To Tea Or Not To Tea by Joel S. Hirschhorn

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by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
February 9, 2010

As a long term, proud political dissident and rebel I have had some admiration for the national tea party movement.  I welcome all that shakes up and reforms our dysfunctional political system.  But in the end I find far too much distasteful about what these people embrace to participate in or support it.

I have been especially disappointed with their lack of interest in reforming the American political system through a third political party.  Sometimes tea party people say they are fed up with both major parties, but they keep supporting Republicans.  As if this will put people in Congress who would actually act as independents and work courageously to enact true, deep reforms.  Call my cynical, but I doubt whether people like Senator Scott Brown will resist pressures to be loyal Republicans no matter how extensively they avoid calling themselves Republicans in their campaigns.  Sadly, the tea party movement is a blow to third parties, particularly the Libertarian Party that has struggled for many years.  Could some very clever people be using this movement to strengthen the Republican Party rather than transform the political system?  If so, then most of the tea party crowd have been conned and deceived.

Second, I am nauseated by the noxious negative views about President Obama, even though I did not support or vote for him.  Attacks on his citizenship, calls for his impeachment, and labeling him a Marxist seem thinly disguised tactics hiding racism and not an accurate understanding of the facts about him and his policies.  To simplify, for example, getting the nation out of the Great Recession requires massive government spending to reboot the economy, a plain fact that virtually every economist over the entire political spectrum recognizes.  It does not represent socialist or Marxist principles.  Yes, there should have been more spending on directly helping people and small businesses rather than the financial sector, but this does not invalidate massive government spending.

Third, the pervasive support for smaller federal government and so many other openly expressed platitudes reveal inconsistencies and outright hypocrisy about what tea party zealots are willing to do to show their true beliefs.  I want to see these people proudly professing their commitment to stop participating in social security and Medicare; stop using public schools for their children; stop taking unemployment payments or support for job training; stop using local police and fire departments and public libraries.  I want to hear far more support for necessary government functions.  Less government does not necessarily equate to better government.

With critical thinking tea party zealots must recognize that it was not excessive government action that caused the Great Recession, bur rather too little government action to stem the greedy actions among banks and other financial institutions.  The core problem is not excessive government but corruption of government by private sector corporate and other special interests.  Yet I hear very little from this crowd about the exact means they would use to eliminate pervasive corruption of the two-party plutocracy.  Their glib talk about freedom and regard for the Constitution is not supported by more than empty rhetoric.

I would have much more respect for this movement if it embraced the nonpartisan effort by Friends of the Article V Convention at to make Congress obey the Constitution and give us what the Founders believed would be a necessary option: An Article V Convention of state delegates that could propose constitutional amendments, true reforms that the corrupt Congress will never propose.  Without this there are a whole lot of constitutional hypocrites.

Fourth, passionate support for Sarah Palin is appalling.  There is no rational basis for such support based on her beliefs, actions and policy positions.  She is a blatant numbskull and intellectual midget with damn good looks and speaking skills, but to make her a political leader is disgraceful.

In sum, it is heartening to see so many Americans with genuine anger, frustration and disgust about American politics and government.  I share these feelings.  Great motivation, but what it is producing seems little more than an avenue for racist views and desire to strengthen the Republican Party, which when it had considerable political power did far more to advance corporate interests and the wealthy than helping ordinary Americans.

We need a populist Second American Revolution.  Populism yes; Republicans and Democrats NO!  Recognize this or die still waiting for the change you have been waiting for and suffering with a delusional democracy.  See the Article V convention option as the constitutionally provided populist path to true reforms.  Demand that candidates openly support making Congress obey the Constitution and give us the first Article V convention.  An Article V convention would be the way to have a meaningful tea party that honored our Founders.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through; he is a co-founder of Friends of the Article V Convention and former chair of the Independent Party of Maryland.]


