Saturday, May 8, 2010

Unsurprising Finding Du Jour

Tea Party Supporters Do Not Think They are Racist:


This is like asking someone if they beat their wife.  "Sure, I do" is hardly the answer.  Of course, to be fair, not all TP folks are racist.  But the mantra of "Taking Our Country Back" reeks of white fear and resentment.  Who has our country if you don't have it?  To say socialists or communists or fascists is to abuse a term that has no meaning in this context and does little to answer the question.  What is wrong with having Obama as President?  Unlike his predecessor, the election result cannot be reasonably contested.  It can be unreasonably contested by focusing on the false belief that he was born outside the US, but that does not address why Obama won the majority of votes handily, popular and electoral. 

The answer, seems to me, is to take the country back from the majority of the electorate.  Oops.  Yes, these are hard times, and it is not surprising that people are upset.  But the Arizona story, particularly at the elite level, seems to be about resisting the inevitable--that whites are going to be a plurality but not a majority.  If whites split, then other folks become the kingmakers rather than being marginalized (like Anglophones in Quebec--marginalized, that is).  So, the best way to get the whites united is to play up fears of others.  But that is a temporary solution at best (or at worst). 

The good news is that the white folks are not losing the country to hordes of new arrivals with alien values (perhaps a problem for Denmark or the Netherlands) but to other Americans who have bought into the American way of life--English, capitalism, relatively limited government (compared to European countries), separation of church and state, free speech, guns are cool, more consumption of resources than elsewhere in the world, cars, etc.

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