Saturday, November 13, 2010
Arguing with Tea Partiers
If you read political comment threads about global warming, you'll see they prove that Tea Party types can learn scientific terms--in exactly the same way as a mynah bird does.
That's why they cling to fabrications like the East Anglia stuff. Just because they can say the words doesn't mean they have the slightest understanding of what they mean.
The truth is that they're scared people who have been propagandized into believing all their insecurities are the fault of Lib-er-uls.
So when you debunk their ideas, they don't hear the debunking--they hear that you're attacking their tribe.
See, their fears are justified. They have been shafted. The inflation-adjusted incomes of most (aside from the richest) Americans has stagnated ever since Ronald Reagan spearheaded the move to take from the 95% and give it to the 5%. Moving plants abroad has kicked the slats out of their communities and their lives. The morphing of Wall Street from a service providing capital to manufacturers into a cabal of financial manipulators has destroyed their 401Ks. Their wives now have to work, which galls them.
And the Democrats haven't just made themselves into their enemy because the billionaires' sock puppets told them so. The Democrats have told them that every culture on Earth is precious--except for theirs; that every race and religion on Earth is precious--except for theirs. It has told them that their culture, race and traditions are evil things whose destruction by the shifting demographics of uncontrolled immigration is to be celebrated.
And to add insult to injury, they've discovered that their counterparts in government work make substantially more than they do--and that the public employee unions (apart from the very Republican prison guard union) generally fund Democratic pols enough to win their fealty.
Moreover, the Republicans look and talk like them...in public, at least. While the Democrats often don't. Hence the claptrap about Obama being a furriner from a furrin place with a furrin religion. Of course that's nonsense--but it accurately reflects their feelings of dislocation in their own country.
So we smart liberal--type people have a problem with both these Tea Party types and with ourselves. And unfortunately the sins of our side are more visible and obvious than the sins of the Republicans.
We do ballots in 15 languages. They do default credit swaps. Now try to explain both things to a guy with a high school education. See what I mean?
The Republicans commit their sins in the dark. The Democrats do their in broad daylight.
We do have common ground with the Tea Party types--we've been shafted just like they have.
It's probably impossible to reason with the ones whose minds are set. Most of them at least. But we have to try, don't we?
So start by agreeing that they have indeed been shafted, by both parties, albeit in ways they don't understand as far as the Republican shafting is concerned.
Just don't get your hopes up. As Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out well over a century ago, the Achilles heel of American democracy is rampant anti-intellectualism.