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Friday, April 8, 2011

After close observation, I think I get the Tea Party people

Okay, hear me out.

When you go to work everyday you're probably thinking about what you're going to eat, what your weekend plans are and maybe the next romantic encounter you're hoping for.  Built into your brain are the primitive instincts to eat, seek pleasant shelter and procreate.  These institutional drives are sought after in the 21st century through a societal based structure in which people rely on each other in advanced social built constructs.  For example, I don’t venture out into the woods with a rifle or bow and arrow to find something to eat.  I travel to a store or restaurant for food.  I don’t build a shelter out of wood that I’ve sought out and bound together to keep me dry and safe from the elements.  I also don’t worry all that much about a rival tribe or clan of people kidnapping the girl I’m dating to force her into their clan.  Not really brain science here, we’re talking about things that most of the industrialized world doesn’t think too much about.   But, these things that I’ve just laid out are things that Tea Partiers worry about everyday and that’s the divide, look to the picture below, I have proof:

See, when we talk about healthcare reform, and more regulation on business progressives have gone up about 12 layers and we’re assuming the Tea Party people are on the same level, they’re not.  Progressives are operating I would argue on a level that assumes we probably aren’t going to have to worry about basic survival and the world coming to an end every single day.  Things like “bunkers”, “liberty barns” and “survival barns” seem laughable, but these people are so concerned with the most basic survival they can’t wrap their heads around reforms that make our society a more equitable, healthier, and overall better place to live.

When you talk about things like bank reform and regulation with Tea Partiers it’s almost arguing with an ER doctor who’s convinced the person you’ve brought in for a fever is already dead.  These people stockpile ammunition, gasoline, food and water knowing that any day now they’re going to have to abandon civilization and take to the hills.  They’ve given up on the idea of a working civilization and are responding to their most basic primal instincts.  I’ve heard it at Tea Party rallies over and over again, “when this economy collapses and the second great depression comes…”, “When the Federal government enacts martial law…” these aren’t even things to be debated with Tea Partiers these things are gospel.

The kicker is they haven’t come up with these ideas all on their own, let’s look at what has been called the 9/11 affect.  While America scrambled to make since of the 9/11 tragedy the White House was scaring the hell out of my grandmother with things like terror alert levels, “those people” who lived in caves and hated America simple because it was free.  Gun sales soared, people prepared for Anthrax attacks, EMP strikes and the military budget went sky high with outdated Cold War weapons systems that we didn’t need and which made defense contractors super rich.   Vested, connected powerful interests gorged themselves on American tax dollars and most of the country turned off their higher brain functions and the ability to question their government’s decisions because Bin Laden was right at our doorstep ready to hit us with dirty bombs and nuclear weapons.

Fear works, distrust and alienation too.  They are the most basic survival mechanisms that we have and they occupy the most primitive parts of the brain.  And playing upon these emotions makes 1% of our population very very rich and allows them to consolidate more political and economic power.  Powerful private interests have massive bullhorns in corporate news outlets that play upon these survival instincts and the Tea Partiers are simple manipulated people acting upon these instincts.  When I hear the phrase “give me liberty” I translate that into “give me the liberty to detach myself from a failed institution known as society, I don’t care about progressive measures that attempt to limit the rich, corporate power and your attempts to put the power of the American government and economy into the hands of the American people.  This patient you call the American government has been dead for a long time, I want to escape to the hills to my ‘Freedom bunker’ before the institution you claim has a fever begins to rot and I have to be around to smell it.”


  1. They killed it and now are trying to hide the body

  2. When I began teaching, I tried to reason with my students. They were seventh and eighth grade kids and "reason" is in short supply at that age. Mny of the kids eventually grew out of that stage of development and became discerning adults capable of reflection. Others, regardless of age, did not. Collectively the latter are known today as "true believers". The People of the Tea are Orwell's sheep made manifest. (Note, they were made not born.) Alienation, a sense of powerlessness, and some Koch to suck on set the powder and a black man walking through the front door of the White House lit the fuse. Nothing to do now but wear them out. Tell the truth and spread the word. That would be a lot easier if Barack "The Less Than Bold" would grow a backbone. Here is my pledge. If you agree, pass it on to others.

    The Cletis Stump Pledge

    "I hereby pledge to inform others, even those I find difficult, regarding the duplicity and chicanery of the modern Republican party. I will provide examples supported by facts and easily referenced sources. I will do this through personal contact, letters to the editor of my local paper, distribution of informative flyers door to door, and any other method which fits my life's circumstance. I will do this in an on-going manner and will not allow gross ignorance nor pervasive apathy, which I will surely encounter, to dissuade me."