Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Going to Say Something Nice about the Tea Party

A few yrs ago I was driving around NJ listening to right-wing talk radio. I wanted to laugh.

I switched between Glenn Beck and more fringe radio filled with anger and bombastic yellers.  Most of the callers weren't upset about Obama or immigrants, but they were frustrated with the big business fraud, corporate control of government, and the GOP's lack of concern for the average person. Instead of laughing, I found myself agreeing on some of things being said. The callers were mostly older, white men. What they were saying made sense on a basic level.

Ever since listening to that, I'm continually amazed at how this valid feeling of 'losing control' gets so easily misdirected by GOP consultants into attacks on blacks, immigrants, women, gays, Muslims, atheists, unions, teachers, and other groups who -historically- have so little control over their own fate, much less others.

If there were ever day when Occupy youth and Tea Party elders could sit at the table, I think they would agree on quite a number of points. If they could get past their exterior differences and prejudices, there could be a movement fostered on helping the swelling underclass of Americans who feel angry and impotent. Of course such a 'bold' move of sitting with others and listening seems unlikely. It's seems unlikely because it would be productive, proactive, and progressive which is the antithesis of the regressive, reactionary, reductive mood of current political discourse.

But I wonder if Tea party members ever turn to MSNBC for laughs. I wonder if they ever sit at home waiting to giggle at the 'left-wing' pinkos and find themselves nodding their head as Rachel Maddow points out another case of corporate corporate and political collusion. Perhaps there is a path in the quiet moments in our cars and living rooms. I wonder if this quiet certainty is something that could be built on to bridge the gap among so many people who think they're different but are looking for the same freedom.

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