An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

The Tea Party is an interesting monster in the world of Republican politics.  Since this publication is based in Alaska, there is a unique perspective that is here.  Sarah Palin has been one of the driving voices of a movement that was very quick to spring up, and very quick to be taken in by the GOP.  The Tea Party stands as a referendum of political ignorance and as a backlash against minority voters getting the rights of any kind.

There have been a lot of statements by the Tea Party that were it not for minority voters, Obama wouldn’t have been elected in 2008.  This is true, very true.  However, when they say it, they say it like this is something to lament.  Why?  Why is the fact that the minorities get a right to vote something that we should look down upon?

They are told by the talking heads Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and people like that that they are being oppressed.  They criticize those who are getting social security, or medicare, not seeming to understand that they are almost all on the bottom 50% of the social strata, and therefore, are either getting these services themselves, or not paying into them, so it doesn’t really matter.  But the talking heads tell them what they want to hear, so it doesn’t really matter.

The Tea Party seems to not care about the fact that they are not being oppressed in any way.  They are told that we need to go back to a time when only the white and the rich had the ability to vote.  Oh, and they also have to be men.  Were it not for women voters, the Democrats would have lost every single election of the 20th centure with the exception of Goldwater vs. Johnson.  The Tea Party has been mobilized to further the agenda that those who follow it believe in.

Their agenda has been pretty clear – lower taxes to unsustainable levels, and what we do pay, only the poor should pay.  They want to get rid of the rights that the minorities and the gays have fought tooth and claw for.  They want to massively increase this nation’s military industrial complex, not seeming to understand that conventional war is out-dated.  All of what they want is nothing more than political ignorance.

But really, when one thinks about what they want, the left’s response has been pathetically worthless.  One thing that the liberal politicians don’t seem to understand is that while it used to be good politics to negotiate with your opposition, giving and getting, it is not longer palatable.  But compromisers like Obama seem to not understand this key fact.  The left has spent years trying to stave off the endless onslaught of attack from the Tea Party, and every compromise that is made is losing ground on the social front.

This is a culture war, and the left is losing, badly.  The fact is that if something is not done soon, there won’t be a left-wing side of politics.  It has to be a grassroots movement.  From the ground up, we need to get more left-leaning politicians who aren’t hardcore.  They have to be articulate, they have to be level-headed.  They have to understand that things are not as simple as 1,2,3.  They have to be willing to stand tall, though, and not endless compromise with the right.

One reality is that Obama is a compromiser.  He is probably going to get reelected not because of his merits, because he has very few of those, but because the GOP competition is so unbelievably weak, and the GOP don’t seem to understand that the American public is not dissatisfied with Democrats, we are dissatisfied with the system at large.

Liberals, it is time for you to step up.  We need a unified plan, to counter this ignorance-driven narrative that the Tea Party lives by.

Here is what the liberal plan should look like –
1. We want a stronger social safety net, including (but not limited to) universal health care.
2. The rich need to pay more taxes.  There is no good reason to bleed them dry, but asking them to pay more taxes is not unreasonable.
3. We want an end to our military actions in the Middle East.
4. We want nation-wide right to gay marriage.
5. It is time for the federal government to legalize, regulate, and tax individual drug use, on all narcotics.  Just because it is dangerous doesn’t mean it is going away.  If we bring all drugs under one banner, control their quality, and control how much people get, we can make this business safer.
6. We need to get god off of our money, tax churches, and make the priests who fondle little boys get to find out what happens to a child molester in a typical American prison.
7. We want a ground-up reformation of an all but broken education system.
8. We want a police force that is accountable, and who is held to a higher standard, and trained to help people.  The Occupy movement has shown that the police are above the law, and they know it.

So, that is the agenda that the left needs to adopt.  Sound simple, no?  The Tea Party has destroyed moderate Republicans.  There are almost none left.  Mitt Romney might be considered one, but he goes wherever the wind blows.  This movement has taken over the Republican Party, and if we don’t do something fast, then all the progress that people in this country have made will be lost.  The Tea Party, no, all of the Republican Party has become a machine heading toward a single goal – to destroy the rights of all minorities, and to take America back to the 1800’s, or at least the 1950’s.  The time for compromise is over.  Now is the time for action.

Are you on board?

Peace out,

Lefty

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