Krugman, King, Blow, and Rich: Blinded by Hatred of Tea Partiers
A day later and deeper down in the muck, Frank Rich took up the cry, equating those who stand against the massive debt that would be created by a deeply flawed health care entitlement program with those who championed racial segregation. Like King, Krugman, and Blow before him, and like lesser talent Mike Lupica, looking to break into the "me, too!" club, Rich thrusts and parries against a creature called forth from his own imagination.
Their shared stereotypes are easily thwarted, ponderous, and predictable beasts.
Closeted and aging Klansmen. Gap-toothed hillbillies and incestuous bayou-dwellers. Barely literate and self-absorbed red-state hicks. These are the images that the left-wing pundits of coastal enclaves and lower-tier cable television news have convinced themselves to be the "real America." It isn't an America they can respect, but then, no recognizable iteration of America could be. We all wish it was otherwise, but the disdain is palpable in print, online, on television, and over the airwaves (though judging by ratings, few are cognizant of the latter two).
But the Americans rallying on Facebook, Twitter, websites, and message boards are blind to the color of one's skin, unswayed by the twang of one's voice, and dismissive of the infirmities of age. Age, color, creed -- it all washed away in the pixels, and only the power of the mind and the gift of communication remains.
Perhaps it is because of the influence of today's social media that communication skills, and not political connections, are the organizing force behind the tea party movement. The most active members in this grassroots effort are those worried about their family's futures, especially those of their young children being shackled to the load generated by ideologues that cannot understand the futility of trying to spend your way out of debt.
Unsurprisingly, mothers form the backbone of a movement dedicated to preserving the nation's future for the benefit of their children and grandchildren. Women make up the bulk of the tea party leadership at every level of organization, and it is not surprising to discover that the movement may be as much as 55% to 60% women.
"Angry white men" is the comforting fallacy of old-line liberal bigotry.
The reality of our times is that the backbones of the tea party movement are charming, self-policing women, and they lead not a fringe, but a majority of Americans.
Krugman, King, and their allies are forced to dredge up the imagery of the past in an effort to slander our friends and neighbors. Attempting to libel the real movement by attacking those who form its base would resort in a rising tide of anger against a group of elitists rhetorically engaged in beating down women (as opposed to some of their followers, who do so literally).
We would be well-served by a media that would discuss the merits and flaws of the tea party movement based upon what they actually represent and who they actually are, instead of retreating to do battle with worn-through caricatures. We would be well-served by a media interested in presenting the flaws and shortcomings of the progressive argument as well.
Sadly, this is not to be. We are saddled by ideologues mired in partisanship, practiced in deception, and blinded by their own hatred.