Never mind that the Tea Party has no idea about what the real Boston Tea Party was about. Forget about the fact that almost all members of the Tea Party have benefited from portion of our social contract that they call “socialism”. If they enjoyed paved roads and indoor plumbing through a public provider - they are sucking on the government teat - even if they don’t understand that they are. The Tea Party and the radical right share an ideology that is almost completely fact-free.
You are not entitled to your own facts….
Trying to get any kind of common sense through that wall is impossible. Its as if people living in the Fox News Bubble have all bought a top-of-the-line “white noise” machine that selectively blocks out any and all facts. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was fond of pointing out “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” These days the latter does not appear to be true. We are inundated political pablum on the right that appears to be 100% fact free. Junk science abounds - with political operatives filled to the brim with all the pseudo-science the oil and gas companies could possibly provide…
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In the wake of the Wisconsin protests that seem to have spread across the rust belt - there appears to be a glimmer of hope that the public has finally awakened from their stupor of complacency.
This is in part happening because the props holding up the middle class have been knocked out from under them. Easy access to credit - GONE! How about cashing out some of the untapped equity in your home? You’ve gotta be kidding me - WHAT equity?
Last week I was the victim of a robbery. I’ve worked in some rough neighborhoods in my time - and have never once been robbed. So imagine my surprise when my briefcase was snatched by a man on foot who then jumped into a car with an accomplice and drove off.
A good Samaritan managed to observe the crime and took off after the robbers. A high speed chase with several police cars and the good Samaritan ensued and the stoned robber was cornered in a neighboring town in what only can be described as a domestic version of “shock and awe.” I was stunned at the man-power on the scene that was involved in recovering a stolen computer bag/briefcase.
Although I was grateful to get my iPhone back and my wallet and papers, had these crime Lords gotten away - I would have been lighter about $600 and change. It also has cost me in terms of business because of the time and hassle involved.
Although the general “buzz” about the Barack Obama’s second State of the Union address was considered a major success in terms of public support - one thing conservatives complained about was the lack of praise for American “exceptionalism.”
Being exceptional is something you have to keep doing every day…
So even in the midst of their calls to undo the very programs such as public funding for R&D and infrastructure that earned us that title during the post-war years, republicans still like to tout America as number one. The sad fact is that we have lapsed - as all great societies eventually have - into complacency and have assumed that “exceptionalism” is a birth right not something that requires maintenance and looking over your shoulder to see who is coming up from behind. I find this surprising given that so many of these neoconservatives and tea baggers fancy themselves business types. The first thing I learned when I went into business was that you had know what the “other guy” was doing.
The Demonization of the Intellectual Elite:
In a recent article in The American Interest - American Dreams, American Resentments, Walter Russell Mead describes the surging rage against the American upper-middle class or so-called intellectual elite on the part of the middle-middle and lower-middle classes. He points out quite aptly that the so-called upper middle class is ready to push back against the plutocracy that is now crippling our government and to their shock and surprise - when they look behind them - they find the angry masses lining up with the plutocrats - buying into their simplistic spin and fighting any hint of progressiveness tooth and nail. It often appears that the only way to prevent the fall of our republic into an institutional oligarchy will be by brute force. The great seething masses are going to have to dragged kicking and screaming into any type of future that offers them enough opportunities to thrive.