As the photos below demonstrate it is snowing in New York. These are the views of our street and neighbours’ homes and gardens taken from the front door porch this morning. This is the second heavy snowfall this month and this one could be a record breaker.
It has been and promises to continue to be a miserable winter but if there is any consolation in all the gloom it is that it is also snowing in Tea Party land or rather that part of Tea Party land which never usually experiences weather anywhere as bad as this.
And while I have a lot of sympathy for the sane, decent people who inhabit Georgia and North/South Carolina (well, maybe not South Carolina), and there are many thousands of them, some of whom I know, the vast majority in those states now suffering power blackouts are normally enthusiastic supporters of the Tea Party and its brand of vicious social and economic lunacy.
Two defining features of the Tea Party philosophy are directly threatened by the snowstorm that now engulfs them. One is the belief that government should stay out of peoples’ lives, that people should stand on their own two feet and if they can’t help themselves then tough luck!
That approach recently led Congressional Republicans, with the shameful help of some Democrats, to demand swingeing cuts in the food stamp programme, the only thing separating millions of Americans from starvation and to cut unemployment benefit to the long term jobless.
The other is that climate change is a fiction invented by opponents of unregulated capitalism whose goal is to weaken the American oil & gas industry while empowering oil-producing states in places like the Middle East where, of course, the Muslims come from.
Both are idiotic ideas that border on the evil. But perhaps the current snowstorm and the inordinately extreme weather affecting the entire globe will begin to persuade them of the realities accepted by most of the rest of the world: that you can’t always survive without help from others and that global warming is really, really happening!
I hope so, but I doubt it. The problem is that they are really, really dumb people. So part of me is just enjoying their misery, a small payback for the misery they inflict on others.
Is this entirely accurate? I think what the Taxed Enough Already people are saying is that people/communities should help each other rather than rely/demand govt help, and tbf to them that is what the American Constitution, that increasingly worthless piece of paper, is founded on.
Don’t misunderstand I admire the idea of all help being self help but I think in practice it doesn’t work!
You’re a world class journalist but I’m afraid I have to call you out on this one. The vast majority of Tea Party supporters aren’t dumb; they’ve chosen to believe narratives supplied to them by multinational corporations because those narratives reinforce their most important beliefs. They want to believe that working class Americans could prosper if only big government would stop giving their hard-earned tax dollars away to the lazy and corrupt. This is, of course, nonsense, but the alternative would require them to question the beliefs that give meaning to their lives. If unfettered capitalism tends to give rise to corporations who ship their jobs overseas, if income inequality is not entirely the result of personal moral failings but rather of systemic failures within the American economic system, then they would have to question their most deeply held beliefs. It isn’t a coincidence that many of the same people insist on a literal interpretation of the Bible or dispute climate change and evolution. If climate change is real then the only possible solution is multinational response on a global scale. If the Book of Genesis isn’t literally true and the world isn’t 6,000 years old, then they will have to consider some truly frightening possibilities. They don’t make their choices out of ignorance, but out of need for meaning.
While I disagree vehemently with the ugly lies that motivate the Tea Party, I also understand why it’s so crucial for so many Tea Party members to embrace them. I tend to save my contempt for the deeply cynical plutocrats and corporate shills who manipulate the fears and beliefs of basically decent people for their own economic benefit.
Touche. Although let’s be honest, the purple Teletubby was a little fey…
i think you ought to re-read what i wrote. it is precisely the opposite of what you say!
Well, that’s a relief and my apologies!