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The “Tea Party” movement in the US: a right-wing media creation –

The Colbert Report: Sarah Palin Uses a Hand-O-Prompter +”Sarah Palin is Retarded!”

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The Daily Show: Back in Black – The R-Word

28 thoughts on “To Tea Or Not To Tea by Joel S. Hirschhorn

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  10. as a christian universalists , i have written much against ethnocentricity and tribalism . and i happen to agree with you . the one book of Frued that really makes sense is ”totem and taboo ”.
    but i think that the way out of tribalism and the ethnocentric mindset is God . to this we part ways . when i say God , i dont mean wish fullfillment , or projection that Fuerbach talks about , or Adler’s ”fictional finalism ” , but the apprehension of God , and that this kingdom is within us .

    • Well read/well known. Gods/godlessness always remains abused by nationalists.

      Progressive activism was an abberation now marginalized and mocked, luckily there was progress before greed closed the curtain on Common Sense.

      We never made it to the Mountaintop, we slide daily downhill full speed. We owed it to the struggle to do better. The chance is gone, greed is now god.

  11. NATUREBOY –if you have gotten thru the whole Zinn thing on the 3 holy wars you will see a thread here of the white eilte deciving the poor whites.
    your problem is that you overgeneralize. i am a pacifist and i understand and agree with your objection to the whole militia thing big time . but what Zinn is getting at is that many many many poor caucasians in all 3 of these wars were just trying to mind their own business, and were victims by the hegemony of the elites .
    look at the stats on the civil war. first off , Lincoln , as Gore Vidal says really was our first dictator . he used slavery as an excuse to consolodate power in D.C. and rape the South . most whites in the south did not even own slaves.
    by the time ww2 came around , the america first movment was really speaking for america just as the troskyites spoke against ww1 –NON-INVOLVEMENT .
    so how do you and Patton back up the fact that ”amercians love to fight , they love the sting of battle ”. nothing could be further from the truth . they want to drink beer and yell at football games.
    it is always the damn elites that get -by military conscription ( which is unconstituional ) massive amouts of men ww1, ww2, korea, vietnam . …to fight . and guess who the majority of them are –CACAUSIANS . this is the untold history . balance your view and stop overgenralizing pal .

    • Actually I don’t believe in parties, nor generalizing based on groups. Those who align with groups give away their self determination and free will. I don’t align with teams, ethnicities, classes, tribes, never was a deadhead, never a groupie nor a political partier. I believe in the individual, the body has a head.

      I feel those who choose to comport with warcrimes make the individual choice to do so, and are individually liable and responsible.

      The weakness of our species is in the algnment with teams, tribes, ethnicities, corporations, us vs. them, etc. Racism, tribalism is a counterintuitive flaw in our brains, a relic of an irrelevant era. Likely it’s an addiction.

      Recently my position is supported by science. We are not definied by groups, only the species. The tribes are our fatal flaw.

      The most recent groupist phenomena is the alignment between poor whites and corporate capitalists. It was a scheme, it was done deliberately, the heartland is to blame for being suckered IMO and all participants are to blame for the trouble caused by the alignment between evangelicals, capitalists, corporatists, republicans and right-wingers and all who align with this general selfishness.

      Regardless, I don’t forgive any racists, they individually know better.

      I will muscle through more Zinn, its hard to take, but I don’t excuse enlistees nor conscriptees. Didn’t some Irish immigrants rampage through Manhattan about the civil war conscription (racist as they apparrently were, but well-trained in fighting the Brits), there is a choice. Jail before killing. Before that run!

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  13. i am glad somebody is raising hell . i dont care what side of the feence they are on . natureboy , have you seen howard zinn’s ”3 holy wars”. it talks about how poor cauacasians took the brunt and were suckered into these wars . suckered by the elite. Zinn is right on . i am working on a peice called ”the American Cauacasian Holocoast ”, taken from Zinn .

    here is a qoute that may help you see why Caucasians are so pissed off :

    ”Civil rights Law were not passed to protect the rights of white men , and do not apply to them ”
    Mary Francis Berry
    Chairman , US Commision on Civil rights

    doesnt sound so civil to me ? sounds racist . instead of white men , insert any group you like there , and you will see what i mean . if it is not civil for ALL . then it is not civil .

