(the Scotland vote yesterday is way more important than this, but I don’t have the results yet and I wanted to sneak this in while I was waiting)
Let me explain to you why I despise the Tea Party so much. I don’t take issue with their concerns about government corruption and overreach*. I think those are legitimate, pressing concerns about issues which I’d hoped Obama would have reversed rather than accelerated. I dislike the racism and sexism that is more prominent in their ranks than in other movements, but hell, gamers and atheists have similar issues. Even their glorification of…let’s call it “anti-intellectualism”…doesn’t make me angry so much as sad.
No, while those things rankle, they don’t really fuel any passion in me. What gets to me is the glorification of “I-got-mine-you-can-go-screw-yourself” selfishness masquerading as individualism. This latest story about the Tea Party’s poster-doofus Cliven Bundy is a perfect example. Here’s a guy who wants to use government resources to enrich himself but doesn’t want to pay for it. He irresponsibly let his cattle wander into a highway and someone nearly died because of it. Of course, to him, it’s the government’s fault that his cattle wandered where they weren’t supposed to because he imagines some responsibility on the government’s part to fence in the land that isn’t his but he insists, AT FUCKING GUNPOINT mind you, that he won’t pay to use. He even has the balls to say that the victim of his irresponsibility ought to be indebted to him because…well, honestly, I can’t contort my brain enough to work out his logic there.
To most people, this probably seems hypocritical. Bundy insists that he can use the land, but he’s not responsible for any upkeep of it at all. To the Tea Party, though, it’s perfectly normal to expect to get without ever getting. That, dear reader, is why I absolutely cannot stand the Tea Party: It’s the almost sociopathic and utterly hypocritical level of selfishness.
* Weirdly, though, while they seem to despise the government and politicians, they positively adore the powerful people who are served by the government. The Tea Party is ultimately an extremely pro-status quo movement, which probably explains why the police have always been so much more tolerant of them than they were the Occupy folks.