I attended a Tea Party rally on income tax day this year, mainly because I hadn’t been to one yet and wanted to see if they were still hiding their radical social policies behind endless claims that they are all about the economy. I was planning on writing a piece on my experience there, but honestly, the rally was exactly what you’d expect one to be in a deep red county in central Pennsyltucky. I can sum it all up quickly:
Government is evil, unless it is being used to control women, deny homosexuals their rights, and keep Hispanic’s out of the United States, in which case government is God’s hand in action. Public safety nets and government “hand-outs” should be cut immediately because they allow the poor to live in luxury on the dime of decent, hard-working Americans who have never asked for nor taken anything from the government. (Which I’m sure would surprise the hell out of the government, since I’d bet about 70% of the attendees were drawing Social Security checks and benefiting from Medicare. Damn Socialists.) Obama is a socialist. Obama is a fascist. Obama is probably not the right kind of Christian, if he’s even a Christian. Santorum is too economically liberal, Romney is too socially liberal, but vote for them anyway while we elect True Conservatives to remake this country as the founders intended!
The people I talked to were overwhelmingly Christian, and almost to a man felt that Obama was waging a war on religious freedom. I heard Sandra Fluke called things that Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t have dared even think, let alone say out loud. The speakers stuck to the economy, but conversations amongst the attendees focused on social issues. Gun rights (Obama is coming for the guns, apparently), personhood amendments, banning abortion, putting homosexuals back in the closet, how forced ultrasound bills don’t go far enough, and how Christians are persecuted in the United States. I heard some Sharia law talk, normally accompanied by comments about the “muslim-in-chief.” I’d make a comment about the racism of many attendees, but it would be a cheap shot, because in this area it’s hard to tell if it is a Tea Party thing or just a central PA thing.
Cognitive dissonance is strong in the United States. (Or at least in central PA.) I hope the independent voters understand how far right the GOP has drifted over the years. This isn’t a political disagreement anymore; this is batshit insanity.