Guardians of the progressive dream such as the New York Times openly fret at the prospects of backwards, bigoted lunatics taking over. No, silly, not sword-wielding, Islamic head chopper off-ers. Worse: Constitution-wielding, legislator-writing, church-going Tea Partiers.
Of course, as 2016 approaches, the media are well aware of their responsibility to serve the American people by doing their darnedest to manipulate our elections. If you think they ought to be investigating and reporting actual news, you’ll have to wait until January of 2017 (actually, you’ll have to wait till hell freezes over). As the GOP presidential hopefuls test the waters, look for the media to assist us by plastering creative terms like “extreme,” “polarizing,” and “fringe” on anyone who shows himself sympathetic to the anti-progressive visions of the dreaded Tea Party. If Ted Cruz or Rand Paul should happen to mingle around at Tea Party rallies when they’re supposed to be cuddling up to McCain’s and Romney’s failed campaign managers, they’ll have to be mocked as blundering and unelectable. That’s just how it works.
To maintain this guilt-by-association strategy, it is equally important for the media to offer up fresh–and by “fresh” I mean stale–reminders of the dangers posed by the people who tend to think a lot like Jefferson and Madison. One wonders why if Tea Partiers are so obviously frightening, so nutty, and so hatefully stupid, the media need devote themselves to these daily and desperate reminders.
Let’s survey a few of these radical, kooky, and downright terrifying beliefs.
For starters, we Tea Partiers dig the concept of freedom. And we believe a man isn’t especially free if he is forced to work 20 hours a week against his will for someone else’s benefit. Nor does it feel like freedom to have a DOJ official standing over us with a gun, barking, “Bake the cake! Buy the insurance!”
We know it is mysterious and scary to the NY Times editors, but we happen to think decisions which profoundly affect the life of Mr. Johnson in Bozeman should be made by- well, Mr. Johnson in Bozeman. We opt for people running their own lives instead of ex-Harvard professors who couldn’t get fired no matter how poorly they performed in their jobs before moving to D.C. and taking bureaucratic positions from which they can’t get fired no matter how poorly they perform in their jobs.
I would add that, in our judgment, the dubious prediction of the earth’s average temperature eventually rising 1/3 of a degree isn’t reason enough to ban cows from flatulating, decimate industry, and adopt a self-loathing mentality. Anti-science, that makes us.
Charging up $18 trillion to the national MasterCard ($154,000 per taxpayer) isn’t perceived by us as a brilliant idea, especially when there’s no plan to pay it back. And while we’re talking math, something smells fishy to us when we are assured that in a workforce of 240 million people, 93 million sitting out represents an unemployment rate of 6%. Admittedly, that doesn’t sound right to our kind. I suppose this makes us as anti-math as we are anti-science.
We also hold to the paranoid notion that when America’s enemies are threatening to invade our cities, attack our communities, and kill us, our Swiss Cheese borders don’t make the most sense.
As well, we might suppose that when public high schools graduate illiterate students, someone has some explaining to do. Wishing to improve education makes us, of course, anti-education and, again, scary.
Absurdly, we are of the opinion that burning babies with chemicals and dissecting them alive is cruel. Perhaps the New York Times can step into our weird world for a moment by imagining the baby is a toad.
With appalling unsophistication, we believe the phrase “shall not be infringed” means “shall not be infringed.”
We don’t think it’s normal for a man to feel like a woman. And when he does, we think it is better for him to reckon that as a problem and try to correct it rather than following a 14-year-old girl into the women’s rest room. The bigotry!
Speaking of which, we refuse to feel guilty for the sins of our ancestors. We roll our eyes and brush off the gadflies who holler out charges of racism whenever we oppose the policies of someone with darker skin than our own or when we insist that everyone, regardless of pigmentation, should play by the same rules.
We hold to the kooky conception that we should drill our own oil, create jobs, become independent, and stop building mansions in Arabia for people who hate us.
Finally, we observe that the best way for society to produce responsible citizens is to let them stand or fall on their own. For us, it seems up-side-down to punish ambitious hard work while heaping gift cards on couch-camping slugs.
There you have it- the radical, scary, irrational, bigoted world of the Tea Party movement. The curious thing is that when we talk to our neighbors, we find most of them think a lot like us (at least the ones who get up in the morning and do their jobs). Now you see why the media must get busy marginalizing us before we exert influence on the upcoming GOP primary and why they need assist a responsible moderate (i.e., status quo leftist) Republican who can become their darling until he becomes their nominee (at which time he becomes Lucifer). It’s a big job to convince folks that their own beliefs are foolish and dangerous in order to prevent them from choosing a nominee who shares their beliefs, but someone has to do it.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.