His message to me:
"The biggotry knows no bounds. No one cares that he's black, no cares he has a funny name. No one except the progressives who would rather scream racism when someone has legitimate concerns about policy. It's much easier to snipe at those who disagree than to actually explain a position. Please tell him that he doesn't have to be a fascist dictator, that seems to be what he wants to be. I'm tired of labeling socialism wrapped with arrogance as progressive. Especially when these horrid ideas are many steps backwards when comes to promoting freedom. Remember freedom, it was being able to choose not to have insurance without government punishment. Freedom is not being taxed into submission. Freedom is busineeses not having to shell out millions, remember BO saying businesses were going to save money? Remember him saying the people would have 5 days to review bills before he would sign them, remember the transparency that was suppose to be the most ethical congress, remember BO, the speaker and Reids anti war tirades accusing the troops of horrible crimes, wanting to give up and go home, remember closing Gitmo, remember the laser like focus on jobs? Those three are not progressive, they are dictator want-to-be. I say these things not because pelosi is black or reid is black, (oh, wait they aren't) I don't agree with Clarence Thomas and Walter Williams because they are white (oh, wait they are black). Obama is just the latest of big government control of people and that is why I stand against him and all he represents. In the 70's women proclaimed keep government out of the womb, today we should all be screaming don't let them touch my body. There are ways to help people who really want insurance and can't afford it with out this travisty. Helping someone does not require punishing others and to do that would truly be progressive."
So, I've got it all wrong, and tea party opposition to Barack Obama's policies have nothing to do with race.
Just to be clear, I don' think that opposing liberal policies makes you a racist. I don't believe that George Will is a racist. I don't think that the decent, common sense conservatives I know in my own personal life are racists.
The teabagger however, is a different animal entirely.
This movement has been birthed out of the fearful minds of self-isolated cultural backpedallers, the bored and unfulfilled imaginations of loyal and frustrated talk radio junkies, sycophants, and conspiracy theorists in tin-foil hats. Surely there have been some decent folk caught up in this carnival show. People get caught up in things. People like to feel meaningful, and to have their private beliefs validated. We like to feel ennobled, like we're part of something bigger. No community is stronger than the one that is formed in the face of adversity, even if that adversity is all smoke and word games.
Sure, there are some decent people on board, but I wouldn't bet my money that they represent fifty percent. It's not Dwight D. Eisenhower or William F. Buckley marching in front of Capitol Hill, or clapping until their hands bleed at inane Michelle Bachmann speeches. The fact of the matter is that there is no smoking gun, and reality is much more subtle and boring than the average teabagger will accept. To quote Dennis Miller:
"The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?"
But I hear you loud and clear Bill. Thanks for stopping by. I wonder though, have you read this study yet? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
Oh, and yeah. There's nothing racist about the tea party movement at all:
a slightly different version of this post has been cross posted at The Daily Kos.