Lemming politics

A dead lemming on a stone in the river Revåa i...

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In a recent message, I said that the GOP has gone off the deep end. That started me thinking about why they have done so.  How can thinking adults leave logic and rationality in the dust? This is what I have concluded so far.

Demagogues in the media, you know who I mean, are playing upon our fears to increase their clout and income. Some Americans are following their lead like lemmings racing to a cliff. The TEA Party is acting to corral and shepherd the lemmings so that none dare vary from the course. Thinking for oneself is actively discouraged, and expressing differing thoughts vociferously opposed.

Empathy for our fellow Americans is fading virtue. It is ironic that many who don’t believe in Darwinism, evolution, are those most favoring social Darwinism, survival of the fittest. Monetary success is a mark of divine favor while failure is stigmatized as divine disapproval or plain old laziness. In other words, only those who should succeed are worthy and the rest of us are doomed in this life and the next. Each of us must succeed or fail on our own.  What social Darwinists seem to forget is that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain entry into Heaven. Since camels are not native to the US, I think that those preaching divine approval of wealth over helping your neighbor don’t realize that camels are large animals.

Government is criticized as a barrier to freedom, yet it is government that provides the playing field on which we all must compete, and that playing field is not a level one. It does not matter how much wealth one accumulates if our society becomes so divided that the wealthy cannot savor the freedom they claim to seek on our behalf. No one can be free in a cell, whether that cell is in an institution or self-created within a gated community.


4 thoughts on “Lemming politics

  1. There certainly are Tea Party democrats. I’ve met some.

    The movement itself is a grassroots movement. Unfortunately, there are people investing time and money into the movement in attempt to steer it towards their own ends, but the movement itself is real. I think the movement is comprised of many people who were not politically active before. Yes, they paid attention and they voted, but they were not active otherwise. Now people who are upset with the corruption in our politics are starting to voice their concerns and their displeasure. They attend rallies, start blogs, post links to articles on their Facebook, get involved in message board conversations, and speak openly about politics to their acquaintances even when it may be unpopular to do so.

    The best thing about the movement is it brings to light more details. There will be times the movement backs the wrong candidate and makes mistakes or gets misled, but that was happening long before the movement began. As long as those in the movement stay active, stay engaged, learn from mistakes instead of steadfastly refusing they made one, and continue to do their own thinking, it can only be good for the country as a whole.

  2. I agree with you that demagogues in the media are playing upon fears, but it happens on both sides of the political spectrum. The media has been drawing a narrative of the Tea Party movement that is inaccurate, and you echoed some of that narrative in your article, so the media has been effective in providing this incomplete view of the movement. The Tea Party movement was born of a frustration of too much government and too much corruption in the system. The housing bubble and the subsequent bailout was more than the people could take and the frustrations boiled over and the movement was born.

    Libertarians seized on this frustration since they have much in common with the things that birthed the movement. Libertarians have been enjoying a surge in exposure because of this. The irony is, the Libertarians have much in common with the far left on social issues and military ones. If you had watched the GOP debate in Iowa the other night, you would see that the GOP has a broad range of views on issues and there are many disagreements within their ranks. All part of a healthy debate.

    The Tea Party, to me, is centered around common sense economics and the role government should play, or not play to be more precise, in it. Another blog has a series of three short videos that do a wonderful job of explaining basic economic principles:


    • I believe that the TEA Party movement is mostly an astroturf movement directed by Dick Armey and others and funded by the very wealthy, Koch brothers included, to misdirect the proper anger that you and I may feel toward Washington, DC. When the TEA Party bus tour went through Saint George, I attended and was surprised by their numbers, but this is the reddest of red states. I think that it is very telling that there are no TEA Party Democrats.

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