Dear Tea Party: You will now get yours


From MARK MORFORD
SFGate

And now, hot on the heels of our recent letter to whiny young Democrats, a loving shout-out to all those moderates and independents, confused conservatives and hard-line Repubs who went just a little more than slightly insane this past election.

To all of you who either flip-flopped your wishy-washy ideals and switched your vote from bluish to reddish this past election because Obama and the lukewarm Dems failed to solve all world problems in 700 days, or because you got yourself so emotionally riled up/mentally watered down by the sexy caveman grunts of the Tea Party that you actually bought the BS line about being “mad as hell” about nothing even remotely coherent.

Here is your grand message: You are hereby wonderfully, thoroughly screwed.

Oh darling, it’s so very true. The fun-filled news is, despite all the bluster and rhetoric, thinly veiled racism and rampant Islamophobia on display, the new army of jittery, anti-everything GOP bobbleheads that you just voted into office doesn’t care a single iota about you, or your haphazard values, or what you sometimes occasionally stand for. And what’s more, deep down, you secretly know it.

Are you slightly offended? Are you scowling and mistrustful of the notion? I’m delighted to hear it. Also: It doesn’t really matter.

You don’t have to believe me. Just wait until nothing at all is done to service the Tea Party non-agenda, because it’s ridiculous and impossible to service. Just wait until you note how there is no actual shrinking of government, no restoring some bogus sepia-toned idealism that never existed, no saving of your job. There is, of course, but one GOP agenda: furthering their personal stranglehold on all things powermad and avaricious.

That’s not to say they won’t try to tackle some issues. Boehner & Co care very much about nailing down enormous tax cuts for wealthy people, preventing education reform, gridlocking Congress at every turn, denying the fact that seven billion rapacious humans have an effect on climate change, and blocking as much newly available health care for 30 million Americans as possible. And so on.

But truly, the issues themselves don’t matter. For what Boehner & Co value most is not so much making any sort of significant change in American culture, but rather, in keeping the anger, the dread, the paranoia alive.

In other words, they care most about keeping you in the lower, plebian castes all riled and blind as long as possible. This way, power lies. This way we find war and military expenditure and all manner of misprision, torture, environmental rape, WMD and homophobia, you name it. Just ask Karl Rove. Hey, it’s a platform. It worked for Dubya. Well, sort of.

Perhaps you secretly agree with this assessment, understanding that the Repubs are indeed mostly shmucks, but at least they’re shmucks fighting in your corner. Maybe you think the Dems are no better, and it’s all a matter of lesser-of-two-evils, a needful balancing of power, that the nation’s new rightward tilt serves Obama right for — what was it again? “Overreaching”? For daring to accomplish in two short years more than any president in six decades? Right.

One thing’s certain: the populace remains angry and scared about, well, what we’ve always been angry and scared about: jobs, a massive deficit, war and terrorism, taxes and drugs, gangs and goons, evil bumps in the night.

But these days, one source of anger trumps all others. We are perhaps most furious about our dysfunctional political system, one that cherishes acrimony over cohesion, backstabbing over unity, bickering over a calm and respectful, unified vision. (Which is a little strange, considering how much Pelosi and the Dems accomplished in two years. It might have been acerbic, but the output was actually sort of stunning. But never mind that now).

Are both parties to blame for this hateful, acerbic tone? Are they equally responsible for the ongoing divisiveness? Sure. To some degree. Then again, no. Not really. Not by a long shot.

Let’s be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful, godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the ever-changing cultural landscape? It’s in the DNA. And the Tea Party chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.

And the Dems? The Dems wish they could be that masterful. Progressives are just terribly weak in fearmongering. There is something about the liberal spirit that values independent thought and self-determination, that defies screaming eye-glazed megachurch groupthink dread. This makes it tough to hold power for very long. It’s so much easier to rally around sameness, conformity, institution, fear of the Other. Right, Karl?

Proof? Look no further than the GOP’s leaders and mouthpieces: Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, O’Reilly and Fox News and even newly minted Senate demigod Mitch McConnell, et al. There are almost no liberal equivalents to these professional liars, warmongers, kingmakers and overlords. In the category of media and message manipulation, the libs have proven disastrous.

I take it back. Not all red-leaning voters this election are hereby screwed. If you’re tremendously wealthy and/or run a very large corporation, you’re feeling damn good right about now. Wall Street is giddy like Charlie Sheen in a Bangkok brothel, eager for more deregulation, bigger bonuses, less oversight. The CEOs of every oil company in the world are positively orgasmic knowing that their GOP breathren will now asphyxiate all attempts at new environmental legislation and regulation. And so on.

But if you are a lower to middle-class Republican, Tea Partier or flip-flopping indie voter, you are now in the most delightfully ironic position of all — you think you just voted yourself more voice, when in fact you voted for far less. You think yourself a lion; you’re actually the meat. You actually just voted yourself an even lower position on the food chain. Congratulations.

