Yesterday Shawn shared video of MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan going berserk in a segment on “Anger in America” saying Tea Party members allowed those who wanted to “kill black people and kill Jews” to be associated with them. Today Hot Air links to Michael Bader’s piece at AlterNet about those nutty Tea Party people.
These Tea Party folks seem to most liberals — well, to most of us who live in the “reality community,” or, as I like to call it, “reality” — like crazy f*ckers.
As a recent New York Times article reports, this hodgepodge of people and groups spout frankly paranoid beliefs as received wisdom, e.g. the Federal Reserve is our enemy and should be abolished; citizens should stock up on ammo, gold; and survival food in anticipation of an impending Civil War; states should “nullify” federal laws and even secede; medical records are being shipped to federal bureaucrats; the army is seeking “Internment/Resettlement” specialists; and Obama is trying to create crises in order to destroy the economy, convert Interpol into his personal police force and create a New World Order.
Conspiracy theories involving shadowy elites like the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations have resurfaced. Self-defense and armed resistance are frequently called for. Racist stereotypes, innuendo and hostility run rampant. The Constitution is its sacred text and Glenn Beck its most beloved prophet. They don’t usually wear aluminum hats but perhaps they should.
I hate these folks but I also understand them. And, well, uh, I also empathize with them. They share the same psychology as the paranoid patients I treat every day. The only difference is that the paranoid beliefs of the Tea Party movement are political while those in my consulting room are of a more personal nature. The causes and dynamics, however, are the same.I wonder just how many tea parties Michael Bader has attended. Is he basing his hatred of these folks on anything other than a New York Times report? He thinks tea partiers are “paranoid,” engaging in “racial stereotypes” and “innuendo”? Has he seen an episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, or Dylan Ratigan’s show for that matter? Instead of analyzing the MSNBC paranoid haters on parade, or the “left-wing conspiracy theorists” he later mentions, he focuses on a NYT description of tea party participants and psychoanalyzes them. Then he offers his analysis of the role the “right-wing media” plays in feeding this paranoia.
It is also obvious that left-wing conspiracy theorists share much of the same pathology as those on the right wing of the spectrum. For new Tea Party members, however, the drift toward paranoia is facilitated by the right-wing media machine that offers several ready-made narratives perfectly designed to help its consumers clear up their confusion, understand their helplessness, absolve them of any blame and offer a way out. The conspiratorial alliance of business and government, a growing tyranny intended to disenfranchise, disarm and exploit ordinary citizens, secret pacts to overthrow the Constitution, etc. all currently led by an un-American, godless, colored, elitist, contemptuous foreigner: Barack Hussein Obama.
Goodness, that is an awfully long sentence fragment. Where the heck is Bader getting the reference to the “colored” president? What is the obsession liberal critics of the tea parties have with race? I have been to two tea parties — one in North Carolina and one in DC. I have read and looked at pictures fro dozens more over the past year. I know a few wackos have shown up at some tea parties (just as some wackos show up at liberal protests), but they are a tiny minority of those associating themselves with the tea party movement. You have to make an effort to specifically look for them and then you have to ignore 99.9 percent of the hard working, rational, respectful participants in order to define the tea party groups as racist and paranoid. On the other hand, all it takes to find paranoid, race-obsessed wackos associating themselves with those on the left is to turn on a television and set the channel to MSNBC’s prime time lineup.