'Would the Tea Party Exist....'

"Actually, there is no alienation that a little power will not cure." Eric Hoffer

Would the tea party exist if McCain had won?  No, it would not. Even a leading tea party organizer admitted that aspect of the organization on Chris Matthews. So why? If you ask a tea party sympathizer they would tell you because McCain would be different. Of course he would be different, he would be a republican. Is that the only difference. The tea partier would of course say no.

So we know there would be no tea party if the republicans had won. That much is clear. If the tea party were a legitimate grass roots organization concerned with government and debt they would have attacked George W. Bush. They did not. So then next question, how is Obama different from Bush Jr? Well, he is not different in any fundamental way. Obama's policies so far differ nada with Bush Jr. OK then, why and whither the tea party?

Some would argue there are big differences between Obama and Bush, but a comparison so far is minimal. The difference is not real but created by the right after the loss of the presidency. Why? A simple reply would be if you think your ideology the right one, any change conflicts and confuses. Defining that ideology would be a challenge.

Jump back in that way-back machine for a moment to William Jefferson Clinton's election. Does anything seem the same? What is different? Hillary and Bill met the same anguished and resolute opposition, they were accused of the same socialism. Hillary was pilloried as beyond evil, often as the devil herself. Why? And what has changed. Eight more years of republican governance and power. Add more corporate money for think tanks, books, and other various propaganda and you have the makings of today.

Then there is the complex issue of race. Racists run from the label racist, only the skinheads actually admit their racism. Of course they will tell you they are protecting their race. For the tea party, racism exists at the fringes, but common foes always provide for an assorted group of odd bedfellows.

A great irony of the tea party is fact they appear mainstream and basically comfortable with their perks as baby boomers, social security recipients, and medicare participants. All the so called socialism they presumably are against provides them great comfort.

So who is their Marx, their Mao, because all movements of this sort have leaders. This is a question that deserves a study in mass movements. I would surely name Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and many conservative and corporate think tanks, web sites, and blogs as their leader, or at least instigator. The run-up to the election was filled with the worst vitriol, and had the republicans under Bush not failed so badly, or even selected a change candidate - is that possible - the election may have been different.

Would the tea party exist if the republicans had won? The human mind often lives a narrative that is pure fantasy. Conservative media provided and provides that fantasy. If only things were different all would be well. If only someone else was in charge. It is the power of mass movements and mass hypnosis that motivates the tea party today. But it is the loss of power that motivates its leaders as it always has.

"Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves." Eric Hoffer


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