    • In truth I can only scan through Zinn’s writings, really I get toxic shock radiation poisoning… not much use to any movement.

      One of the brilliant qualities of Zinn was his ability to smile through the gore while explaining it to us. He was a death–from-the-air bomber, he saw the worst, did the worst, and had the balls to deal with america’s favorite pastime just as he had the balls to mass-murder civilians.

      I admit I don’t have such balls, I run for the hills every which way, and thus got stuck with crazy holler-dwelling white men with guns who think they’re tough and rebels yet are simply bad-seed low-intelligence racist fatness on quads living on deer and corporate downer meat.

      There are a few bombers and gunners who can cope, I can’t really cope with the whole thing.

      He’s got a great piece on Zmag from 1999 about how jews need to expand their insular views about the holocaust and include the rest of the holocausts in which even they may now be complicit.

      I just don’t buy it about pissed-off white people, if they knew how Appalachians were really abused by the coal industry, for example, I’d grant them right to be pissed. But they are wholeheardeadly, unthinkingly complicit, why? Because they have allowed themselves to become diseased, in racism, abuse of nature, and they love it, they are the poor whites who love being poor as long as they get to drink, shoot animals, and hate so-called non-whites (and moan about everything while they fail to function when the money’s good so they are destined to be poor, not like anyone’s really stopping them from being proper self-serving capitalists, least of all Obomba, yet they’ve made a sport of hating him for his melanin).

      Really it’s a very, very bad culture, no better in reality than the hideous servile germans. I give them no slack, this culture of miserable fat white men is all one monolithic thing, every opportunity, yet they sign up to kill hadji like it was a video game, they get to go down, no tolerance!

      The day they reject the fallacy of the civil war instead of being civil war re-enacters (I mean, they worship all the parts of flint-lock rifles, it’s like a religun), is the day I will believe ‘raising hell’ for the sake of being rowdy fat whiteboys with no cajones has some value to proper dissent.

      They dissent because they hate, and they are lazy, and hateful laziness is not revolution, it’s disgusting.

      Did the KKK get kudos for fighting the Jim Crow reform just because they spent time being fat white mobsters?

      I DON’T THINK SO!!

      • One mo thing about these birthers, I finally emailed them the War Resisters League Pie-chart, showing how more than half their Big Fed revenue is going to war, and the brutal broadcasts stopped (as I finally called the state cops on the AR-15 maniacs in the woods, if it weren’t for fear of mcveigh terrorists, I’d have been the target).

        I asked them how many Teabirthers VOTED for this madness? No reply, silence. You know they all did!

        The broadcasts have stopped, as has the shooting. May there be peace, even superficially.

        But if there’s some twisted sympathy for teaparty gunmongers because they share common-cause with indictment of big gov’t and seem to show some rowdiness about it, explain why they don’t resist war??

        Answer: Fat white male amerigoons simply love to kill. Their patriotism is a farce. The just want to shoot things, and will spend any amount of revenue to be cold-blooded killers, especially if they can call it patriotism. Believe NOTHING about their ‘politics’!

        No tolerance.

  14. If illiteracy, racism, obesity, gun-mongering mullet-headed red-stated mutations who love to kill animals for fun, who think swamp-logging is the bees knees, who drool after impalin while mainlining billy graham, glen beck and road-racing lawnmowers is the best opposition to big gov’t this national monstrosity can produce, god bless amerigaah.

    Based on the local birther red-state nonsense in the email, there is one thing that unites them beyond all their fascination with shooting squirrels, it’s their pandemic, virulent, irreconcilable, incurable, intransigent, ignorant hatred of so-called non-white people.

