Tea Party Pundits
Before we can talk about what the tea party is scared of we must first define who the tea party is. Contrary to misconceptions perpetrated by the media, the tea party is not a group dominated by backwoods, racist rubes from Bumblestraw, Arkansas. Sure there are some wing nut, racists in the tea party, but the vast majority of tea partiers are a combination of poor, middle and upper class whites who generally align themselves with Republican ideals of small government, low taxes and free market capitalist principles. Plainly speaking, the tea party believes that people should be free to form businesses, make money, and live their lives however they want with minimal government interference. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? So why are tea partiers so vilified and hated by democrats and other non-tea partiers? Because too many tea partiers believe that America is an exclusive club reserved for white men and the women and few minorities they allow in.
For most of American history the whole country was one big tea party. Outside of the up and down of the great depression America has experienced an unencumbered period of growth and success based on capitalism and free market principles. White people were free to form businesses, make laws, form exclusive clubs and get rich. Sounds great for the people in power, but it was a struggle for those who were not stereotypical white Americans. Women couldn’t make laws (until the 20th century). Blacks couldn’t get rich (they were victims of slavery and Jim Crow). Mexicans could come here and work for those in power, but the vast majority were not allowed into the exclusive clubs or even given the path citizenship. Gay people simply had to stay in the closet for fear of being ostracized or worse.
White men (whether republican or democrat) historically have had the unencumbered path to be middle class OR rich OR powerful OR basic citizens, and they took full advantage of that freedom to become all these things. For every arrogant rich white man there is a good and peaceful rich white man. For every racist white organization there is a white organization devoted to equality for all. The point is, there was unencumbered path to choose your own destiny if you were white in America. For those white Americans who truly believe in equality for all, America is turning into a beautiful place: minorities and whites are integrating, marrying and creating beautiful rainbow children; our culture is rich with music, food, sports and entertainment that represent the true melting pot of America; and our political landscape has advanced enough where minorities can hold public office and even the highest public office in the land.
For the tea party these changes are not to be celebrated. These events all point to a loss of power and control that symbolizes the destruction of the US as they know it. The economic downturn in America is seen by many tea partiers as being caused by the degeneration of our society through the infusion of hip hop culture, freedom given to women, the allowance of Mexican immigration and the granting of power to the black president. If left uncontained, tea partiers believe their way of life will be forever lost, with all the wealth they have amassed lost and redistributed to others and the country being blown off the map by the "evil Muslims". The tea party sees all this and is in complete fear – fear of financial loss and fear of a brown planet.
Clearly from a social standpoint the Tea Party is correct that things have changed dramatically in America in the last 20 years. Where black and brown people have been given unfettered equal opportunity (music, sports and entertainment) they have taken full advantage and have produced a mixed bag of results. For every Drake there is a Li’l Wayne. For every Kevin Durant there is a Lebron James. For every Beyonce there is a Kanye West. Tiger Woods is a womanizer but for every Tiger Woods you can name 100 white athletes who have had multiple affairs. In reality, men with power have always had multiple women outside of the marriage almost as a "right of power". The difference today is that Tiger Woods issues and all the issues mentioned above are all over the media.
Tea Partiers are bombarded daily with images and stories on all the popular websites, news channels, newspapers, i-pads, and cell phones about: how bad the US economy is, how black and brown people are doing wrong, how thugs have taken over music, how there are no jobs out there and the Mexicans will take them all. Of course they are scared. I would be scared too if any of these things had anything to do with reality or real power. The truth is, none of these items have anything to do with real power in America. Real power in America comes from having money and the vast amount of money is in the hands of billionaire republicans.
Billionaire republicans still run this country through their corporations and their influence over the political bodies that make and enforce the laws of this country. They have co-opted the tea party as their representatives to make sure that the masses vote for the political bodies that will best serve billionaire republicans. The tea party members are willing recruits, as their moral, political, and social value systems are most aligned with billionaire republicans. As a tea partier who is scared about losing control and power in America, it is only natural to align yourself with the group that has all the power to restore things to their "natural order". In order for power to be restored billionaire republicans are going to have to make some changes. Crackdowns on programs for the poor and disenfranchised must come. Healthcare for all, social security after working all your life, and Medicare for the sick and elderly all take money out of tea party pockets and must be changed or eliminated. Mexicans must go back to Mexico so white people can have their jobs. Okay, so white people won’t do those jobs, but Mexicans must go back anyway because the tea party just says so. The republicans, backed by the tea party have formed a posse to come and get their country back and unfortunately after November 2nd there’s gonna be some new sheriffs in a lot of towns.
More on the Republican crackdown later…