20100420

We Alone at a Tea Party

This past April 15th, yr humble correspondent attended the Tax Day Tea Party protest in Washington DC. For a long time, I've said that the Tea Party is for better or worse (mostly for worse), the most vital force in contemporary America Politics, and it was time to see that force for myself. My mission was simple, to enter the Tea Party, observe their members, engage in polite discussion, and pass out Discordian style fliers directing them to www.lemonparty.org (We Alone is not responsible if you click that link!)

I arrived about an hour into the protest to find roughly 3000 people camped out by the Washington monument. In attendance was a Fox News truck, a few pollsters from Politico, a handful of police directing traffic, and several ambulances. The focus of the protest was a stage, and attendant TV screens, upon which there were various conservative talk show types, interspersed with country music sets.

The membership of the Tea Party is overwhelmingly white, and skews elderly. I doubt I saw a single African America at the protest, and a scanty handful of hispanics. And as unfair as it is to judge a book by its cover, Teabaggers look trashy. They're poorly dressed, in bad shape, ungroomed, and have the dazed, stupefied look of those who spend hours in front of the television set. A few people there in suits looked like they were also tourists.

The ideology of the Teabaggers is one of blind, inchoate anger. They are suspicious of a world that has left them behind, of a society they cannot understand, and of a government that they find distant and unresponsive. It's not much of a political philosophy, let alone a policy. While they would cut taxes, I'm sure that they would equally protest any cut in services that actually affected them. A big theme was the Revolutionary War flag, "Don't tread on me."

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Real American Heroes

The high point came when I was bullshitting with one Teabagger about how we had to go back to the founding of the Republic, when we had a small government that followed the Constitution. After some light anti-masonry on my part, he said. "You know, I'm a member of this group. We're America's oldest Progressive organization, founded down South to resist the intrusion of the Federal government back in 1873. You should join up too." For those of you who don't know your history, that's the KKK. That's right, yr humble correspondent was invited to join the motherfucking Ku Klux Klan.

Take it from the horse's mouth, compared to the other protesters I've been associated with, Teabaggers are selfish and lazy. The 2005 anti-war march I attended had over 50,000 people, for a cause that was by then a historical footnote, and included all races, classes, and creeds. The anti-globalization protesters mustered only a few hundred, but were marching in the rain and going hand to hand with DC riot cops in the street. Their energy and dedication to a better world for all made up for their total lack of intellectual coherence. In comparison, the Tea Party was camped out, as in blankets, chairs, coolers, little holders for their signs. Their activity never rose above a modest cheer when the speakers said something like "Taxes bad, you guys good!" Their presence was only in defense of their own narrow self-interest. Their intolerance matched only by their self-righteousness. This is not the future of politics, this is the blind writhing of a snake with its head cut off.


6 comments:

  1. OH GOD DO NOT CLICK THE LINK

    YOU FOOLS !

    YOU CLICKED IT DIDN'T YOU ?

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  2. Looking at that picture made me fear for your life a little. Would you call this full Gonzo journalism or something new?

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  3. Real life trolling where people can punch you if you bother them too much ?

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  4. The hell's angels did beat the hell out of Hunter. I would like to see lemonparty's traffic now
    As a side note, since when did it become so easy to join the KKK? I mean, even scientology gives you a free screening before they make you give them full control of your life.

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  5. RL Trolling is probably the best fit for what I did. And I was far from joining the KKK, I'm sure that they have some sort of more rigorous screening process. Rest assured, this will be repeated, with improve tactics and greater persistence.

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  6. ... but the people will remember you, will they not ? After a while they may just learn to chase young people with torches and pitchforks.

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