Monday, May 31, 2010
I’d seen so much about the Tea Party recently I thought I might look into it. I found the nearest group online on a site called ‘Tea Party Patriots’. I got a local guy’s name and phone number so I gave him a call:
Me: “Hi. I’m Erik and I’m trying to find out about the Tea Party movement.”
Voice on other end: “Well, you’ve called the right guy all right. I’m Jimmie Ray Smith and I’m the organizer of our local group. Whatcha wanta know? “
Me: “Well, first off I want to know what the Tea Party is all about “
Jimmie Ray: “That’s easy. We wanta take back our country.“
Me: “Take it back? From who? It's gone missing? Who’s got it now?“
Jimmie Ray: “You been living in a vacuum or something? The communists and dimmycrat socialists and Muslims of course. Anybody can see that.“
Me: “Well I’ve been living in this country all my life and I haven’t noticed that.“
Jimmie Ray: “You some kinda subversive or something? Anybody can see Barack Hussein Obama is their puppet leader. What are you, some kind of a dimmycrat calling to make trouble? “
Me: “No, I’m a political independent and just want to educate myself about what’s going on and check out what the Tea Party is all about.“
Jimmie Ray: “Oh yeah, sure. All that crap about ‘education’ is just code words by so-called intellectuals for promoting socialism and taking over the gummint. Hell, I graduated high school and that’s good enough for me. My folks never even done that. “
Me: “I can see and appreciate that.“
Jimmie Ray: “Whut? You tryin’ to be a smart ass or sumptin?“
Me: “Oh, no, no. I mean I can see you don’t need a lot of education to be a political organizer.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well all right then. Lemme ask you sumpthin though - you say you’re an independent, but do you vote mostly for dimmycrats or republicans?“
Me: “Some of both I’d say, and sometimes for independents who aren’t in any particular party.“
Jimmie Ray: “How’s about libertarians? You ever voted for any of them?“
Me: “Well no, not yet, but I would certainly consider them if they were for the same things I am.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well are they? How’s about Rand Paul. Whut you think about him?“
Me: “Well, I admire his willingness to be involved, but I have some problems with some things he’s said.“
Jimmie Ray: “Like whut? Be careful now.“
Me: “What do you mean ‘be careful’? Do I have to agree with him to be part of the Tea Party?“
Jimmie Ray: “Well maybe not all the way, but we really like that boy. And we are firm in our positions. You know, limited government, free trade and accountability. You got a problem with whut Rand Paul says?“
Me: “He said private businesses ought not to be subject to the Civil Rights Act.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well, they shouldn’t. That goes against the people’s freedom to discriminate if they want to. Nobody is gonna tell me or any other Tea Partier who to like and who not to like.“
Me: “That’s not what the Civil Rights Act does. It merely guarantees freedom of access and opportunity to all, no matter the race, color, religion or national origin.“
Jimmie Ray: “You think foreigners ought to have the right to just come into this country and take things over, like all them illegal immigrants?“
Me: “No, or course not. I didn’t say a word about illegal immigration. But, I do think anyone legally in this country should have the same rights and privileges as anyone. And anyway, from what I can see, illegal immigrants aren’t taking over a gosh-darned thing except menial jobs nobody else wants.“
Jimmie Ray: “Huh! So, you think some damned Spic or Mex or Dago or black African ought to have the same rights as anyone else, somebody who prob’ly cain’t even speak God’s own English?“
Me: “Of course I do as long as they’re in the country legally.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well, based on that alone you prob’ly ain’t cut out to be a Tea Partier!“
Me: “I’m not?“
Jimmie Ray: “Oh hell no. We believe to save the country we have to go back to what our founding fathers believed in. You cain’t help but see they were all good Christian white people, all men in fact, and they all believed in speaking English, free trade, no taxes and the right for everyone to own assault weapons.“
Me: “Well, besides the fact assault weapons weren’t even invented then, they weren’t all Christians, and many of them believed in slavery and owned slaves.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well there you go! Look what a great country they created with those values and standards - and slavery was a big help! Looks whut’s happened since they did away with that. And, whut you been smoking anyway? Everyone knows they were all good christians.“
Me: “Well, historically and actually several were agnostics, and others were deists.“
Jimmie Ray: “Name one! I challenge you to name just one who wasn’t a good Christian! Anyway, what in hell is an agnostic?“
Me: “An agnostic is someone who believes no one can say who or what a god really is or if there actually is a god at all. And, for starters Benjamin Franklin was a deist. A diest is not a christian for your information. Thomas Jefferson did not believe in a divine Jesus’, and it was Jefferson himself who insisted the separation of church and state be written into our Constitution. He was helped by James Madison who himself was considered a deist. In fact it is said at least six US presidents never thought of themselves as christians: Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well, that there was a mistake, by God! Worst thing they ever done! Ever’body knows this ought to be a christian nation! And, not only that, we need to be the RIGHT KIND of Christian. They ought to take all them agnostics out and shoot ‘em! “
