(tea) partying

I live in a so-called ‘conservative’ county, and our several annual parades now have a red-shirted, flag-waving ‘tea party’ section full of decidedly working class folks cheering about their patriotism. The local paper’s opinion pages bulge with letters, full of poor spelling and worse grammar, bleating out the lines currently popular on right-wing TV. It almost makes me cry.

These are the ‘comfortable’ Americans who know something scary is happening. These are the great mass of the (under)educated middle class; smart enough to pay attention but unable to figure out what’s going on. They’re easily frightened and they’re sure they’re right. When they’re scared they pick an enemy and attack it. They aren’t just a few folks, either. This is the real United States.

It comes about there are only two possible enemies in our newly simple-minded discussion. There’s government and there’s your boss. Who ya gonna trust?

I think you’re going to trust your boss, until you lose your job. It takes a whole lot of suffering, after all, to make a working man stand up for himself. We haven’t seen anything like it for seventy years, nor have we had a generation to be proud of, since. The country is in decline by intent, driven down by wealthy people calculating on the simple-minded support of the frightened still-employed.

Our plutocracy’s long term interests are best served by the closely regulated, upward wealth transfers championed by the Obama government, so I expect him to win re-election. But history is full of hubris and short-sightedness. Maybe the bosses really think they’ve got the Tea Party in the pocket, and they’re ready to grab for it all. Maybe they can bring on some genuine, real, hard, suffering for their red-shirted supporters. Maybe they can put some spine back into the United States. And maybe folks will start remembering the boss is an easier target than the government. If you’re into that sort of thing, perhaps the best way for the country to go is – a Romney win.

Comments are closed.