Sometimes, I wish I didn’t care so much.
I’ve wondered if I’d be content to be a drooling, Springer-watching moron with no more ambition than a single wide with tarps and old tires on the roof and a job at the 7/11. I could rant about wanting English to be our ‘ofecal’ language; I could thank Fox News for keeping us ‘infromed’. Life would be simple. Glenn Beck would be my hero; everything would be black and white, and I’d be happy that the Tea Party was there to stick up for my ‘rights’.
When asked about them, I could say with a straight face (as some have, at those rallies), that “there must be rights I don’t know about.”
Unfortunately, I was born with a brain, and my parents insisted I learn to use it – which brings me to yesterday’s election.
Y’see, while Thinking America is reeling from yesterday’s election results and the media are weighing-in on the statistics, trying to parse reality out of the chaos, one thing seems to be overlooked – all the money spent by the Koch Brothers and their ultraRight minions has had a telling effect. Mama Grizzly herself (y’know – the gal who shoots wolves from a helicopter) stumped for the winner of the Biggest Upset, in the state of Delaware, and the votes are in.
The Tea Party Revolution has arrived.
The dumbing-down of America has found its voice. Whether we like it or not, the Tea Party , misspelled placards and wingnut theories aside, is now a part of the Republican landscape, just as much as the Fundies who began the process of co-opting the whole thing back in ’01. It’s a perfect storm of Angry Mouth-Breathing White Folks Who Can’t Spell, and plenty of money. Plenty, plenty of money.
Voters who call themselves ‘conservatives’ are increasingly unwilling to settle – the O’Donnell/Castle fight should be ample proof of that. Across the country, we’re seeing America’s New Polarization line up not along party lines, but along ideological constructs.
Has the Tea Party weakened the Republicans? I wouldn’t bet on it. The iron pipe about which I’ve often written? It just came out of the collective back-pocket of the ultraRight, and they’re getting ready to use it. Count on all that Koch money being spent on massive campaigns, aimed squarely not at thinking Americans, but at Joe and Josephine Sixpack. Don’t make any mistake – the Tea Party is bought-and-paid-for; it’s the completely funded political arm of big business in America, and they’re mad as hell – as well as fearful – that continued Democratic/Progressive control of the House and Senate will mean more controls and no more free-ride at the taxpayer’s expense.
These are the people who will make decisions based not on reason, but on emotion. Fear and hate (along with an abysmal lack of education) drives these people – and you can also count on these advertising campaigns not to extol the virtues of their chosen candidates, but the perceived vices of their opponents.
I have to shake my head – because these are the people who have the most to lose. Most of them work for minimum-wage or nearabouts; they live paycheck-to-paycheck; their children have no chance at an education, unless one of them literally wins one of those education-lotteries which are becoming so popular, or manage to overcome an underfunded public-school education and get a scholarship to a state-run college or university. Like as not, they’ll be sucker-punched into signing up for one of those Federally-sponsored school-loans to attend the University of We’ll-Teach-You-How-To-Cook, Clean, and Fix Cars – and they’ll get out in six months to a year with no useable skills and a $50,000 bill which they can’t bankrupt when they can’t find a job (it’s part of the deal; those Fed-backed school-loans don’t qualify for bankruptcy).
(Right now, these for-profit schools are raking in big bucks and delivering no education – and student-loan debt now exceeds credit-card debt in America, making it the next big bubble-in-the-making – but that’s another story, indeed.)
Never have a group of people voted so consistently against their own self-interests.
While Hannity and Beck are spouting the old chestnut, “No-poor-person-ever-gave-me-a-job”, the people they’re protecting by way of demanding Bush’s tax cuts be left in place are betting against us – taking that windfall and sending it to overseas banks or other static investments which have sweet-squat-all to do with creating jobs. A poor person may never have given either of those bloviating morons a job – but it’s a lead-pipe-cinch that the wealthiest people in America aren’t going to do so any time soon, either.
Meanwhile, back to the Koch Brothers.
They’ve shoveled money into everything from the fight against environmental legislation to outfits like the Cato Institute, which favors eliminating most governmental control over business and reducing taxes for everything – except the military, which is, of course, good for business. Peeling back the layers of that rotten onion reveals a couple of guys with no interests past their own. To them, the Tea Party is just a means to the ultimate end – more money, for them.
Connect the dots, and you have a couple of puppet masters, along with others like them who are pouring money into candidates which have been bought, paid-for, and packaged to sell to a semiliterate group of voters who can be easily swayed, plied, and purchased.
What’s the solution?
Each one of us – and I’m assuming you’re one of ‘us’ and not ‘them’, if you’ve read this far – are going to have to go out there this fall and vote a straight Democratic ticket. I hate saying that, because I pride myself on a great deal of independence, especially when it comes to my political philosophy.
Sadly, though, we are past those luxuries.
We’re going to have to own up to the fact that there are greater things at stake here. The Tea Partiers have a platform which, when we boil it down, would remove the gains of the 20th century. Some of them (like Sharron Angle and Michelle Bachmann) would take us back to the 18th century by way of applying their narrow religious worldview to legislation.
(Bachmann has stated that her agenda would be to bring lawsuit after lawsuit, tying up and eventually shutting down the Federal government, along with calling for the impeachment of Obama, should the Republicans win the House and Senate – but that, too, is another story entirely).
Nope – we’re going to have to accept the fact that America is polarized along party lines, and that one of the major parties doesn’t bear any resemblance to the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, or even Nixon. It’s mutated into a particularly vicious supporter of gangster-oligarchy, run by a group of big business puppet-masters who are pulling the strings on a gaggle of Christian extremists and anti-government, semiliterate Hooterville-dwelling morons.
This is it, folks. It’s do or die come November. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
The revolution will be televised.