I keep my sanity is by repeating over and over, “She was born in Iowa. She was born in Iowa.”
It goes against my inbred Minnesota ways to disparage Michele Bachmann, but I can no longer hold my northern tongue. I apologize in advance to the old school Minnesot’ns in our midst in might find problems with a fellow Gopherite bringing attention to the state.
I wouldn’t have done it unless it got to this…
When you start saying, “Just a few moments ago this nameless source just came up/spoke to/handed me some critical/secretive/ up to now mysterious information that I’d like to relate to America now.”
See, there is one reason a person can get away with a statement like that in America. It’s because they’re white.
It is because the bulk of the Tea Party is white that they’ve been as successful as they’ve been. It is also what will bring them down.
Think of any other social movement that has its origins in desperate beginnings. Gay rights groups, the Woman’s movement, the Anti-War movement, any group that needed representation to be heard.
I’ve been part of the Anti-War contingency since Viet Nam. I’ve subsequently been to many such marches against many wars since then. For the most part, I think I could rally a nice consensus of this nation stating that war is bad and we should get rid of it. I’m in my mid-fifties and I can barely remember a time we weren’t at war. It is almost like we like being in wars.
Why? What is wrong with the Anti-war movement that it doesn’t catch on? Weren’t we vocal enough protesting the war. The wars? Didn’t we appeal to right emotion or logic center of the brain of the others who supported the wars?
What is about the Tea Party that has struck such a deep chord in America’s hearing that in two short years, they come to dominate the national dialogue?
I say, it’s because they’re white.
America has been stealthy ruled by the likes of the Tea Party since the first white people came crashing onto Plymouth Rock. The ruling class, the rich, the old white men in power, has always been the minority to the vast majority of those around them that wasn’t white. But through fear, money, manipulation, whatever the means, the select few have made the many feel that they are at a loss. That there is something they should fear if they do not follow the rules. That all a simple being needs to do is put their collective noses to the grindstones, put in their time and because of a network started hundreds of years ago, you’ll advance simply by being part of the status quo.
If you do what you’re told. Do not question your station, sexuality, your morals or basically who you are, we will see that you get ahead, while others not like you, will meet a greater silent resistance.
This barrier will be unseen and won’t be malleable nor solid, the evidence only imagined and never confirmed.
If you’re white, or a close facsimile of that, we shall promote you befitting your station and your education.
And that worked for a long time.
Then there was a Black President. This is also coincide with the greatest economical downfall America’s experienced since the Great Depression that had left a generation of our grandparents scared and fearful even when telling them it was going to be okay here in the suburbs of the Sixties and Seventies.
Now what every minority member had been facing since answering an employment ad, was happening to Whites, too. Whites weren’t being hired. There were no more jobs for White people. It didn’t matter that nearly all businesses weren’t hiring. It only matter that now, White people couldn’t get a job on demand.
Let’s go back to Minnesota for a moment, Michele Bachmann’s district in Minneapolis in particular. It isn’t fair to pick on the metropolitan burg now that there’s a clash of values happening in the Senator’s borough. For the past years, many LBGT students have committed suicide because of bullying and taunting from other students. How to approach this issue is under fire because one side says Gay is bad and the other side wants students to be protected from any danger or harm, whoever the maligned student may be.
Leaving that issue alone, I think one can assume that Michele Bachmann’s district supports her political and spiritual beliefs. Today, they’re almost one in the same. I know these people, or I should say… I used to know these people.
That is one of the points I want to make. I used to know these people and today…I have no idea who they are, even though they’re still Minnesot’ns. See... I think that’s real crazy.
When I was growing up, change was all around. Guys were growing their hair out. Women were entering the workforce more. And religion was opening up.
When I was a kid, a guitar was a big thing in church or synagogue services. It began a new trend to become somewhat modern and in the process, attract a younger crowd. Another trend in the Sixties I remember happening was this open invitation that houses of worship had for inclusion. It was very common for my Catholic friends to experience one of my Jewish services and in turn I’d spend a Sunday with them in their Church. Many a Friday night in our Temple, there were people of color attending from the local Baptists churches over by Selby and Dale, from the hood.
We had a cultural exchange happening like there was a thirst for understanding that can only be quenched by the reality of seeing.
Now Churches are like forts. The word ‘Christian’ means to me, that once again, as a Jew, I’m on the outside. After fifty years of trying to bridge the gaps and promote and foster understanding between groups of people who only fear each other out of mostly ignorance and unawareness, we’re back where we started from.
The Tea Party has circled the wagons because they’re scared and they don’t care who knows it.
Because of harsh economic times, the Tea Party is where most everyone but them has been since the beginning of time. But because it is happening to them, now there’s a problem in America.
They feel betrayed. They were told in no uncertain terms, at least terms that can be repeated, that if they do what they were told, it would be fine. Well, it isn’t fine for them.
