You all remember Bush Derangement Syndrome when George W. Bush was blamed for virtually everything that went wrong from the Iraq War to your leaking faucet? [It hasn’t really gone away.-ed. I know. I know. Maybe in 40 or 50 years] Well, we now have the arrival of a new phenomenon we can call Tea Party Derangement Syndrome. In TPDS tea party participants are accused of everything from being closet racists to armchair Timothy McVeighs. You can see some amusing examples of this emerging syndrome in the latter comments to my post of the other day – Tea Party role reversal: how to deal with agent provocateurs from the left.
Of course, what’s interesting about the Tea Party movement, whatever its success, is that it is pretty much about what it says it is – lower taxes and less government spending. A lot of people, Republican and Democrat, are concerned about our escalating debt and what this might mean for future generations. This is clearly a serious subject for serious discussion from whatever side of the issue you fall out on, but… no matter… the moment something gains momentum out comes the derangement crowd. In a certain way, it’s a sign of success.
Are these syndromes a product of the Internet? Well, partly. Never before in history have so few been able to accuse so many so often and so pervasively of so much they didn’t say and don’t mean. On the other hand, the Tea Party movement wouldn’t exist without the Internet (Twitter, etc.). So in a way, it’s equal.
I was interviewed early this morning by CNN’s Jim Acosta (for broadcast Wednesday morning – don’t know what they will use) and he asked me if I thought the Tea Party movement was the right’s response (via the Internet) to the ‘netroots. It well may be. And if it is anywhere near as successful as moveon.org, Kos, etc., we are headed for some big changes indeed.
Then you will really see some Tea Party Derangement Syndrome!