Saturday, April 11, 2009

On the recent TEA party fracas

A very helpful deconstruction of the recent tea party antics (tea for Taxes Enough Already) tried out by the conservatives (from a reader on the Andrew Sullivan blog). 
I live in Kansas and have several family members who fit the mold of these Tea Partiers. The sense I get from them is much like what I felt after the 2004 election - absolute disbelief that this country could make such a decision. The reason that my relatives are so concerned is that Bush stood for everything they truly believed in - US primacy, nationalism, God (the Christianist version), guns, no gays, no illegals, where criminals get a fair trial before we hang them. In their mind, Obama repudiates all of that. These rallies are an effort by a group that feels highly marginalized to find some comfort in the company of others with similar beliefs, and to express their fear and frustration over what they see happening to their country. At least, that's why my uncles and grandparents will be there.
... And when you (and others) dismiss these concerns as "adolescent, unserious hysteria," it only hardens their resolve. What will make this go away is time, and the realization that America has "survived" the threat posed by a President who represents so much that they find threatening.
The Boston Tea Party--destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor, 1773. From the NYPL archives.

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