The New Know Nothings

On April 15th, the Tea Tantrum Baggers Party gathered at places all over the United States and protest… something. I wish I could say with clarity what the hell they are protesting, but between the media reports, their own PR, and what I have heard, I can’t really say I have an idea of what grievances they are petitioning the government. I would guess from the name that it had something to do with taxes, but the website, the pictures from the blogosphere, and the media coverage put it all over the place. (Thus a failure of modern protests when there is no central message.)

Moreover, it reminded me of a nativist party of the earlier American politics, the Know Nothings. While the 19th century Know Nothings earned their name as a reply to query of their activities (“I know nothing”), these 21st century Know Nothings would derive their name from the fact that they truly know nothing. Trifling matters such as facts, evidence, and reality do not deter them from decrying the apparent “excesses” of the newborn Obama administration. The taxes of the middle and lower class have been temporarily cut, not increased. The national debt generated from the Republican Congress and White House of the past eight years are finally being completely reconciled and included in the actual budget. We are not headed towards socialism, communism, or fascism due to the Obama policies; not even the true European Socialists believe such malarky. I won’t even address the claims of the Birthers, Creationists, gun owners, Creationists, or anyone not central to the tax issue since most are absurd and the others irrevelant.

The majority of these protesters truly know nothing. And their prejudices are so deep, their ideaologies are so firm, there can be no dialogue, no exchange of ideas, and no political compromise so we can move forward together. There is nothing but rage against a government that was not of their choosing, elected fairly in our democratic society. It’s the emotional exultation of those who felt that losing the election was the same as losing their country. You cannot argue the merits of democracy and then proclaim all opposing viewpoints as being traitorous. The lack of logic and reasoning makes my brain hurt. It’s as thought the mantle of minority fringe political theatre has been passed from the moonbat wackery on the left to the wingnut wackjobs on the right, and the cycle begins anew. (The benefit of the extreme politics of either side is that it drives people to the all powerful political center.)

I feel sad for the group of libertarians who started the tea party idea long before the past election as a means of protesting government taxation. They don’t deserve to have their excellent political point hijacked by these new know nothings. Ignorance as presented on such a grand political stage is disheartening for the future of our current system. A lack of grasp of the facts and political reality is also a sad moment for me as those who protest the spending and debt of the government said nothing during the previous years when it was created.

Another disconnect and shirking of responsibility all in the name of partisan politics. And, as a result, here arises the new Know Nothings.

2 thoughts on “The New Know Nothings

  1. I love a good protest, especially one with a battlecry that is such good joke fodder, but I think in their 8 years of power the right wing forgot how to stage one. No message, no vetting their title, not remembering to get a permit to actually dump those 1,000,000 teabags. It was a hot mess. And now the National Organization for Marriage is calling its new anti-gay-marriage initiative … 2M4M. They’re the gift that keeps on giving!

    Really, I think it comes down to how lost the GOP is right now. All that uber-conservativism seemed to work for them for 8 years, and now that the tides have turned they have no clue what to do. I kind of feel for them, because I remember thinking in 2004 that the Democrats were SCREWED in 2008 because I thought it would take more than 4 years for them to a) develop a brand, and b) come up with a viable candidate. But, in 4 years we went from Kerry (ee gads) to having the eviable problem of too many good candidates. And for godsakes, if the Dems — who so often snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — can do it, the party of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney will probably find a way.

    Did you hear that the RNC is voting soon on trying to change the Democratic Party’s name, officially, to the Democrat Socialist Party? Seriously. Not just a few GOP nutjobs … the RNC. Unbelievable. I don’t think they know what socialism is.

    • And this is the only the first hundred days. What are they going to do for the next 1300 days?

      The internet has lead to a ton of stunts these days. A group can make a commercial, post it on YouTube (not television, YouTube), send out a press release to the news outlets, and viola! they get their ad covered without the expense of broadcasting it on television. I think the renaming of the Democratic party is just another one; it is much ado about nothing.

      The Republican party in its present form is the product of the social conservatives taking over the party apparatus. That’s what drove me out of the party in the early 2000′s. The people who proclaim that God loves all of his children have taken it upon themselves to remove those who disagree with their moral issues from the party. They risk completely marginalizing themselves with a continuation down a road of failed social policies (nevermind their economic ones, which a quite lacking). They are beholden to a base that cannot carry them to victory.

      Overall, there are a lot of shenanigans in our political process. The quickness to label, the rush to act without preponderance, and the disconnection with previous actions and statements cannot continue. People confuse ease of information access for comprehension and the acceptance of the facts without support leads to the death of critical thinking and skepticism. (Reagan is the one who was quoted as saying, “Trust but verify.” We could all use a bit more of that these days.)

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