Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Shaking In My Liberal Boots

By Candice Carboo-Ofulue @Candaloo

Call me cowardly but if the members of the Tea Party Movement are representative of REAL America, I shall be reconsidering my trip to Las Vegas. Which is unfortunate given that the existence of Sarah Palin and her spawn has ruled out skiing in Alaska. It's not that I'm intolerant, or that I don't like Americans, I just worry that idiocy is catching.

This time, it's fear. What can be more frightening than, in non-euphemistic terms, the first annual congregation of America's pedigree bunch of militant, climate change denying, islamaphobs? Except of course, if that same convention was also attended by a prejudiced ex presidential candidate, bigoted senators and an organisation, which seriously believes that Obama is an alien. Oh wait, that happened. Combine all that fear and paranoia with a Keynote address from Sarah Palin and her duplicitous hand-full of politics, and the political circus is complete. Funny, right? Until one considers the influence of some of the members, and then it's just frightening. Don't get me wrong, this is not supposed to be a rant against Americans, or even Republicans, unless of course you are a stupid Republican, in which case this will probably be uncomfortable reading.

Anyway. As I read through the movement’s cries for revolution, I started to ponder: Should we be worried about the ignorance and paranoia that festers within the Republican Party? Are the extremists taking over mainstream politics? Or, are we dealing with a bunch of innocuous zealots that are best left ignored?

Ignoring is exactly what the politicians on both sides seem to be doing. Whilst the Liberals relax under the reign of President Obama and patronisingly dismiss the 'tea partiers', the Republican moderates whine that the media is disproportionately focusing on the extremists to undermine their credibility. Dangerous avoidance?

The truth, of course, is that there is nothing marginal about ex presidential candidates, senators, pastors, along with FOX news, all popularising extremism. That's an influential section of the country, which is alarming and regressive. I was shocked when I read that Utah's House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution by 56-17, which refuted the science of climate change. According to representative, Mike Noel: climate change is an elaborate conspiracy to control Americans through sterilisation and abortion. Really, Mike? I do hope this is an ostentatious attempt to undermine the science in order to keep your SUV. But I suspect it's skeptical ignorance.

So what is the impact on the public? It seems that while liberals and moderates meander down the path of denial; a large proportion of Americans seem all too willing to listen to these extremists? Simply look at the media coverage; the tea party goers are a growing minority. Perhaps this is normal given the Obama effect or a failure of the liberals to take them seriously? Or maybe they're preparing for the next election? Personally, I find the whole thing uncomfortable.

To leave you with a final thought: What I find most disturbing when I listen to Sarah Palin is the illusion of innocuousness. Is she the right type of person for the wrong type of politics? Hmmm.

*I apologize to any Americans that were injured whilst reading this opinion; I'm simply a concerned global citizen. Thoughts?

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  1. The "Stupidest President Ever" award has to go to Obutthole. He's eloquent with his teleprompter, but off script can't do diddly. He makes bad decisions, but when his handlers don't control him, he's even worse.


  2. yeah ok smarty pants...who said this..."There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennesee - that says, fool me once, shame on.....shame on you. Fool me......you can't get fooled again." Brilliant Mr. Bush. And just to comment on the idiocy that is Sarah Palin with her loving pitbullishness hockey mom lady next door america loving attitude, how could she even consider running in 2012...DUH! she quit her job as Governor of Alaska, shunning her responsibility to her "country" for a more lucrative book and speaking tour. If she became president would she quit to do Playboy? I want the leader of the country to say things I don't understand, be smarter than me, and capable of leading...why and how have Repulicans and the like turned intelligence and open mindedness into something that should be feared? I guess we all fear what we don't understand...

  3. There’s always a danger that by dismissing those on the fringes as loonies, we give them the chance to gather enough momentum to skew the important conversations in their favour [as it’s clearly happening right now with Climate Change denialists for example] and I think you raise that point very astutely in this article.

    I personally believe that it is about time that liberals everywhere start being a lot more vocal than we are. By dismissing these people we’re giving them too much space and sometimes we just can’t afford that. There’s nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade when we see one.

    Having said that, I can tell you that I’ve taken one for the team and looked at Foxwood’s blog above and you needn’t bother to even give him a click. In terms of a challenge, it’s the intellectual equivalent of popping bubble wrap. Don’t waste your time.

    Great article Candice.


  4. Candice Carboo-Ofulue17 February 2010 at 23:37

    I've been thinking: It's no secret that there are more deluded evan-hystericals within the Republican party than the Democrats. That's not to say they don't exist within the Democrats, but they don't seem to be having conventions. And if they are having conventions, they don't get televised by FOX News or the international media - which simply adds to my worries. Why?

    Well, a) Perhaps they are growing in membership and/or voracity or, b) Fox News thinks that the dross being spat out by the 'tea partiers' IS news. Or both.

    Of course there may be some moderate 'tea partier', which have been unfairly grouped in with the crazies. But as Euclides says: A spade is a spade, so if you're a bucket, go to the bucket convention. Perhaps.

    Wonderful comments.