has upset the status quo, which they want to preserve.  Immigrants bring in parts of their culture, their way of life, and that runs contrary to their own, it is a threat to their way of life.

I have often heard it said that if non-Tea Party members really understood history we would side with them, but I think it is they who do not understand history.  See they like to paint themselves as the modern incarnation of the founding fathers, throwing off the shackles of an over burdening government that does not represent their wishes.  And on some levels they are right, the problem is that when a government is working properly or even incorrectly some people will not have their wishes represented.  It is impossible to have every wish and whim of a population represented and enacted equally.  Something many of us neglect in our daily lives.  The compromise to this is enacting what is best for the majority, while ensuring that all rights for all people are respected as best as they can be.

 As it stands today the government is not listening to the majority of the people, it has gone off onto some tangent in which the wealthy have their voices heard, while we the lowly proles bang our collective heads against the closest wall, screaming.  So, it seems that the Tea Party members have good reason to be angry, but the problem is rather than move forward, they want to move backward.  They want to move back to a time when abortions were illegal, and women were forced into back allies to have one.  They want to see isolationism come back into play, and that can only hurt the US.  They seem to think that given more time "Trickle Down Economics" can work, this time if we make larger tax cuts.  They will point out the 1950's and 1960's as the golden age of the US, without realizing that they are fighting against the standards and rules that made America great in that era.  

Now the crux of this entry is that someone compared the Tea Party to the Confederacy, and I do not think he is entirely wrong.  Sure there were many in the South in that period who felt it was wrong to own slaves, they were liberal.  Many fled to the North when hostilities began between the Union and the Confederacy.  Just as there were many African Americans who fought and died for the Confederacy's right to own slaves.  The Tea Party, just like the Confederacy has good people within its ranks, but they need to separate themselves from those who seek corporate masters, in a very racist religious country, and really think about where they want to see this country go.

Do we want to continue down the downward spiral, or do we want to try and salvage this nation?  Because this is what we are going to face in the near future.  2008 was nothing, it was a blip on the radar, it was the first or maybe the last warning bell to sound in this nation that the economy cannot support trickle down economics or the greed of those in charge.  We as a nation need to move forward, we need to progress, sure there are mistakes to be made, but when a country is moving forward those mistakes can be fixed.

No, what we have here is a minority that is spewing constantly, without realizing just what they are advocating for.  They are really advocating for the status quo of this nation, where we have been sitting since 1980.  They are advocating for draconian laws in which women, minorities (racial and religious), homosexuals, and non-chrisitans are held down and stifled to where they cannot vote, get an education, or move up in the world.  If you are a Tea Party member you will scream that you are not that way, you do not want that, but that is where the leadership of your so-called libertarian party is going to take you.

Also, I have noticed a recent increase in vague threats against people.  But ever present is the Second Amendment, that I support myself for my own personal reasons.  Not on the list of why I support the Second Amendment is the government coming to get me.  But to hear some of the Tea Party people tell it, the government is this tyrannical monster hell bent in destroying what America was.  Now to me this says that they want the old America (you have seen the stickers "America I sure miss her.") but they do not seem to understand that very few things have changed.  But they continue on about tyranny, and I cannot help but laugh at them.  The very thing they say they are fighting against are the very things they are fighting for.

I have commented many times on what I see are the short comings of the libertarian view of the world.  I also make it no secret of my views on the Tea Party, but I do believe that weeklysift does bring up some valid points about what he sees as a resurgence of the Confederacy.  Personally I don't see the Tea Party as the classical Confederates, I do see that they could very quickly become that.  I can see the Tea Party doing everything and anything they can to destroy this nation to rebuild it in what they feel is the superior ideology, and we have hard over thirty years of that ideology implemented in several different ways, and it hasn't worked yet.  So, my question is, why is this time any different?  Why will their ideology work this time, because from where I am sitting, it will not work this time, just as it hasn't worked in the past, and just like it will fail again in the future.