The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, March 29, 2010. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's blog at The Huffington Post website.
The Tea Party Movement Is Undemocratic, Futile, and Violent at Its Core
I watched an older man interviewed at a Tea Party gathering. "We're going to get that whole gang out," he said. Interviewer: "You mean in Washington?" "You bet -- Congress, the President, the remaining liberal Supreme Court members."
"How does he plan to do that?" I wondered. The interviewer didn't follow up.
Presumably satisfied with his own representative, this man wants to replace all the other duly elected officials in the United States, along with individual Supreme Court judges. That can only occur due to a military, or a militia (dream on) uprising, and result in a dictatorship. And that is the truth at the heart of the Tea Party movement.
So this guy and his fellows are griping because people in New York are not going to elect officials he likes. And, if a majority of the country ever did, they would soon swing back and elect a different set unsatisfactory to the Tea Party. That's the nature of electoral politics.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday found that the Tea Party membership is overwhelmingly white, disproportionately evangelical Christian, and less educated than average Americans. Throughout American history, know-nothing, nativist movements like this one have arisen in response to immigration and other societal changes. They rise and fall.
The only thing that could change this dynamic is if somehow they permanently grabbed control of the country's reins. Even in the highly unlikely scenario that they elected Sarah Palin and ascended to power, there would be immediate pressure for them to let go of the reins -- a majority of children born in the country will soon be non-white.
At one of his town hall meetings Friday, Glenn Beck led a group of white people through their catechism. "How many think that change in this country will come from Washington?" Not one person raised their hand. Then where will it come from, and how?
When Beck reviewed health care in the U.S. on a previous show, even he was forced to acknowledge there are problems with the current system. His #1 solution? Tort reform. How would tort reform be passed? Since most civil suits are brought in state courts, the only way to impact the entire nation is by passing a federal law. That takes place in Washington, brother Glenn. And Beck supports a highly aggressive overseas national policy. Where does that originate (like the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars did)?
The entire Tea Party platform of fundamentally reversing American policies affecting everyone, including all those people who have elected a president and Congress they don't like, is unfulfillable. And people can only get hurt in any futile efforts to achieve this delusion.