Why the Tea Party is Dangerous

By Mike Appleton (Guest Blogger)

In 1773 the British East India Company was broke.  In an effort to prevent bankruptcy, and the resulting loss of the crown’s investment, the British government eliminated all taxes on domestic tea sales and granted the company a monopoly on tea shipments to the American colonies.  In December of that year radicals boarded ships in Boston harbor and threw $75,000.00 worth of tea overboard.  The first Tea Party was a violent reaction to monopolistic economic power protected by government.

The modern Tea Party doesn’t understand history, so it can’t be expected to appreciate irony.  It is a mongrel movement, its leaders self-proclaimed, its agenda by turns unfathomable and incoherent, its philosophy grounded in vehemence.  So how can it possibly be dangerous?  Here, in no particular order, are my four Rs of the Tea Party.

1. It is racist.  I know.  I just played the race card.  But the best way to stop someone from playing the race card is to quit dealing it.  Public expressions of bigotry began as soon as Barack Obama was nominated at the Democratic convention, and continued throughout the campaign, during which prominent Republicans referred to him as “boy,” “uppity” and other vulgarities.  In short order he became a socialist and a Marxist and was then transformed into an extremist Arab Muslim.  Sarah Palin eventually settled on the euphemistic “let’s take our country back,” but we all knew what she meant.  The Tea Party began forming before the inauguration and was printing “Don’t Tread on Me” posters while the Obama family was still unpacking in the White House.  On April 15, 2009, the Tea Party was protesting a tax burden that was, and is, the lowest in 60 years.  

The Tea Party has promoted ugly forms of nativism, including punitive immigration laws,  English only legislation and bans on the teaching of ethnic studies.  It is the 1840s once again, but the targets are Muslims and Hispanics rather than Germans and Irish.

2.  It is a religionist movement.  I don’t know if religionism is a word, but I use it to describe a phenomenon distinct from traditional religion: religion as political philosophy.  It is the view that the Constitution was divinely inspired, that America is God’s gift to mankind, that capitalism is mandated by Holy Scripture and that the notion of “social justice” is the work of the Antichrist.  It is a culmination of the fundamentalist reaction in the early 1900s to Darwin and the progressive movement.  It has spawned a form of Christian imperialism that justifies the “crusades” in Iraq and Afghanistan, supports Israel uncritically and sends American politicians to Africa to lobby for the death penalty for homosexuals. 

3.  It is repressive.  The Tea Party is committed to authoritarianism.  Lawmakers in Congress and throughout the country, particularly in states with heavily Republican legislatures, have been imposing humiliating burdens on women’s constitutional rights at breakneck speed.  They are simultaneously reducing taxes on business  and cutting funding for education and health care.  The regulation of entire industries is being eliminated in certain states.  The integrity of public employees has been impugned and their rights to organize curtailed.  Laws banning the phony threat of sharia are pending in a dozen states.  The independence of the judiciary has been threatened by proposals to reduce courts’ rule-making authority and politicize the judicial selection process.

4.  It is revisionist.  The Christian right and its supporters in legislatures and on school boards have demanded that high school history texts be rewritten to eliminate references to the deism endorsed by many of the Founders in favor of promoting the false notion of America as an exclusively Christian nation.  The history of slavery and the Civil War is being falsified to satisfy the desires of apologists for the Confederacy and southern “values.”   Science cannot be re-written, but it can be denied.  The sciences of climate change and evolutionary processes have become the subjects of unnecessary controversy.

Robert La Follette, a founder of the progressive movement, became governor of Wisconsin in 1900 and immediately took on the railroads, forcing them to pay higher taxes on their assets.  When the new governor of Wisconsin took office this year, he immediately took on labor in an effort to destroy public employee unions and cover the cost of new tax reductions for business.  But like I said earlier.  People who don’t understand history can’t appreciate irony.

254 thoughts on “Why the Tea Party is Dangerous”

  1. Larry, I call bullshit on your cockamamie theories. I do not have time to waste on you and your ill informed notions. Go get a doctorate in economics, come back and we can talk.

  2. “Larry: I do not waste time arguing conspiracy theories with professional paranoiacs.”

    Translation: When someone mentions FACTS about something that is a TRUE and REAL conspiracy [formation of the Fed] and I have NO FACTS to counter their argument, I will just call them names so I will receive unwarranted cheers and praises from my moronic supporters.

    Who knows what in the hell your comment had to do with MY comments about the founders despising central banks and the formation of the Fed. NOTHING I said about it’s formation was a lie. They DID form the Fed in secrecy and used aliases. It WAS conspiracy. Are you saying using aliases and not allowing the American people to have ANY say in it is NOT a conspiracy???

    Why can’t you answer the following questions?

