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Prove Them Wrong, Tea Party

I'm reading an article in New York magazine (April 7-20, 2014) about the color of Obama's presidency, and the first thing mentioned is the Bill Maher show in which Bill Kristol was frankly upset at him for saying that the rise of the Tea Party was due to racism. My liberal friends here in Oregon, and the ones that live in the Rockies and the South for the most part agree with this assessment. They are certain that's the reason that some who call themselves Tea Party are in stark opposition to every single thing that Obama says or does, apparently without consideration of the details. It is reasonable to assume that this oppositional defiance is based in that base instinct that Obama is brown and different and must be wrong and evil. But this assumption is simpleminded too; there is more to the Tea Party than simple racism.

Those who hate Obama for his skin are not political creatures. They do vote, and host radio shows, but in they do not make sense or generate policy. All they do is upset everybody, stop policy and new ideas from being developed. We need to shut them up by ignoring them, instead of trying to beat them in rational argument. There is no point arguing with racism or insanity.

There are Tea Party libertarians who are political, intelligent and curious, and interested in shades of meaning without regard for shades of skin tone. These are the Tea Party core that most liberals haven't met, and won't meet, because their experience has been so bad trying to negotiate with the angry racists. There is a rational case for small government, for making the government operate according to the constitution, for the separation of church and state and for making corporations behave like responsible businesses instead of being "persons" with rights but no responsibilities under the law. These concerns need to be discussed and rationally balanced with our desire to take care of the less fortunate among us, instead of dismissed as rantings.

So I beg of you, Americans, to do your best to listen to and respect the other side, whoever they are. I beg liberals to consider that there might be real concerns about the longterm viability of large government. And I beg Tea Party conservatives to offer reasons, to be specific and soften your words when you despise something that Obama has done. It is my conviction that Obama is sympathetic to the libertarian position, but because he is a politician and elected as a Democrat, he must play the game within the parameters of his position or be removed. It has cost him dearly. It will be interesting to see what our first brown-skinned president does after his 2nd term ends and he is free to act on his real inclinations.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 15th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
Well, o.k., I am in favor of small government too. But what is small government for a nation of 300+ million people (a hundred times larger than the society for which the Constitution was written -- five hundred times larger if you consider that only free, property owning, white, adult males were allowed to participate directly in the first governments under the Constitution).

So i ask, why not go all the way and be an anarchist? So the libertarian might say (i admit i have never asked, shy, isolate, autist that i am) Some government is necessary to protect legitimate behavior. Like what? Like business. Well what happens when business takes on the role of government, making life and death decisions for people who could not care less about business? Well, that is not going to happen. Well, it is happening already. Capitalism is democracy for the rich, misery for the poor. Capitalism is herrenvolk democracy. I only need government to protect the poor from the rich, and government is not designed to do that
Apr. 16th, 2014 03:39 pm (UTC)
If you were supreme dictator, what kind of government would you institute, before retiring to do as you please?
Apr. 16th, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC)
LOL, your question makes me think of a story about Dorothy Day. One of her friends said of her. "Dorothy believes in anarchy as long as she gets to be chief anarchist." Of course, "Christian anarchism" is dependent on God's "rule" and i have never been as certain as some other people that i know what God's rules are, so it would be disingenuous of me to say that i believe in some kind of "spiritually based anarchy." But i do sort of go along with Thoreau: if less government is better than more government, then wouldn't no government be the best government of all. Or, as Ammon Hennacy put it: "I don't need a policeman to tell me how to be good.

But i do have a problem with evil (or maybe its just sin or maybe even human stupidity, or maybe just reality). If some person sets out to "eat the moon" (i.e. is incredibly greedy) how do the rest of us stop him? We got along for plus or minus two hundred thousand years without having to answer that question because no one could have or even imagine having that much power. So we more or less got along by treating one another as (more or less) equals. No institutions, except maybe family and religion, intervened to give some people power over others. Superior intelligence or physical strength was never great enough to suggest to anyone that we should not all pull together for our mutual benefit. If there were any "superior" people, one of the main things that made them superior was their superior compassion and generosity. If one or a few tried to exercise authority, the others could just walk away.

I am only just now beginning to look at things spiritually rather than materially. There seems to be general agreement among so-called masters that meditation, compassion, generosity, humility, and moderation are the best approach to life as we know it. (e.g. the Eight fold path, the Sermon on the Mount, the Tao Te Ching, the "Constitutions" of many primitive societies, etc.) Or as somebody (was it Gandhi?) said: "Be the Change you want to see."
Apr. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
So you would sit on a mountaintop?
Apr. 16th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, if i didn't have what i consider to be "responsibilities." And i see fewer of those than i once did; and i no longer see myself as having "political responsibilities." If the majority chooses to shoot itself in the knee because of what some rich guys say, i don't know of any way to stop them that i would be willing to use of suggest to others.

Sitting on a mountain is not, in my opinion,as bad as is the common dictum that we must "do something." If the something we choose to do is the wrong thing (as seems to more and more often be the case politically, economically, and even scientifically -- Now somebody wants to bring back the mastadon) we would have been better off praying or meditating about it.
Apr. 16th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yes! My mantra for today is "It's OK to do nothing" because I generally feel so driven to be productive all the time.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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