The world has changed. There isn’t an immigration totem pole like in their parent’s generation. In the old days, when someone came to this country, they started out as a janitor or worked in a factory for forty years sending their kids to college so they could become nurses and engineers. Now the new immigrant might start off at Google or Facebook. They get a big house, an American wife, maybe even become a politician. There isn’t a waiting period any more. They’re not paying their dues like they used. They’re hooking up to the American Dream and driving it down the road with them to another local.
The Tea Party in terms of a business model has always been McDonald’s or John Deere, just a quieter version of these landmarks. The Tea Party members feel disenfranchised like the rest of America, what they don’t realize is that they are the last franchise to go. The rest are gone but since they don’t care about anyone else, they didn’t notice.
Because the Tea Party members are scared and desperate, they are in the perfect state to be manipulated, like the Silent Majority before them.
Starting with the color-coded fears of the Bush-Cheney administration during the first eight years of the new millennium, while others mocked the primary color scare system, for fifty percent of our country, it worked. They were kept scared. But the inherent problem of the Tea Party is ‘Intellectual Dishonesty.’
Intellectual Dishonesty is at the heart of every campaign and every movement that has sprung forth in the last years when dealing with the Tea Party.
One of the easiest tests of this is to give a Tea Party member a quiz. Have the test comprise of quotes. The quiz would consist of quotes from Ronald Regan to Al Gore, except they would have to identify who said what. When you’re average Tea Party member realizes that Ronald Regan raised taxes and others who they support have acted in ways that best could be describe these days as Democratic: They’re going to freak out.
Intellectual Dishonesty is what allows Big Business and the Rich to manipulate the Tea Party and their minions at will. In these days of outrageous corporate profits and the disparity among the rich and poor growing faster every month, the Tea Party members are led to believe and believe they do, that the poor are the reason everything is happening the way it is. That if somehow we could cut off one of our legs or arms, do away with an appendage that we blame, even though this will leave us somewhat weaker, it is better for us to hobble in the long run.
It is Intellectual Dishonesty that creates Death Panels and the last two wars. It is Intellectual Dishonesty that states it is un-American not to support the troops, that is until they come home. We’ve been in Iraq for almost ten years without question. The Tea Party is against spending or assisting other Americans. Why? Because money is tight and they feel it could be better spent or used in protecting the rich or the corporations.
Realize that for some reason, America needs enemies. We need a bad guy to blame or someone else to be our scapegoat. It doesn’t play into Tea Party politics to take accountability for your actions.
That is another branch of the Tea Party strategy. Never admit when you’re wrong. And never admit to anyone outside the party, that the candidate really does just get onto the bus before it heads into town, otherwise she takes a private plane. They’ve taken an oath that’s much like the Mafia or the gypsies’ pledge that one doesn’t talk outside of the family. If you’re not one of us, we don’t respect you and you don’t deserve the truth.
Sadly, this also trickles down to their own. They’re told that this grass roots movement is purely funded by the people, for the people. That the agenda of the Tea Party and the Koch brothers with their multinational corporate interest are one and in the same and will yield the same equalitarian benefits. That it benefits the average American that jobs and manufacturing are shipped out of the country because of the tax codes and the burden that is put on our rich for having to think for all of us each day.
See the Tea Party still feels like they are still on the inside. The Bus-side speeches and the lawn chair talks keep them at bay and in tow. They argue for State’s Rights like it was handed down by the Lord until it goes against their national beliefs. Election time it is all about jobs. Once in office, it then becomes about abortion and the Gays.
The Tea Party wants the country to back to a time that never existed. If we could turn the clock back some three years, they believe we wouldn’t have any of the problems we’re facing today.
That’s why things never change for them. They want something that doesn’t exist. They are being led to Land of Broken Promises and because they’re scared and feel betrayed, they’ll believe anything that makes sense to their majority.
They have resonance on their side. They can be heard and not questioned. When it is their turn to be sick, will they remember the hearty applause Ron Paul receive when he said, “Let the uninsured die. That is the cost of Freedom.”
Will they remember that when it comes to them or their children or parents?
Will the Tea Party be responsible for the change in American politics that they’ve caused? Or like always, blame someone else for their troubles?
I cannot in my history remember any political party having this much influence in such a short time. Like snobby teenagers they mock others and laugh at the uncool kid’s pain. They move unabated and without consequence as they propel America deeper into a morass, keeping their sweaty hands on the rudder while blaming others for the direction of this political ship.
The status quo has never been without a say. White people have always had the upper hand in the sway of where we’re going as a nation. When’s the last time you heard an African-American or Mexican or Asian child was missing?
I grew up ten minutes from Michele Bachmann’s district. It hurts me as a Minnesot’n to say this. But I don’t know those people anymore. They are not the good Christians or Minnesotans that I grew up with.
The Tea Party reeks of desperation. They’re like bad gamblers who pull in Vegas betting the last of their money on the hopes that a game of chance can cure their ills.
The bottom had dropped on a certain segment that has traditionally always scraped by. Now they’re back on the ground floor like the rest of us. In better economic times, they wouldn’t have to rub elbows with some many unknowns.
Now, we’re in this together and they don’t know what to do.