    See Rosewood, THAT is what the teabirthers are, a lynchmob who want one thing only: Confederate victory and the right to bear bazookas. Paulbotists should be ashamed of the mess they made of revolution.

    • Hi Natureboy, good to see you again. Of course, your comment would be taken more seriously if you left the name-calling out.

      Those in the original “tea party” (Ron Paul supporters) are not necessarily involved in this movement. Most of the Ron Paul supporters are still opposed to the wars, want to audit the Federal Reserve, eliminate the CIA, remove the Patriot Act, end domestic spying, etc. The far left share similar viewpoints on these important issues.

      Please don’t confuse the two very different movements (unfortunately they use(d) the same “tea party” name).


      I’d like to add that the Ron Paul supporters also dislike Fascism, while the Republican Party, Democratic Party and the Tea Party all have corporate ties (fascism). If we do not want to see full blown Fascism in the USA, the far left needs to join with the Ron Paul supporters as a new movement, imo. We already are seeing many aspects of Fascism and it’s continuing under a Democratic president.


      Also this interview with Chris Hedges talks about inverted totalitarianism,

      Ron Paul on Rachel Maddow last night:

      • You’re right, and I may be irrationally angry that white racist americans continue to be so hideous and activist for their hideous reasons, but there’s only me and a sea of malicious birther racists, I have to speak for the 100k anti-war activists who never materialized so the whitewingers get every name possible ad nauseum, you have to see what they write, the vile charicatures about Obomba (and I’m not even an obombiac!).

        We had alternatives to Paulbotulism! He’s apparently not winning the revolution his white-wing followers begat, and I don’t blame Paul for his followers’ folly, at least he was anti-war (for whatever reason).

        I’m surrounded by these birthers, and in fact none of them were bots, they were Botchists & McBombists, and now they’re racist tea-birthers. Paul’s followers created a ‘grass roots’ delusion for an extreme segment of the far-flung corporate-sponsored white wing.

        While Kucinich could have pulled us together, Paulists were separatist, white, southerners, Texans, westerners, racists, red-state extremists, angry white men. His only saving grace was his anti-war stance, which he apparrently espoused only for the waste of money, not for any moral logic.

        I’m not against Paul, nor even political, but Paul was a diehard rightwing bircher miscreant, he brought out the very worst by design, a tradition of anti-environmentalist, gun-loving red-statists, and that is the pattern the Teabirthers follow and celebrate. Unforgivable and the very worst thread amerigah has to offer IMO.

        And now Impalin has a party! May she win the nomination, this nation needs to get the government it deserves.

      • Gratified to see that Paul was the straw poll winner at the CPAC thing (at least not Palin).

        Truly, this requisite ranting at the idiocracy is fruitless, useless & wearying. But if somebody could lead these mindless servile peons away from the hell of US global dominionism and the hell it’s caused abroad for decades, even if it’s for the wasted money, it would be huge boon.

        Then we could go back to fighting the exact same red-staters about slaughtering trees and animals for fun (‘Swamp Loggers’).

        It’s such a waste of life dissenting warmongers, the only way they’ll stop their national pastime is if it’s too expensive, and some ‘conservative’ point’s that out.

        Maybe their unrelenting militaristic cultism will follow the money (and Paul) to at least killing less people in the name of… (I forgot why).

  15. The tea baggers aren’t really shaking anything up. They are certainly intent on aggressively obstructing any and all progressive change that many Americans want. If the Democratic Party fails to deliver anything meaningful to address the myriad crises we face (ecological, employment, wages, war, etc), (and it almost certainly will fail), it will leave the door open to the reacionary far right to senter the stage, exemplified by the tea party crowd.

  16. Precisely, as you point out, these people are criticizing Obama without a clue of what Marxism, socialism, etc. really is, and actaully thinking it kills people just like that, that it’s some kind of covert satanism or I don’t know… In the end, it’s plain old racism.

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