Tea Party Delusions

Tea Party members are said to be mostly educated, older, and relatively speaking well off Americans. They rail against taxes and government over reach. Their enemy is the Federal Government, their friend is the Constitution. Most adherents are pleasant and reasonable citizens on most all matters outside of politics. Why this huge change?

Last evening I was in the company of a couple I have known for over 40 years. They are descendants of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in Canada. Following their Canadian education, they relocated to the US and have lived here since. The husband had a successful career as a research chemists and his wife held a variety of jobs including running her own restaurant business. They are now ardent Tea Party believers. Why?

You get all the usual arguments. The debt is too large. Obama is a communists. (Why?) He has taken over banks and private industry. States rights are gone. The Constitution has been forgotten. The health care reform bill violates the Constitution. And, on and on.

If you try and discuss one of the issues like health care, the discussion descends. The debts too large, we have to balance the budget. Taxes are too high, we have to cut spending. Medicare and Medicaid, which are part of the US health care spend, are way underfunded already so how can you cut them? No answer,

In my opinion, at the heart of the Tea Party movement are citizens who see themselves on fixed income (even though compared to the average American they are well off). These Tea Party-ers feel the pinch of rising costs impinging on the good life they felt the American dream had promised.

The irony of the Tea Party is that it is all about them. If they were to somehow get relief from the tax burdens they decry, so many other people would immediately be adversely impacted.

The Tea Party is not about the Constitution, it is about “me”.

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