Sunday, April 19, 2009

No respect for the teabaggers

One way to get a good sense of the current state of the GOP, and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the “tea parties” that were held across the country on Wednesday. These parties — supposedly anti-taxation demonstrations set up to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so. (Paul Krugman)

The sad truth is that the average American does not grasp fundamental economic concepts. This is why we have so many people looking at mortgages and credit card bills they can't pay. I live in a state which just about always votes Republican. Most of the same people here who are complaining about Obama's budget/tax policies are the same ones who just got a new tax cut – one of which they are apparently unaware. Although it is a small tax cut, add it onto what was given under the last administration, and the middle class is paying less in taxes than it has for decades. If a person makes under $20,000 a year, they barely get taxed. Yet it is astounding how most of these people seem to think that if taxes are raised on the very wealthy, they will somehow be raised on everyone. These are the same people who danced for joy when they got their stimulus money from George W. Bush.

There is no real point in blaming this on politics alone. Most of it is due to the lack of good education and listening to right-wing entertainment news. If you want politics to be truly fair and just, make sure Americans are well informed and can discern fact from fiction. TV entertainment-style news will never be able to replace a good education – nor will checking your brain at the church door.

This brings us to the teabaggers:

Teabaggers do not seem to understand that it is not the ‘liberal media bias’ that caused the hostile reaction toward them. There are other reasons why people mock and insult teabaggers. First, it's because they are offensive - calling names and telling lies like children in middle school, and showing great ignorance about our country’s history.

Second, Republicans lost badly in the election – thrown out of power because their policies ruined this country – but the Republican base (and Fox News) cannot accept the results of the election. This hardcore base is incoherently blaming Obama for problems that Republican policies caused. When someone tells them the facts, they get angry and refuse to listen. I can almost see their collective fingers in their ears.

Third, the election only just happened; the new president only just started governing three months ago. Republicans haven't given his policies – which have a clear voters' mandate – a chance to succeed or fail. Most of us believe that these members of the hardcore base are just piling it on because Obama is a Democrat; and with a bigoted minority, it is because he is black. They question Obama's citizenship and call him a Kenyan while referring to themselves as “real Americans.” But think about this: in about twenty more years the American WASP (white Anglo Saxon protestant) will be in a clear minority. The United States will be a brown-skinned country. Instead of accepting this fact and learning to interact with brown-skinned people, this group of people scream their anger about ‘losing their country.’ All of America saw those horrible racist signs that were held up during the “tea parties.” We all heard many teabaggers call our President a fascist and a monkey – which proved their bigotry and ignorance (they clearly do not know what fascism is).

Fourth, Republicans have started to walk with the crazies: white supremacists, secessionists, and anti-government terrorists (as in Timothy McVeigh). These crazies were once on the far right and ignored by all.

For years now, more than two-thirds of Americans have disapproved of Republican policies, and especially disapproved of Bush. Yet there is always a stubborn, fanatical 27 percent who adored Bush to the bitter end. "Who are these fools?" people would ask each other when the polls came out. "What are they on (as in mind altering drugs)?" So naturally, when we see them garner attention as they gathered in their teabagging groups (which was the core of the Bush base flaunting its legendary ignorance), be aware that it is not entirely friendly attention lavished upon them because people blame the Neo-con core of the Republican Party for inflicting Bush on the world.

If this minority group ever watched anything other than Fox “news” or listened to anyone else beside Rush Limbaugh, they might realize that they are in what is considered by most citizens of this nation to be a group of hardcore, far-right loonies. I know some teabaggers understand this because of their ludicrous attempts to pose as a movement containing Democrats and Independents. It isn’t. Their unconvincing efforts to try and hide the fact that they are 100% the hardcore right-wing Republican base speak volumes.

These people follow the loudmouthed insanity on Fox News and CNN, eating up the lies fed to them as if it were candy – and it shows. But how many people are actually involved – are actually gullible enough to be led into such a stunt? If one adds up the number of total teabaggers last Wednesday, there might be around 250,000 of them. This really is not a large number. The United States is a very big country with a huge population of just over 306,000,000 (that’s millions). So, even though they are loud, the teabaggers are in a tiny minority. And they are out of touch with the majority of U.S. citizens with the most recent Gallup poll showing that 61% regard the income taxes they have to pay this year as fair.

Everything that critics mock about these parties has long been standard practice within the Republican Party. Thus, President Obama being called a "socialist" or “fascist” who seeks to destroy capitalism is nothing new. Democratic presidents through the years have been called the same. Why are they calling Obama a socialist? Because he wants to raise the tax rate on the highest-income Americans back to, um, let’s see, about 10 percentage points less than it was for most of the Reagan administration. These hardcore right-wingers do not understand that this particular tax increase does not affect them. Why? They get their information from Fox entertainment news and Rush Limbaugh who LIE to them in order to stir them up. It’s like stirring up a nest of hornets that are already mad because a black man is president.

So really, whether they know it or not, everything about the teabaggers is very offensive to most Americans. But I hope they keep it up, please, because they will be further relegated to the loony bin and continue to lose elections.

And that is why the majority of U.S. citizens have no respect for teabaggers.