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. I have been looking for an article like the one I just read. I had a gut feeling about this Tea Partiers. They will be taking over just like the “brown shirts youth” did in Germany during Hitler. I give you an A+ for your research and excellent article.

  2. Be it ideology or stratagem, the most obvious piece of evidence of GOP premeditated malice is the 2010 quote from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, when he said….”The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” These words lead us to believe that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically in 2012.

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  4. “You’re a paranoid conspiracy theorist and your paranoia becomes more pronounced with every utterance.”

    And your lack of debunking them is perfectly sane???? LOL

    What’s more foolish? The alledged fool or the one calling that person a fool failing to prove they are a fool?

  5. Larry,

    What you think of incrimination is irrelevant. Why? Because the quality of your thought is quite low. That is why so few people respond to you, Larry. You’re a paranoid conspiracy theorist and your paranoia becomes more pronounced with every utterance.

  6. What I find hilarious is the fact that your reaction continues to be the very thing that incriminates you to begin with. I keep stating that your ONLY responses to me are ad hominem attacks and “it’s true because I say so” remarks, which don’t prove a thing—–and your reaction to that is your continuation of that very same behavior [calling me a “nut”, “kook”, saying I need medication…blah, blah, blah]. How very original.

    I’ve heard it all before. It’s the typical reaction of those who refuse to research facts and answer simple questions. My 9-11 comment was IGNORED by everyone here. Why IS that? Because ignorant assholes like you think it’s un-American and wrong to even QUESTION government “official” stories—-as if they are the epitome of truth tellers. You all would not so much as even READ my comment let alone respond to it, because you know that ANY answer/response you give would be legitimizing my questions about the incident—so that leaves you one option: Reamain in your ignorant stupor and beg for more spoon fed lies by our government.

    To believe that a plane actually hit the Pentagon makes someone a complete nut and in need of mega-doses of medication. Do you see wing-damage on the building PRE-collapse of the Pentagon? NOPE–none! That doesn’t deter you imbeciles from still believing a plane went through it! LOL

  7. Larry,

    There’s a difference between ad hominem and accurate.

    buffoon\(ˌ)bə-ˈfün\, n.,

    1: a ludicrous figure : clown
    2: a gross and usually ill-educated or stupid person

  8. And Larry, Haldol works well for that condition. Just watch for the extrapyrimidal side effects and stay on the Cogentin.

  9. Larry, if you came in here saying the Laws of Gravity were wrong, no one would feel the need to defend Newton on that either. It is a waste of energy and time to try and explain things to you, since you keep your mind in a logic-tight compartment. And BTW, what BIL said.

  10. Do you all realize that the OFFICIAL version of 9-11 says that the wings POPPED off the plane BEFORE it went inside the Pentagon? This was their explanation why there was no wing damage on the facade of the building.

    Yet, NO wings appear on the outside on the lawn in ANY photos—-and IF the wings did pop off upon impact, they would have propelled FORWARD [like when people who dont wear seatbelts propel forward when they hit trees or walls]—-now, are you gonna sit there and tell me there is NOTHING being covered up when they BLATANTLY lie like that??? QUESTIONING their story that wings popped off the plane is WRONG and CONSPIRATORIAL??? DESPITE the fact that NO wings are in ANY pictures????

    I would like a serious response to this—not your bullshit ad hominem attacks.

  11. “Plenty. However, nonsense often doesn’t require refutation as it is nonsense on its face and fails due to being a false statement and/or bereft of logic. Now run along.”

    LOL—absolute garbage. So, what you’re saying is, you assholes don’t have to PROVE you’re right? Your word ALONE is gospel truth????? You just SAYING it makes it right??? How is that philosophy any different from FOX News, George W Bush or any other neocon??

    If I said Lincoln was our 1st president [not the 16th]—THAT would be non-sense on it’s face. YOU fools are claiming that you are RIGHT about things unproven. Conspiracies are weighed on evidence of cover-ups—not on whether you’d like to THINK it’s a conspiracy or not. Using YOUR logic—-OJ Simpson didnt REALLY kill his wife and her friend, because he wasn’t convicted of it—but we all KNOW he did. This falls in line with MOST conspiracies—-we all KNOW they are true or else there wouldn’t be the mass cover-ups.

    Are you all saying there are NO conspiracies?????

  12. Case in point, last year, tax day (April 15) rallies by the Tea Party had a total attendance at 13 large cities across the country of about 25,650. This year, the Tax Day rallies at the same sites had a total attendance of 3,923. The incredible shrinking movement! More protesters were inside the Wisconsin state capitol than attended all the Tax Day rallies for the Tea Party in 13 major cities.

    That sounds like death throes to me.

  13. African warrior. I agree with you 100%. I have been saying all thru this thread how hypocritical these people are for claiming the Tea Party is a tiny, tiny, fringe, irrelevant group of people, yet they are capable of massive damage. It’s like I said above:

    “I find it laughable that when the liberals want the Tea Party to go away, they downplay the tea party’s numbers and call them “fringe” and “irrelevent”, but when they want to portray them as “terrorists” or “communists” or America haters, they make the Tea Party look HUGE as if they have MAJOR influence.

    You can’t have it both ways. They are either small/fringe or huge/influential. Which is it????”

    They claim the Tea Party is an unimportant, non-issue—but when they want to demonize them and act as if they might carry out some terrorist act or that they are violent, then the Tea Party is HUUGGGEEEEE and MASSIVE! LOL. It can’t be both!

    But Africanwarrior—you need to stay away from quotes by Lincoln. I could post quotes by Lincoln [and I have on other threads] that would make your jaw drop [you being an african american]. Lincoln was a dictatorial, racist, un-American piece of garbage who hated state sovereignty, the Constitution and small, limited government. He also loved slavery. Before you say I’m nuts, I can prove it with his own words. I have posted Lincoln’s own words on these threads before proving he didn’t care about slaves and how racist he was, and these Lincoln cultists on here completely IGNORE them and continue to worship him.

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