Tonight the results from Republican Primaries brought the realization that the Tea Party-endorsed candidates are taking over the the Republican party (yes, despite months of false claims that Tea Partiers were Independents, they reveal their true colors at the ballot, and are very much Republicans — albeit more radical and fashionably challenged).
For years the Republican Party found electoral success through giving lip service to a class of Americans that identify themselves as religious, “hard working”, and patriotic; and despite often working against their economic interests, the Republican establishment was able to hoodwink these folks into voting with them due to audacious campaign rhetoric that portrayed their party as the one of God and “Real Americans”. The Democrats were the “others”: we represented minorities, the poor, and college students. The boogeymen of downhome, backwater politics!
Well, the disaster that was the George W. Bush presidency finally revealed the hollowness of this argument and moderate Americans supported Barak Obama in droves and history was made. But the God and Guns folks didn’t go away. They had been lured into the political process, found it suited their self-important sensibilities, and don’t want to go back to the farm just yet.
The Tea Baggers are also incensed that their vision of America was being changed before their very eyes. So they’re mad! They insist the country is “falling apart”. (Although one has to question where they were hiding the last eight years of Bush’s reign, if they’re just now angered by the state of government.) And being religious, they’re comfortable with blind faith. In this environment of powerless anger, Sarah Palin and Glen Beck stepped right up and rallied this fringe sect into a frothing rabble of flag waving, nonsense-spewing, attention whores.
And now they’re going after their own kind and are set to cannibalize mainstream Republicans. I can’t help but chuckle. The Republican establishment deserves to feel threatened. Not because Tea Party candidates have better policies, but because they caused the virus that is the Tea Party in the first place with Karl Rove’s election strategy of 2000: pandering to those who get their science from the bible and their religion from Fox News.
Okay, so what does the Tea Party stand for, anyway? What kind of intellectual meat are they grilling? Let’s hear from their leaders.
Sarah Palin: “We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. … We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.” –Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in Greensoboro, N.C., Oct. 16, 2008
Glen Beck: ”There are a lot of universities that are as dangerous with the indoctrination of the children as terrorists are in Iran or North Korea. … We have been setting up reeducation camps. We call them universities.”
So… anti-intellectualism, pro-small town ideology. That’s what Tea Partiers respond to. They eat it up. Look at any Tea Party rally and you’re bound to see some of the most ignorant, hateful signs, containing the most severe butchery of the English Language that one could imagine.
These are the people taking over the Republican Party. At least we really know who we’re up against.
What’s truly sad, and quite frankly, scary, is that if the rest of us — those that value education, free-thinking, tolerance, and progress — don’t stand up and head to the voting booth in November, a few of these divisive, cognitively-challenged candidates might make it into positions of power.
Don’t believe the hype! This country is not “falling apart”. Obama is not a terrorist out to “destroy America”. He’s trying to put it back together again after Bush pulled his Humpty Dumpty act on the nation. Obama’s not a Muslim, but he’s also not a magician. Give him some time.
Vote Democratic this November. We don’t need to go back to the Bush Years, and we certainly don’t need to find out what Palin and Beck have in mind for us!