Why are you hitting yourself?

June 16, 2010

An excerpt from an article on the Tea Party movement:

It would be wrong to characterise the Tea Party movement as being mostly working class. The polls suggest that its followers have an income and college education rate slightly above the national mean. But it is the only rising political movement in the US which enjoys major working-class support. It voices the resentments of those who sense that they have been shut out of American life. Yet it campaigns for policies that threaten to exclude them further. The Contract from America for which Tea Party members voted demands that the US adopt a single-rate tax system, repeal Obama's healthcare legislation and sustain George Bush's reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. The beneficiaries of these policies are corporations and the ultra-wealthy. Those who will be hurt by them are angrily converging on state capitals to demand that they are implemented.

In other words, demanding things from others is the only reasonable thing to do if you're not wealthy. To defend the rights of everyone to keep what they earn and make their own decisions on health care makes you a misguided fool.

I understand that it's human nature to resent those more successful than you. Your instinct might be to take what they have -- either for yourself, or simply so they won't have it any more -- but to rise above this petty nature and say that we should all be treated equally (even the wealthy) does not make you a moron. It makes you rational. Enlightened, even.

Imagine a guy mugging another guy in an alley. You try to stop him and he looks at you, confused, and replies "But he has more than you. After I mug him, you'll get some of his money." Oh, well, in that case please proceed! Are you kidding? That's the reaction you expect from a reasonable person? And on top of that, I'm supposed to feel "excluded" because I have only my own paycheck, and not a portion of his? Wow.

It speaks volumes about the left that they equate resentment with some sort of intelligence -- that they equate refusing to take what you didn't earn with getting ripped off.

Of course he claims that people attending Tea Parties are resentful. It must be impossible for him to imagine that anyone isn't. But it's not resentment, and it isn't directed at corporations and the wealthy. It's anger. Anger at those ignoring our rights and the limits those rights place on their authority.

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