Good News, Bad News and You’re Kidding, Right?

The Tea Party — wow.  There’s a group I never thought I’d see.   For the last 6 months or year, there has been all this bizarreness out there — insanity about the health care bill, for instance, and President Obama’s birth certificate, etc.  By “insanity”, I don’t mean protest, arguement, a different view than mine.  I mean “insanity”. It’s like the right-wing has conspiracy nuts, too, apparently. I always assumed that those people were just a bunch of nuts on their own, with no party affiliation, because — quite frankly —  who would have them?  Apparently the Tea Party would.  Or used-to-would.

There’s a lot of good news about the Tea Party — the fact that it exists, is the best news.  What that means is that we might have to have a coalition government like nations around the world. No more of this Left/Right, Republican/Democrat, Us/Them mentality in government.   People have to negotiate to get what they want and different people can go different ways.  Now, of course, there are problems with power-brokering with a little third party in there, but maybe it will break this deadlock of government we’ve got going now. 

Another good thing is that it means people are getting active in the political process again. I generally don’t agree with their politics, I think, but it’s a good sign that people ARE fired up enough and ACTIVE enough to create another party.  It means we could have discussions or at least shouting matches (just kidding. I don’t like to shout) about the things that really matter in this country.

Another good thing to come out of the Tea Party is the Coffee Party.  I see their stuff on Facebook and I like it, mostly.  But, there would be no Coffee Party if there were no Tea Party.  The original (the Tea Party) created a need for a response (the Coffee Party).  It sounds derivative, and in some ways it is. So far, I haven’t seen anything wacky in the Coffee Party materials, but no doubt there are crazies in it, as well.  In any case, it would be nice if this next election, we had four viable parties to vote for.  (Sorry, Ralph Nader’s Green Party hasn’t really been viable yet, though I really like their stands.)

On the bad news side, the Tea Party hired Sarah Palin to give it’s first big speech.  Sarah Palin doesn’t need any more money, and I’m not sure she needs any press, either.  Sarah Palin is now a celebrity in her own right, the Professional Snarky Person.  She’s no longer a politician, she’s a celebrity with a twitter account and lots of publicity. Sarah Palin is the right wing’s version of me, if I had lots more money and publicity. Woop-de-do. She’s a conservative smart-ass with an opinion about everything,  and no political reality she has to deal with.  She doesn’t need anybody’s money and the money spent on her and her hand-written notes (literally) could be better spent helping somebody keep their house or what-have-you. Oh, well. Who says conservatives can’t be fools with their money, too?

In the “You’re kidding, right?” dept.: The Tea Party has/had  people in it that (according to cnn) ” have displayed such items as images of President Obama with a bone through his nose and the White House with a lawn full of watermelons.  The article goes on to say, “Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams posted on his blog a faux letter from Jealous to President Abraham Lincoln in which Williams ridicules the organization’s use of “colored” in its historic name and uses multiple stereotypes to bolster his point. Remember I said “insanity”?  Well, here, you can just add “stupidity”. 

 I now have clients who are intelligent and beautiful muti-racial people, people in my town are muti-racial — so many so, that there is controversy over which race to put down in census information at my kids’ school.  There are gorgeous, intelligent, decent, hardworking, loving people in every race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.  They all prove just how stupid racism, sexism, heterosexism is. We’ve now had generations to figure out that if Whites and Blacks mate, they don’t have striped children, Bi-racial couples don’t have to be spurned by both cultures, and nobody’s IQ drops by points.  Heck, real-estate prices don’t even have to drop anymore if people of color move into the neighborhood.

 Our children have begun actually putting these lessons into practice and people now fall in love with whoever they fall in love with, they work with whoever they work with, they learn from whoever they learn from — regardless of skin color, gender, or what the make-up of a couple is.  Students in my college classes can’t imagine a day when women were considered second–class citizens or when Blacks and Whites fought over taking the bus together.  They can’t imagine beating someone up because their in love with someone. This is as it should be. We might have actually begun to transcend race in this country.  And for most White folk I know, this is indeed true. But, apparently stupidity still exists somewhere in America.  I’d ask what these people are thinking, but the answer is that they aren’t thinking.

Back to the good news: according to CNN  “The controversy has led one Tea Party group to oust another because of a blog posting by the second group’s leader….The National Tea Party Foundation expelled Williams’ organization from its coalition as a result. “.  This gives me hope. It means that in emerging movements (and the Tea Party is one), there is still a group norm that says Racism is Wrong and It Doesn’t Belong in National Politics Because It’s Just Plain Stupid.  That means there IS a center. The left wing of the Teas and the right-wing of the Coffees are probably just normal people with consciences who want America to be a better place than it is.  There is a place where intelligent, nuanced people can go again and lots of people go there. It’s called The Middle or The Center of the political spectrum.  And in it, I believe, there is no place for stupidity because there is no place for racism. Good for the Tea Party for kicking people out just for violating the Stupidity Laws.  Let the racist nut-cases look like the splinter group they are.  Let’s see the long-view of the plaza where a million people are in one area and there are five (not five million, five) people scrathing their butts and yelling at the top of their lungs the stupidity of ages gone by.  And let’s not give them a sound bite or 10 seconds on the news like their a real threat.  

 Hey, while we’re getting rid of stupidity, can we get rid of “reality TV” too?  Just asking.

Peace,

John

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