    1. WHO made the Fed independent?
    2. Did VOTERS make it independent?
    3. Did WE THE PEOPLE have any say in the creation of the Fed?
    4. Does the Fed have more authority then CONGRESS?
    5. If the Fed isn’t shady, why did the bankers use aliases when they went to Jekyll Island in 1910 and discuss its formation, and why was the Federal Reserve Act passed over Christmas vacation when almost no one was there to vote on it?

    Enlighten me and help me to remove my conspiratorial thinking by giving answers to those questions. If conspiratorial thinking people actually received ANSWERS from people, the conspiracies would not fester—but it is my belief that the very same people behind conspiracies do not want conspiracies to go away or else they would provide answers. Just like the 9-11 conspiracy about why the FBI is STILL not letting people see the 80+ videos of the “supposed” plane that hit the Pentagon on 9-11. The gov’t insists that it was a plane and not a missile that hit the building but yet they DO NOT let the public actully see the 80+ videos they have that has captured what really hit the building. [They have claimed that there was no wing damage on the Pentagon wall because the wings “fell off” the plane upon impact—TWO major problems with this theory—1. If wings popped off a plane upon impact, the wings would propel FORWARD, not BACKWARD—meaning, the wings would have shot forward into the building, causing wing damage—and 2. NO WINGS were found on the outside of the building!]

    They could end the conspiracies TODAY if they wanted to by releasing the videos—but they refuse to—why?????

    Africanwarrior——well said! I agree with you 100%. BUT…BUT I also would love to know where the Tea Party was during the 8 years of Bush???? I believe that racism is a very high factor in the formation of the Tea Party, because the EXACT SAME shit was going under Bush—[in fact, worse things were going on] and yet there was no tea party then. One HAS to conclude that Obama being black is a very high factor with the Tea Party. You don’t agree with that? If you don’t then answer this question: Where were you from 2001-2009?

  3. “Implying that tens of millions of people” … yeah, right … I tell you, tea has to be a hallucinogenic … this guy is in an empty room looking into the mirror and seeing crowds

    The teabaggers had a grand showing of almost 200 people at their big rally in DC three weeks ago … down in Columbus less than 6 showed up … in Cleveland all of 11 got off the bus. In Jackson, Michigan less than a dozen showed up at the Tax Day Rally. In Huntsville Alabama they cancelled it because it might rain. The few thousand that were supposed to show up in Chicago turned out to be a few hundred … and on it goes.

    “tens of millions”??? … drink the tea, dude

  4. I will second what the Buddha said. Green is as green does. I just did not have the energy to parse the whole thing. Green people do so well at summing things up in a nice package.

    Nice video, BTW, I had not seen it before. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand…………

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI

    Racist is as racist does.

    Not all Tea Baggers are racist. But quite a lot of them are. The organization is very tolerant of them by in large. Dick Armey and the Kochs are playing to irrational hatreds to pull the strings of their puppets. Only the ones that have made too big a spectacle of themselves in the media have been ejected. Tacit or express, the Tea Party seems to have no problem with racists in their ranks.

    That makes them a racist enabling organization at a minimum and an outright racist organization at worst although the baser motivations of people like Armey and the Koch is the color of money.

    Your money to be precise. They want it all. But I digress about the color green . . .

    Mike A.’s assessment that they are racists as an organization is indeed correct.

    There are plenty of legitimate ethical and legal reasons to be against Obama.

    His skin color isn’t one of them.

    Keep in mind I think he’s a lying treason enabling fascist sellout asshole.

    But his being black doesn’t have a damn thing to do with that.

    Just like George Bush being white didn’t have a damn thing to do with him being a lying treasonous fascist sellout asshole.

    Weakness of character is not related to skin color.

  6. africanwarrier: Hone your reading comprehension skills. And dial back the paranoia.

    Larry: I do not waste time arguing conspiracy theories with professional paranoiacs.

  7. When I first read this post, I must admit I thought Dr. Turley had lost his mind. Thank goodness it just turned out to be an idiotic guest blogger who thinks free-speech is a license to rant unfounded rhetoric as founded fact.

    Implying that tens of millions of people are Racist, is the very foundation upon which all Bigotry is erected. By doing so, this guest blogger has to me revealed what truly defines a Racist Bigot.

    As an African American who chooses to identify with the principle that Representatives are public servants, not public masters granted dictatorial powers. I am deeply offended by such a callous unfounded remark by this blogger inferring that I am a Racist for choosing not to support an agenda I feel is detrimental to the future of my family.

    I must confess I am somewhat stunned to see such an abuse of free-speech here. I cherish the sanctity of free-speech as I know the vast majority here do as well. However, it is the out right abuse of free-speech, which threatens it more than anything else.

    You have crossed that sacred line of free-speech, when that speech enters into the realm of unfounded slanderous and defamatory hate filled rhetoric.

