The Tea Party used to be a mildly sympathetic group, people short on facts who deserved empathy because everyone understands the frustrations of watching the country go down the shitter and feeling powerless to do anything about it. They brought an additional voice to the political debate in this country, one that was not parroting the same vague promises that brought us to the point where they felt the need to step up.
Their evolution has, however, been backward, moving back along the spectrum as though humans had devolved past monkeys toward more simple, mindless vertebrates. The Tea Party’s policy proposals have moved from conservative to reactionary to nihilistic.
What does the Tea Party propose to balance the budget? Eliminating the Department of Education, Energy, Commerce, and Housing; allowing opt-outs for Medicare and privatizing Social Security; letting people use gold-backed currency; and eliminating all federal student loans and farm subsidies.
These people aren’t stupid; they’re willfully stupid, reveling in the grotesqueness of their ignorance unlike anyone outside of Lyndon Larouche supporters. In a nation where upward mobility has fallen dramatically, they propose cuts bound to ensure things get even worse. They call themselves patriots, yet would erect barriers that can only make the pursuit of the vaunted American dream more difficult.
No compromise is permitted. Tea Party candidates negotiate only by backing off of their original positions to make them even more stringent. Democrats are complicit in their success rushing to meet them more than halfway, no matter where the halfway line has been moved.
Money has flowed to this “grassroots” movement like oil through a pipeline, much too fast, and in too large of chunks, to pass muster as a groundswell of support. The Tea Party exists now to harden the divisions that already exist, front line soldiers in maintaining the elements of the status quo that promise to reduce our stature even more than it has already. Their efforts to undermine the foundations of a developed society border on treason as they function as the shock troops of the 1%. It would be funny—many of their ardent supporters would be among the most to lose should their proposed reforms ever come to pass—if not for the fact they’ll take the rest of us down with them.