A Tea Party Where Everyone Knows Nothing
Huck pointed out to me yesterday that race relations in America actually are at a high point and I found myself agreeing with him completely; in the past day I’ve talked over the notion with Miss M and Sam, who both agreed and over the course of conversation led me to the insight that the Tea Party took their name from the wrong historical political movement. The Tea Party has far more in common with the Know Nothings than any of the Founders, and that isn’t simply some kind of a slur, it’s an honest assessment. What platform has been put forward by the Tea Party is certainly nativist; where the Know Nothings were bigoted against Germans and Irish Catholics, their contemporaries are taking aim at Mexicans and Arab Muslims.
It is also essential to know nothing to maintain the cognitive dissonance contemporary conservatism demands. For example, Sarah Palin is telling us to be thankful for a voice that not only repeatedly said the word ‘nigger’, but did so while explaining to a black woman that she was just being too sensitive about racism . She’s also telling us something else but it is too incoherent for me to be certain of her meaning; she seems to be buying into Schlessingers’ jumbled rationalizations for her erratic behavior, but the Tweets of Sarah Palin are far too pithily nuanced for me to fully comprehend in all their radiant majesty. Many conservatives are juggling these two thoughts in their head, ‘racism is bad’ and ‘Sarah Palin and Dr Laura are totally rad awesome’, which has got to be quite a trick when you think about it. Actually, the heads of modern Tea Partiers must contain so many contradictory thoughts that it must be like the guy spinning the plates on the Ed Sullivan show inside their brains. (I spent too much time looking for the clip where the music is Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Saberdance’ because that really must be the perfect mental soundtrack for the antics in Glenn Beck’s mind.)
Obviously, the crazy house echo chamber of the right wing is essential to maintaining the fragile conditions that allow for such profound dissonance as we are now seeing, but there is more to this phenomena than simple misinformation. This is a willful ignorance, an intentional misbelief, a freely chosen stupidity and of course at times a cynical lie of sinful proportion. It is an old hypocrisy riddled with cruel stupidity that supports a broken status quo while declaring itself a new revolution. No, really, it’s an extraordinarily stupid essay worth reading just so you know how not to express yourself.
I’m squinting at the time and it’s very late. More tomorrow…