The Tea Party: Yuck!

matthew's picture

Until today, I have largely ignored the Tea Party. Decided to read some of their own literature today. After careful study, I've come to the conclusion that it's a mostly-male thinly-veiled white-supremacist organization hell-bent on eliminating religious freedom from the USA. Apparently some 11% of the USA sympathizes with them. Yuck.

Here are a few specifics I've discovered in my half-hour of skimming their stuff. Note that I've had practically no exposure to their party up until now... I heard about a few poorly-attended rallies and people buying tea to throw into local harbors, but just kind of brushed it off. However, they made one of the front-page links of CNN because they are considering the creation of a third major political party in the US. Facts I learned:

  • 6 out of 10 members of the Tea Party are male.
  • After extensive Googling, I have never seen a photo of a black member of the Tea Party.
  • Around 40% of Tea Party members are retirees.

I found a few more interesting things reading their "Declaration of Redependence", a re-write of the Declaration of Independence with modern-day Christian sensibilities rather than the Founding Father's Enlightenment principles:

Free-market Solutions for Healthcare Reforms, Entitlement Program Reforms, Education Reforms Are Needed - Failure of our leaders to find free market and spiritual based solutions for these human needs cause citizens to flirt with compromising God’s 5th through 10th behavioral mandates. Attempts to leverage human needs and suffering and the redistribution of wealth for political power or personal enrichment has its roots in the breach of Gods first three Commandments.

Wow, do I have a number of concerns with this statement. First, they are saying that by not finding a "free market and spiritual-based solution", political leaders are violating commandments 5 through 10. Assuming we're talking about the Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:6-21, those commandments are:

17 You shall not murder.
18 Neither shall you commit adultery.
19 Neither shall you steal.
20 Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor.
21 Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

So a public option for health care, according to the Tea Party, will cause you to flirt with murder, adultery, theft, perjury, and covetousness. OK, that sounds fairly whacky to me, but now I know where they stand.

This document gets weirder.

Judicial Reforms Are Needed - The unconstitutional legislating from the judicial bench, establishing immoral precedents and ignoring the original intent of the US Constitution. Judicial arrogances prove a complete contempt for Gods first three Commandments and selective disregard for our Creators 5th, 7th, and 10th directives, while facilitating their erosion.

So, apparently, it's time for "out with the old, in with the new". Let's throw out the checks and balances and go with, I don't know, say, the Divine Right of Kings instead? Apparently, to the Tea Party, this is the new ideal: No judiciary!

What a grand idea! No check on legislative powers! Why didn't the Founding Fathers think of this? We should ensure there are no powers to review a new law -- however poorly imagined or implemented -- other than how the Chief Executive chooses to implement it. Genius!

Seriously, though, I think the Tea Party folks are sore about Roe V. Wade. Apparently the Tea Party is unaware of the Constitutional Amendment process. I believe that is supposed to be the ultimate balance against judicial impropriety, and in fact we as a country have used it a number of times.

In fact, at least once in modern history we squeaked through an amendment banning alcohol from coast to coast. It took over a decade, but eventually we the people realized what a stupid idea that was, how much crime it created, what a dramatic reduction in quality of life it created, and we repealed that very bad, poorly-thought-out amendment. Since that time, we've been extremely cautious about passing amendments. So cautious, in fact, that despite the very loud outcry from Pro Life activists, an anti-abortion provision in the Constitution has never seen the light of day.

It's not a conspiracy. It's that you need overwhelming support to pass a law overturning the judgment of the Supreme Court. And apparently Americans aren't yet willing to throw their rights under a bus driven by the whims of their state representatives. The day they are, rather than the Tea Party trying to eliminate the power of the Judicial branch of the American Government, why not have a big rally and start the kick-off party for your Constitutional Amendment banning abortions in the USA?

Heck, make it a celebration larger than any the world has ever seen. Maybe you'll drive those leftist, commie-pinko Liberals to emigrate to Mexico or Canada where they'll get their monthly abortions in the mail alongside their latest episode of "The Nation".

America’s Judeo-Christian Spiritual Foundation and Responsibilities of American Citizens Recognized - Disrespect for our God and Creator, His Words in the Holy Bible and the Ten Commandments, His imprint upon our founding documents plus the assault on the traditional family and life issues moral decline in our society, contributes to the loss of our principles, values and Common Sense. Our current government leaders and judiciary revel in the violation of Gods first three Commandments and cause our citizens to be in frequent conflict with His other behavioral dictums.

Which God? Zeus? Thor? Allah? JHVH? The Great Mother?

Here's where the Tea Party totally lost me. This nation was founded by many religions and by Enlightenment thinkers who understood that the "Divine Right of Kings" was absolutely a wrong approach to government. The power of government, to our Founding Fathers, derived not from God, not from the Bible, not from the Commandments, but from the PEOPLE. The Founders understood that to fairly govern, the government must first and foremost look after the people, not any specific religion. They wanted most of all to depart from state-sanctioned religion as experienced under the oppressive hand of England.

The Founders got their wish. Now the Tea party wants to force the US government to bow its knee to their God. We, the people, are the government; its officials are only our representatives. I would no more force my Muslim neighbor, my Hindu neighbor, or my Jewish neighbor to kneel before the Christian god than I would force a Christian to bow to an idol of Shiva.

So there you have it. Ultimately, these kinds of statements cast no doubt that the Tea Party is nothing but America's Taliban: religious extremists hell-bent on seeing their interpretation of Christianity shoved down the throat of every American.

Whether we want it or not.

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Sammy G's picture

In Defense of the Tea Party

Here's what I like about the Tea Party. I like that they are an organized political movement that has raised the level of political discourse in this country, whether or not that was their intent. I like that they have enough momentum to attract serious coverage of their rallies and opinions, so much that the general public feels possibility of disrupting the lock of the two-party system that has been so pervasive in this country, whether or not that was their intent. I like that they are harshly unwavering in their opinions, which leads others to defensively realize and stand fast to their own opinions, whether or not that was their intent.

Of course, I don't like what the Tea Party represents.

But Matt, comparing the Tea Party to the Taliban is a bit over the top. I don't see anyone from the Tea Party using weapons or militant might as fear to induce compliance, like the Taliban does. I don't see them stoning people in the streets. I don't see the Tea Party denouncing women. Let's be a little tactful when issuing comparisons.

I do see the Tea Party a little like Eugene Debs. Remember Eugene? Won something like 5% of the vote in the early 1900s (I could be wrong about that) running for the socialist party. Remember the Socialist Party? Wayward anti-capitalists upset with the current system of government. What's wrong with that? This country has endured such apathy with political involvement and political awareness that any form of organization assembling peacefully and stirring the pot of debate is fine by me. We can leave to everyone else to form their opinions of their platform, as Matt has so gracefully done (except for the Taliban comparison).

So good on the Tea Party. I mean, there will be no serious inroads by them, especially with that name. Makes them sound like old ninnies gathering for crumpets.

matthew's picture

Comparisons

But Matt, comparing the Tea Party to the Taliban is a bit over the top. I don't see anyone from the Tea Party using weapons or militant might as fear to induce compliance, like the Taliban does.

Au contraire:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/30/avlon.hatriots.militia/index.html?...

Some friends/family like to point out that the Left Wing is responsible for its share of suppressive, violent tactics. Since I'm not a Leftist, nor am I a Rightie, I just say "yes, down with violence all around".

--
Matthew P. Barnson