The recent “National Tea Party Convention” has inspired me to pick up again Susan Jacoby’s book The Age of American Unreason, which is about the threat that rampant intentional ignorance and anti-intellectualism poses to the continued existence of our democracy and our nation. I started to read Jacoby’s book when it came out in 2008 but then I put it down. I’ve picked it up again, as now it seems timelier than ever.
I liken our national situation to this: A horribly incompetent surgeon seriously botched our surgery. So we pick a new surgeon. However, the damage that the first surgeon caused is so serious that the second surgeon can’t fix it overnight. Impatient and frustrated, we think that it’s a swell idea to return to the first surgeon. After all, a whole year has passed since we last saw him!
That is how bright it is for us to turn the reins of power back to the Repugnican Party, which “Tea Party” Queen Sarah Palin-Quayle tells us we should do. (It’s funny how she states that the “tea party” isn’t about any one person, when clearly she would love to be their leader.)
I understand that people are frustrated, angry and confused. But it is precisely when we are frustrated, angry and confused that we need to think, and to not act stupidly — because acting stupidly in a time of crisis will only worsen our crisis.
This excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article on the recent “tea party” convention in Nashville, Tenn., sums up the “tea party” crowd pretty well, I think:
Ask Gail Hathaway, a warm 61-year-old retired nurse from Vonore, Tenn., what she wants out of the “tea party” movement, and she returns the quizzical look of someone worried she’s been asked a trick question.
“What do I want? Well, I want it all to stop,” she said late Thursday night from the floor of the National Tea Party Convention, an event billed as the first major conference for the conservative movement currently reshaping America’s political landscape. “Our way of life is under attack. I truly believe they are trying to destroy this country. It’s just hard to say who ‘they’ is.”
That is it, in a nutshell: The world is changing rapidly, and the “tea party” crowd wants it to stop. The United States as a whole no longer resembles the cozy little lily-white town of Mayberry, N.C. (if it ever really did), and the “tea party” crowd wants to bring Mayberry back.
Only you can’t bring Mayberry back, even if doing so were a good idea (which it isn’t), and no one is “trying to destroy this country.” Not even the “Islamofascists,” who just want the United States to get the fuck out of the Middle East and who want to be left the fuck alone, which sounds fairly reasonable to me, as we wouldn’t want a Middle Eastern military presence in our nation, would we?
Not even the home-grown wingnuts — with the exception of the rapturous “end-timers,” I suppose, who want World War III to occur because they are “saved” — are “trying to destroy this country.” It is true that the wingnuts’ fucktardation, unchecked, would result in the destruction of the nation — already the wingnuts’ fucktardation has brought the United States to the brink of extinction, when their usurper “war” “president” ran the show for eight endless years — but do I think that they want to destroy the nation?
Probably not, although it seems clear that Sarah Palin-Quayle wants WW III to happen. She suggested today that President Barack Obama could win re-election in 2012 if he were to declare war on Iran. (Hey, she was the running mate of John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCainosaurus, after all.)
Now, never mind that just yesterday at the Wingnut Super Bowl in Nashville, Palin-Quayle accused the Obama administration of “generational theft” by running the federal budget deficit up even more than the BushCheneyCorp did; today, Palin-Quayle suggests that we launch a war on Iran.
Because that would not be “generational theft,” to launch another major war in the Middle East when you are still reeling from the record federal budget deficit that the previous Repugnican “president” left you and when things have been crumbling here at home for some years now.
As I’ve said before, the wingnuts are fine with running up a deficit as long as we are using that money to kill innocent people in the Middle East in their “Christian” crusade against Islam; but if we want to spend any money on Americans here at home, that is “socialist” “generational theft.”
How would Jesus budget? Would he prioritize things like health care? Education? Food? Shelter? Environmental protection?
No! He would launch a war on Iran!
“Our way of life is under attack. I truly believe they are trying to destroy this country,” the “tea bagger” told the L.A. Times, admitting that she couldn’t even identify “they.”
No, it’s that things are changing. Rapidly. Science and the Internet, the free flow of information, haven’t been very kind to the ignorant and fear-based “Christianity,” the brand of “Christianity” that the wingnuts follow.
Because the wingnuts feel like they are under attack doesn’t mean that anyone is actually attacking them. It’s what you call “paranoia.”
Millions and millions of other Americans don’t look, believe and act just like the wingnuts do. In their insecurity, if everyone is not on the same page with them, the wingnuts become unhinged and unglued. Rather than examine their own ignorance and their own misguided beliefs, the wingnuts lash out at those others who aren’t carbon copies of themselves. And rather than change with the times, the wingnuts would rather destroy those whose differ from them, and that is a long hit list: non-whites, feminists, non-“Christians,” non-heterosexuals, non-right-wingers, foreigners, et. al., et. al.
If I want to marry my boyfriend of two-plus years here in Northern California, it’s because I want to marry my boyfriend. (I take the American principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all” seriously, you see, and unlike the wingnuts believe, I don’t believe that these things are for only those who look like me and who agree with me.)
If I want to marry my boyfriend, it’s not because I am “attacking” the “way of life” of some “tea-bagging” “Christo”fascist wingnut in Idaho who opposes same-sex marriage. If I want to marry my boyfriend, it has nothing to do with the wingnuts, whom history is leaving behind. (Funny that they should rally around a wingnutty book series called Left Behind when they are the ones who are being left behind, like the dinosaurs that they don’t believe in were left behind.)
The root of fear is ignorance, but the wingnuts embrace their ignorance.
In her rant at the Wingnut Super Bowl yesterday, “Tea Party” Queen Sarah Palin-Quayle said that “we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”
That “clever” line is to meant to glorify stupidity and brute force and to denigrate intelligence. George W. “Mission Accomplished” Bush was a great commander in chief? Yeah, I want a dumbfuck in charge of the nuclear codes. I want my nation’s leader to be as dumb as humanly possible.
Palin-Quayle panders to the dumbfucks. She assures them that their dumbfuckery is not only OK, but that their dumbfuckery is a sign that they’re great Christians and that they’re great patriots. She has the “tea party” set worshipping a fucktarded golden calf.
We sane Americans underestimate, I believe, how dangerous individuals like Sarah Palin-Quayle and her “tea-partying” ilk are. In the last decade alone, they stole at least one presidential election, oversaw the largest terrorist attack ever on our nation’s soil, launched at least one bogus war, just allowed one of the nation’s worst natural disasters ever to kill thousands of Americans, and in all of this created a record federal budget deficit — but they blame the current state of the nation on Barack Hussein Obama.
The “tea party” “movement’s” Cult of Dumbfuckery appeals to the millions of Americans who never read books (except perhaps for Glenn Beck’s) and who get their “news” from FOX. The “tea party” “movement” tells people that it’s not only OK to be ignorant, but that it’s good to be ignorant.
This is some pretty fucking scary shit, folks.
If anyone bothered to read books anymore, they might recall the ruling totalitarian party’s credo in George Orwell’s chilling novel 1984:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
That is Sarah Palin-Quayle’s and the “tea party” “movement’s” “vision” statement in a nutshell.
If we allow their “vision” to rule the nation again, we won’t have a nation any longer.