If tea time yesterday was at the usual hour—I'm proud to say I didn't get the invite.
What's news to me is not getting invited because I "... don't know what I'm talking about with regard to tea party people."
According to a tea party critic, I've "done no research," I've "told lies in [my] article and [I'm] lying now."
As an aspiring journalist I have to take the allegation seriously: I went ahead and did more research on the tea party.
According to the tea party critic, the tea party is not the "Burkeian throne-and-scepter" conservatism I've described it as because it has no social agenda—it's "purely fiscal." Despite this libertarian agenda, he doubts that its financed by a "super-rich" element. He asserts: "Cutting taxes to the wealthiest ... DUH! How do you think we create jobs in America?" He says, "When you take money from the wealthy they stop pushing money into the economy."
He says the tea party is after a "more moderate regulation" of the economy because "over regulation is a boon to big business." It tyrannically kills all small and medium-sized companies because it "takes a team of lawyers" to survive the economic regulations imposed by President John McCain for example—is a "progressive Democrat." He says "These are the principles of the tea party I know.". "Smaller government with smaller budgets means the people actually have an idea what the government is up to." Anyone who opposes this kind of thinking, like
Yes, this is what tea party conservatives actually believe ...
Now, as politely as I can, I'm going to take this argument apart with something I like to call rationality.
On their own websites at teapartypatriots.org and teapartyexpress.org, the tea party gives mission statements that they want "constitutionally limited government" or at least to reduce its size. Tea Party Patriots makes a reference to aquote to defend reducing the federal budget—in line with an appeal to the "Founding Fathers" argument that most tea partyers make.
When I sharp-shooted the gentleman that Alexander Hamilton proposed a National Bank over then Vice-President Thomas Jefferson's objections precisely because it would further the regulation of a national economy, or that Jefferson himself promoted a progressive income tax in the "Notes on the State of Virginia," his response was less than coherent. The irrational argument that somehow assumes to speak for Founding Fathers blissfully unaware of the modern technocratic experiment with the welfare state is in-and-of-itself, ipso facto, predicated on Burkeian assumption.
The good is the old, and only because it's old is it good. That is the only reason our tea party can logically justify the robber-baron capitalism of Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly.
The response to my criticism of the robber-baron state, that the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall Act and George W. Bush's hamstringing of the SEC are precisely what created the 2008 "Countrywide" housing bust were greeted with the response "You're on crack ... You don't have enough knowledge on this subject to discuss it accurately." That's something I have to admit I haven't heard in a while.
I will confess a certain degree of incensed "liberal elitism" that my summa cum laude B.A. in political science was derided by, in this case: A high school graduate. But I must freely confess human, all too human imperfection of reason. I must substantiate that my opinion is backed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith, author of "Who Stole the American Dream," while the critic's is substantiated by Sarah Palin—who can see Russia from her backyard. Having interviewed my father, another fiscal conservative, skeptical of Obamacare but minus the tea party ideology—I found him curiously concurrent with my view of the origin of the "housing bubble" and its bust.
Normally, journalists don't get school-house credit for "talking to daddy." Except in this case, if I confess I might not know what I'm talking about, then David Andrew Knutson, CPA and professor of business and economics does.
So much then for a small government, fiscally responsible tea party.
As for not possessing a social agenda, or not being associated with the birther movement—well I did some research there too.
My tea party critic says my criticism is invalid because Michael Ashmore (the Confederate flag idiot), whose name I didn't know or care about until the critic told me, is not a "confirmed" member of the tea party.
OK, well then how about confirmed tea party member Sonny Thomas, who, according to an article by David Ferguson in "The Raw Story," unfurled a confederate flag at a school board meeting in Ohio for "protesting the removal of religiously themed and ideologically slanted classes from the district's summer curriculum." That was July 13 of this year. The conservative-biased "Daily Caller" had to admit egg on their faces with the aptly named article "Liberals on Twitter: One idiot with a Confederate flag at a tea party rally=GOP is racist." Trying to make the argument that the tea party conservatism connotes only what a libertarian division wants it to simply doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
The critic asks me "How do you KNOW we're out of touch?"
How about this: You defend a movement that tolerates Confederate-flag-idiot at a rally with, Ted Cruz, and your party leadership.
The tea party critic answer is that Sarah Palin, or anyone politically inconvenient for that matter, is not tied to the tea party movement: " ... you shouldn't espouse lies about them either. Palin and Buchanan are NOT the mouth pieces of the tea party ... There is NO leader ... there are NO leaders ... It's because they can't be controlled."
And isn't that the truth?
The party that preaches fiscal and constitutional responsibility and a return to "American prosperity" consists of a rank-and-file rabble of ideologues without rational, coherent leadership, apart from maybe Koch brothers' sponsorship out of Heritage Foundation—and this is something to be proud of?
For the next generation of tea party critics who file "hurt feelings reports" over my articles, I say only this:
We, the "moderate Republicans" or "progressive Democrats" dumped you, unfriended you on Facebook and refused to return your phone calls simply because you are more interested in what is right-wing, than simply what is right.
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Sources retrieved from:
Smith, Hedrick. (2012). Who Stole the American Dream? Random House Press. pgs. 43-328.