We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Early Saturday, whistles and signal calls echoed in the night air from across the river and in our midst, the clandestine communication of coyotes and cartel members using the border crisis to profit. As we moved, on foot or by car, through the thick brush toward the river or down the rocky path, we heard them all around us, moving with us, at some points frighteningly nearby.
For the progressives, tagging anything as a religion is the deepest insult they know. So, they will apply that label to their ideological enemies. Such labels have no other meaningful significance.
The tea party, as I see it, is part of a growing trend. That trend is the natural inclination of like minded individuals to band together in the face of impending doom. For generations, the American middle classes have been comfortable and optimistic. That complacency was shaken during the Vietnam years and temporarily restored by Ronald Reagan. As they view America stagger into permanent and catasrophic economic decline amid an uncontrolled flood of refugees, endless wars and many other purposely destructive government policies, they no longer feel secure. They see their taxes going up, costs increasing, opportunites diminsh and they don't like it. The middle class workers and retirees see the future and it looks like more of the same, only more so. They are correct.
Seeing themselves as hosts to many parasites, the middle class is complaining. For now, as the mad scramble for ever decreasing resources commences, it has manifested as the tea party. But, this is just the beginning.
Thus far, the tea party is a confused assemblege of individuals with an unduly restricted political vision. They are smart enough to feel the bad times coming but they haven't figured out where they truly fit in the greater scheme of things. Complaining about immigrants, taxes and wasteful social welfare spending is all well and good. Those issues are legitimate concerns. But, they don't seem to see or accept their own culpability and role in the overall mess. For example, both Reagan and Bush invited mass immigration. Obama, to a very great extent, has only taken that ball and run with it. In addition, nearly all of the middle class workers and all of the retirees consume vast amounts of public spending dollars. If they don't directly consume tax dollars working in the defense industry or government, their business depends in some significant measure on government subsidies. Education, research, finance, agriculture, etc. It all consumes tax dollars. And those industries consume tax dollars in bucket loads. The tea party loves to spend on national defense, but they hate to pay for food stamps.
For the middle class to survive, as the tea party or the republican party or whatever else it may evolve into, it needs to engage the full spectrum of public spending honestly. The gravy train is running on empty. Bitching about food stamps and minimum wage workers picking crops isn't going to get the job done.