Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My take on the Tea Party movement

My take on a blog post I recently ran across trying to make sense of the Tea Party movements...

I've tried really hard to understand the message of the Tea Partiers, and finally concluded there is no message. It's just a bunch of people who are angry about the way they perceive the world.

Some TPers are angry that Medicare exists, others are angry that at some point in the distant future government plans to cut benefits in some small unknown way. Some TPers are angry about government getting involved in markets, others are angry that government isn't stepping in to "fix" their underwater mortgage. Often the same TPer holds both mutually exclusive views.

Your mistake, Bruce, is attempting to find some sort of logic to the TP movement, and there is none. It's an emotional outpouring and it's open to anybody who shares their misery and anger with "the government." It doesn't matter if what they're angry with is nothing the government did, it doesn't matter if what they're angry with is the government doing (or proposing) exactly what they say they want the government to do. It doesn't matter if Tim Pawlenty's ideas are utterly illogical and incoherent. All that matters is that he's very upset that society isn't working *exactly* the way he wants it to, and he blames "government" for that. That's the only thing that unites TPers, anger with government.

That's why this movement should be so scary to rational, thinking people. It is an entirely destructive movement. They propose no coherent alternative to the way things are now, they simply want to end the system as it exists now. End taxes, destroy government, and hope that all the problems of human beings living together in large groups suddenly resolve themselves. That's the future if the TPers get their way.

Any rational person could simply look at Somalia or tribal regions of Pakistan and conclude this is a terrible idea. But while the TPers may be perfectly rational people in many areas of life, the logical part of their brain has simply turned off with respect to government. Despite the fact America is near the top of nations by just about any standard of living, they seem ready to destroy it all over the (relatively few, by global standards) problems that exist.


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