But don’t worry. There is a bright spot ahead. 2012 is nigh, and a dramatic new vote simmers and looms, as it always does. Soon enough, it will shift and mutate all over again, and we can kickstart the eternal debate once more. Something to look forward to, no?
~~

One Comment

I’m sorry. I am just no fan of Morford. How exactly is an electorate supposed to vote its own interests in this USA? In recent elections, as recent as the one to replace Ted Kennedy, there were gross irregularities that, in a nation of laws, would have required canceling the results and having another election. When vast pools of individuals, glued as we tend to be to our TVs, believe ridiculous untruths that leave folks from more functional democracies flabergasted, how is the electorate to sort out the truth from the lies in order to make an “informed” decision?

Momford is one of those “liberal” Americans who likes to rail against the destruction of our democracy as if it were still alive. This belief further implies that what Americans think really does have some influence over the imperial project of our sociopathic leadership. It is as if Momford was standing next to the coffin of a loved one saying they were sill alive, that there was still breath in the cold corpse.

A few years ago a close family member ended up in the ICU with brain death after an ill conceived surgical procedure. She lay there dead, respirator cycling, nutrition dripping through her IV, for MONTHS. Why? Because her husband was the chief homicide detective of the Chicago Police Department, the department that has since become famous for torturing designated “suspects” into confessing (and much, much more that remains secret and I am not at liberty to discuss here). The staff was terrified of the man, with good reason. So it is with us. We have elevated a class of sociopaths to positions of impunity and they have naturally destroyed any real democracy we may have contrived and replaced it with a series of theatrical events. We have become not just fearful of expressing our minds, we have abandoned the use of them entirely for prepackaged “respectable” false realities.

Our democracy is dead. Long live our democracy.

However, We the People are not physically dead, yet. The first step in overcoming denial is to learn to doubt ones circular thinking. We deserve a working democracy, but we are not going to construct a new one until we accept that the old one is as dead as that parrot in the Monty Python pet store skit. Favorite bumper sticker: “Don’t believe everything you think.”

And you know, it doesn’t have to be all that hard, painful, scary, sure, but not all that difficult once people have their thoughts back under personal control. Reconstructing democracy is as easy as learning to talk to your neighbors. Folks can study together about what needs to be done and make some plans for action. Not SOME of your neighbors, mind you. Not SOME of your neighbors that you already agree with, but ALL your neighbors who are willing to talk, who understand that we are all, no matter what artificial divides may exist, in the SAME BOAT facing ultimate destruction at the hands of the sociopathic mental defectives that we have elevated to power based on their proven ability to steal more than the rest of the competitors and their willingness to share a few crumbs to achieve their ends.

The whole world is afflicted by the same disease. It is a result of a fundamentally flawed frame of reference that sees life as a continual struggle of one against all, as a struggle of one ideology against another, as a struggle to defeat fear through violence. The ordinary people of the world understands this. The sociopaths do not. They have no interest in seeing the species survive. Their brains do not process information in a way that would allow them to care if their species survives. Winning and escaping the consequences of their actions is all their defective brains can process, so they happily march us all into oblivion. We do not have to accept their rule, but to throw it off we will have to develop a spine and be willing to confront their violent reactions with solidarity and love.

We need not hate our oppressors. To do so is to embolden them and prove for them that life is about surviving violence. We need to adopt a frame of reference that accommodates the idea that competitive hierarchies – government, military, corporate and religious – all have this property of elevating the brain damaged to positions of incredibly destructive power. Once we understand this we can start replacing these artificial dominance hierarchies, with locally grown cooperative endeavors where status is determined, to quote MLk, by the content of our characters and not by the content of our wallets.

Of course we also know about ourselves that we can never usefully be told that we are acting stupidly. Our only hope, slim as it may be, is that insight will break in the minds of the oppressed like a new dawn and we will be able to see for ourselves that we have been stupid to the point of self destruction. Or not. In which case evolution will delete us as just another failed experiment. Anthropocentrism is blind to the fact that our stupidity is not just threatening our species. Hopefully our new insight will cause us to become aware that we have initiated one of the really great mass extinction events in the history of the Earth. We will find it impossible to save our own lives until we revere life itself. We are just one knot in the great net of species that make the whole net possible. Many times in the history of life on earth the slate has been wiped nearly clean and evolution has proceeded with a new set of living forms. We need to understand that this is the real fate we face if we do not use our critical faculties to reverse our destructive path.

What a curse to be informed. To see our fate in front of us. Courage dictates that we at least try to save ourselves, and the suite of organisms of which we are a part, in spite of our dismal prospects. The geologist recently inaugurated a new geological age, the Anthropocene, the age dominated by humans. Will it be an unusually short age? If only for the thrill of the sport, I think we should at least try to extend it beyond the short period that will result if we continue to fight wars and oppress each other.

For those of you still in attendance who have developed a headache, take some Kropotkin (http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_archives/kropotkin/mutaidcontents.html) and call me in the morning.

And now the deacons will circulate the collection plates.

Baba Herb

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