I didn’t vote for Obama and I don’t even like him or agree with what he’s doing, so why would I dislike the Tea Party movement?
Well, for one thing, I’m not a Republican.
In case you didn’t know, Republicans have far less registered voters than Democrats, and in many states, there are more registered as Independent/Unaffiliated than Republican
Looking at registered voters is important, because this is one of the single largest determining factors for whether a person will vote. In 2008, 89.6% of the population (source) who was registered to vote went out and cast a ballot of some kind. Add to this the fact that nine states have more people registered Independent/Unaffiliated than are registered Republican or Democrat, and you can see that Independents make the difference in elections.
For those curious, the national breakdown in 2008 looked like this (source):
* (From biggest to smallest: Constitution, Libertarian, Reform, Working Family, and still others, mostly Socialist or Secessionist/Independence parties)
This means both main parties rely heavily upon Independents. After a solid defeat, it’s no surprise that Republicans have been reaching out in a major way to independents. But is it reaching out, or encouraging people to be repelled by Democrats?
The Tea Party is nothing but a rebranding of Republicanism, with a slightly different formula for making campaign promises. Parting from the past eight years of fear mongering via “the terrorists are out to get us” rhetoric, we are seeing a new angle that hasn’t been en vogue since the Cold War: anti-Communism fear mongering.
I’m a Socialish (it’s like a socialist, but not really), and I can assure you: Obama is no comrade of mine.
Perhaps hoping to capitalize on the disenfranchised Libertarian voter, perhaps the result of nothing more than sheer embarrassment over the Bush years, the Tea Party is little more than an attempt to drum up anti-Obama sentiment for Republicans under a different banner. After all, if those Independents aren’t voting for Obama, that must mean they’re voting for the Republican… you wouldn’t throw your vote away on some third party candidate, right?
One can already see the Tea Party is not a cohesive contingent with any sort of codified platform or ideology. There are rifts opening left and right (mostly right), dividing the group into irreconcilable contingencies with only one thing in common: a dislike for Obama.
You can’t organize people whose only common trait is that they aren’t something. As an atheist, I know a thing or two about negative group formation. It’s enough to bring people together, but it’s not enough to keep them together. The endgame strategy behind the Tea Party is clearly to elect a Republican in 2012.
And which Republican? If the Tea Party was rallying behind Ron Paul, I would be happily surprised, but they aren’t. Instead, the emerging figurehead who seems to be most active in the rallies is Sarah Palin, but this only serves to show how little impact the Tea Party itself will have. Palin is not a viable candidate (I bet Republicans will end up with Romney, and that he’ll lose to Obama).
Let’s face it. Any group that not only allows, but encourages Palin to become associated with them is not worth being a part of, and their intelligence has to be called into question. No one should have any respect for that pea-brained quitter.
I’m angry at Obama, too, but I don’t run into the arms of the first pleasant sounding siren who comes along. Anyone promising to lower taxes at a time of record debt is clearly out of touch and certainly not fiscally responsible. It’s going to take increased taxes to pay for the Bush years, let alone the Obama years, so the single biggest galvanizing issue that the Tea Party rallies behind is not only economically irresponsible, it cannot be exercised.
There will be taxes, get over it.
Even if some sort of freak accident killed every other candidate and Ron Paul were elected, he would have to raise taxes. Even if he cut every single government program, fired every government employee he legally could, and sold children who were abandoned to the state as sex slaves… he would still have to raise taxes (and unemployment would be unprecedented).
Yeah, it sucks, but we have no one to blame but Republicans, Democrats, and the American morons who elected them. The question is: will people wise up and realize the Tea Party is a Republican front? Will people put their time, energy and money behind real efforts to add political diversity to the two-tone landscape?
Be a Libertarian, be an Anarchist, be a Socialist, be something with an established ideology and its own identity, or even be an Independent, the free agent of politics. Don’t settle for the same old shit in a different box.
Unless you’re a Republican, then don that tri-cornered hat and remember: election day is Wednesday, November 10th. [Shh… don’t tell them…]