Friday, December 23, 2011

The Tea Party Mentality

Growing up in a politically aware conservative family, I was taught to consider the Left a bunch of loose dog lunatics who had no cohesive message.  According to family elders, the Left was comprised (Now this was in the 1960s) of commies, anarchists, and racists (Dixiecrats).  While the Right was a more gentile civilized group who honored loyalty and unified effort.  The Right wore suits from Brooks Brothers and hung out in board rooms, country clubs, and the many yacht basins found on both coasts.  The Left existed in the ghettos, the mills, and dark dirty dives where they  conjured up their traitorous mischief over bottles of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The lines were clearly drawn,  Everyone it seemed was happy with this arrangement.

Then the Negroes finally found a unified voice and began loudly complaining about their station in Life.  Their efforts to that point had been erratic, hit or miss, no real leader had consolidated their message.  Martin Luther King and his coalition of bright angry blacks declared the current delusion of quiet peace and tranquility I call "Father Knows Best Era , Chapter One", was not going to continue.

Suddenly the Left erupted.  Civil Rights marches were now  making room for white guys and gals with New York accents.  The racist Democrats of the south and the Commie Democrats from industrial America found themselves doing battle with each other.  Add in the stupidity of the Viet Nam War, and my family's observation that the Left were nothing but lunatics seemed spot on. 

I find it amusing that the Left is now seen as limp wristed cowardly peace loving appeasers.  I remember when  many carried guns and actually used them at least as implements of intimidation instead of using them as part of some protest uniform.  Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the SDS and a host of other less well known groups actively used violence to get their point across.  The Tea Party of today is but a comical parody of the real badasses of the Left from back in the day..

Once the Civil Rights Acts were passed and enforced, once the Viet Nam War was headed for failure, suddenly a huge void of issues resulted.  The new radicals of the Left were not out of steam, but it seemed they were out of topics.  No, this just would not do.  They reached further into their bag of injustices to address and pulled out new ones.  Environment, Women's rights, Gay Rights, and some just general we are still pissed off about this or that issues.  It seemed the only issues they really wanted to push were their anger issues.

America stopped paying attention.  This country entered what I call "Father Knows Best Era, Chapter Two."  But while the issues of the left had been successfully blunted by complacency and neglect, on the Right, resentment from having their asses handed to them some years back festered.  Under the radar of mainstream America new radicals rose.  Only this time, they came from the Right.  Minute Men, Oath keepers, white supremacists, and again a host of smaller groups formed and grew over displeasure that America had shifted to far to the Left.

And so it goes, back and forth, up and down, the pendulum, the teeter totter, the winds of change all move in response to the perceived movement of the other side.  Most of the time, the rest of America sits in between mildly amused, maybe somewhat pissed, but we get on with our business hoping all of them will go away.

Seeking validity and over the top patriotism drive the anger on both sides.  Neither the Left nor the Right seem willing to acknowledge that in the long run the other side wants a better America.  Instead the fringes rhetorically and categorically relegate each other as losers and lose touch with the rest of us sitting confused in their dust.


I posted another short fiction piece over to BoZone ll - "Till Death Do US Part"


Commander Zaius said...

Its damn funny when I hear conservative republicans talk about how Southern Democrats opposed the civil rights movement back in the 60's while either ignorant or ignoring the fact that those same old Democrats are now members of the modern Southern based republican party.

As for The Tea Party types, I am sure some are honest people who are rightfully alarmed at the massive debt the United States government has built up but of all the teabaggers I personally know none are of the species. They are old fashioned racists hiding under convenient clothing.

Randal Graves said...

Trust no one.

Demeur said...

The problem now is that the far right wants to take us back to the 1890s with coolie labor and no rights. They actually wanted to lower the minimum wage and tell us that would be good for the country.