Me: “And, if you’re talking about illegal immigration, why at least nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence would have been considered illegal if they lived today.“
Jimmie Ray: “You some kinda subversive or something? Where you getting all this left wing baloney?“
Me: “It’s part of recorded history I’ve learned by reading and educating myself..“
Jimmie Ray: “Well there you go again! That kind of recorded history we can do without! You sound just like some kind of elitist swishy intellectual who thinks his crap don’t stink. Prob’ly cain’t find your ass with both hands. I have to tell you, right now it sure seems like you ain’t very good Tea Party material!“
Me: “Yes, I did go to school, and college too, plus I like to read a lot. I find it helps me keep up with things and decide between what’s good and what’s not, and right and wrong.“
Jimmie Ray: “I think too much readin’ jist rots your brain. I get ever’thing I need to know off Fox News on TV.“
Me: “You mean like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin?“
Jimmie Ray: “There you go! Beck’s got the answers and Palin’s hot!“
Me: “Well, it might help you to know Glenn Beck dropped out of college after one semester, and amongst other things, is an admitted drug addict and alcoholic? And, that Palin’s been wrong so many times and said so many stupid things her hot’s wearing off.“
Jimmie Ray: “See? Beck didn’t need no high-fallutin’ education to make it big! And all that drug and alcohol crap is just old stuff dug up by liberals and dimmycrats to make him look bad. Besides, anybody can make a mistake and Glenn’s asked Jesus for forgiveness. And I don’t care whut they say about Sarah, she’s just a plain ol’ ever’day person like me, plus she’s hot. I’d do her in a New York minute if I had a chance.“
Me: “I’m sure you would. But, Palin is a proven quitter for sure. She walked out on the people of Alaska when she resigned her governor’s job.“
Jimmie Ray: “She had a right to do that. Ever’body was after her.“
Me: “Like those investigations?“
Jimmie Ray: “Yeah. They ought to leave that poor woman alone. She’s suffered enough.“
Me: “Her bank sure doesn’t think she’s suffering all that much. But, do you know the one reason she won the governor’s job in the first place was by accusing her opponents and having ethics investigations made on them?“
Jimmie Ray: “Don’t matter if she did. It’s different when they go after her like that. And after all she's been through, she deserves all those big bucks.“
Me: “Well, I sure don’t have a good answer for that.“
Jimmie Ray: “See there? I didn’t think you would!“
Me: “Why don’t you tell me why anyone should join the Tea Party movement?“
Jimmie Ray: “Well, first off, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't. In fact, we wouldn’t let you unless you agree to keep quiet about some of your fruitcake ideas. Right now you sound too subversive and seditious to suit me. If you ain’t really a traitor, we might let you carry signs and stuff like that so long’s as we make them up for you.“
Me: “I’m only trying to be honest with you and tell you I like to check things out and think for myself. And I’d have a problem carrying around some of those misspelled signs I’ve seen in pictures of Tea Party demonstrations.“
Jimmie Ray: “Well, that right there rules you out for damned sure. Good-bye.“
Me (to myself on empty telephone line): “Sure sounds like a bunch of wigged out, narrow-minded, simplistic, evangelical Republicans to me.“
*This is a conversation with an imagined Tea Party organizer.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
They are, and have also been ridiculed as "The Party of Fear". This because they seem impelled to resort to fear mongering in almost any situation they can fit it in - and even some they can’t. Their insistence on ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ and Condoleeza Rice's infamous 'We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud . . .' are some one of their best examples of this tactic. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands more.
They have called the Party of Distortion, the Party of Deceit, the Party of Disingenuity and the Party of Dissimulation - all for good and sufficient reasons;
Republicans have moved a terribly long, long way from the once admired and respected Party of Lincoln. Lately, maybe they suspect they may need to fix some of these perceptions.
Republicans are now appealing to the public for ideas on ‘How to Fix the Country’. An open admission they are smack out of ideas themselves. They seem to want to ignore the very pertinent fact they recently had eight full years to fix the country themselves. But, who wouldn’t want to disavow all that went on then? During those eight years they went a long ways towards train-wrecking the nation - apparently one of their favored moves a la New Gingrich’s 1995 tactics during the Clinton administration.
But hey, all that’s in the past, right? Ancient history, right? Now they want everyone to forget all that and move on to ‘fix the country’ - under their management of course - that’s the only way they can accept change.
So, they’re asking for folks to submit new ideas on how to fix things.
Only trouble is, they will consider only the ideas they agree with - up front. I have to ask you: HOW OXYMORONIC IS THAT?
I ask you. Seriously.
I am a moderate ‘Independent’ and don’t subscribe to any political party - I have lot’s of problems with some of those gutless Democrats too - but at least the Democrats haven’t publicly admitted they are completely out of ideas yet.
Still, I am heartily sick of them all. George Washington hit the mark spot on when he urged all political parties should be outlawed.