    The only thing more vile than a Racist, is calling people Racist who are innocent of such a guilt as that of Racism. Inferring such a vile and despotic form of evil upon another with such a flippant disregard to proof, is as vile as committing the act itself.

    I have yet to encounter a Racist member of the Tea Party, however; I have witnessed many infiltrators being exposed as claiming to be supporters. That is not to say there are none who might very well be, even if this was the case you do not judge all by the act of one or even a few. That is nothing short of childish ignorance, and again exactly how a true Racist thinks.

    If you truly wish to know what a Racist Bigot looks like, then find a mirror, and there you will see a grade A example.

    As for your other statements, they are just as ignorant as your first.

    I’ll leave you with a statement of how many of the African American Tea Party supporters address such a histrionic assertion of racism and its past relevance to the present. This is how I taught my children and it is how they are today teaching theirs.

    All people have struggled, but no more than the millions who came before. Oppression as bigotry comes in many shades and cultures, not just that of our own.

    Until we as a people accept this, we choose not to enslave and oppress just ourselves, but the futures of our children as well. Condemning them to the very past we have for so long held in disdain of others.

    When another seeks to unjustly do so in our name, it serves to be far more offensive than the act itself, for such accusations serve to poison the truth with the venom of lies. Thus granting this evil yet another day of the very sustenance it needs to survive, for such a bigotry as Racism feeds upon nothing but lies.

    The only shame to be justly rendered to the past acts of such an evil, is to allow such wrongs today, the sanctuary of another tomorrow.

  8. “First of all, since the Fed is independent of the Federal Government, no agency can overrule it, any more than they can tell an oil company what to charge for a barrel of oil.

    Being separate from Federal agencies does NOT make it above the law. They are subject to the same laws and legal system as everyone else. The Judicial system is not a Federal agency in the same sense as the Treasury or Defense departments.”

    OS, do you even have a clue what you just said? WHO made the Fed independent? Did VOTERS make it independent? Did WE THE PEOPLE have any say in the creation of the Fed? Does the Fed have more authority then CONGRESS? If the Fed isn’t shady, why did the bankers use aliases when they went to Jekyll Island in 1910 and discuss its formation, and why was the Federal Reserve Act passed over Christmas vacation when almost no one was there to vote on it?

    The founding fathers spoke very strongly AGAINST central banks, and the Fed is THE central bank. Do you really think the Fed does this country a service? It is the Fed that has caused ALL of this country’s financial meltdowns. Printing money out of thin air only does ONE thing: creates DEBT. That’s good for this country? Do you realize that in the 99 years since the Fed’s formation the dollar has lost almost 100% of its value? You call THAT good??? Why doesn’t the Fed allow itself to be audited?

    “You mean like how you ask “what’s wrong with the JBS” and then change the subject and ignore everyone’s answers? That sort of ignoring posts?”

    Gyges—excatly what did I ignore? I actually RESPONDED to the avoidance of the core principles of the JBS that I listed. Everyone here ignored the core principles and when I actually RESPONDED to people IGNORING them [by ONLY saying the JBS was “irrelevant” and nothing more], I get accused of ignoring the “answers”?? There WAS no answers——if you want to call saying the JBS is “irrelevant” an answer—which I actually DID respond to! You need medication.

    Please DO tell me what I did NOT answer. I’m all ears.

  9. Gyges
    1, April 21, 2011 at 10:39 am
    Larry,

    You mean like how you ask “what’s wrong with the JBS” and then change the subject and ignore everyone’s answers? That sort of ignoring posts?

    If I was a a propagandist (for fun or profit) I’d at least put SOME effort into it. You just seem to be coasting.

    ========================================

    And now you probably got poor Larry fired …

  10. Elaine M.,

    Maybe Buddha is trying to audition for a role with Steven Segal….after all they are all in Louisiana…

  11. Rafflaw,

    In order to confuse him he’d have to consider them. Conversation isn’t his reason for being here. Honestly, if I wasn’t a little bored, I wouldn’t have bothered with that post. I’m done with him, and will let Mr. Mose Allison do my talking for me.

    This one’s going out to Larry.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCpekvOkwNM&w=640&h=390]

  12. Larry,

    You mean like how you ask “what’s wrong with the JBS” and then change the subject and ignore everyone’s answers? That sort of ignoring posts?

    If I was a a propagandist (for fun or profit) I’d at least put SOME effort into it. You just seem to be coasting.

  13. Larry, your lack of understanding of how the Fed works is only exceeded by your lack of knowledge of the law.

    First of all, since the Fed is independent of the Federal Government, no agency can overrule it, any more than they can tell an oil company what to charge for a barrel of oil.

    Being separate from Federal agencies does NOT make it above the law. They are subject to the same laws and legal system as everyone else. The Judicial system is not a Federal agency in the same sense as the Treasury or Defense departments.

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