The Tea Party Movement: Where American History wilts on the vine | Street Jazz

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Tea Party Movement: Where American History wilts on the vine

Posted By on Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Watching the intellectual contortions of the Tea Party movement, and their fetish for all things Founding Father-based, it’s more than obvious that there are whole swatches of American (not to mention world) history that all-too-many of the more rabid adherents of the Tea Party are either unaware of, or totally have no use for.

True, they love to throw countless quotes from the Founding Fathers at anyone within hearing range, and there are those who would have us believe that no reading list is complete without reading everything that the founders of our country wrote - and read.

But their enthusiasm for American history sort of falls off about the time the last of the founders draws his last breath. If you try to engage anyone of them in a discussion of political/social events in the country after that, you’ll get blank stares from many of them - and then maybe a good quote from a founder in return.

The Civil War might spark a little interest, with a lively discussion about states rights, or how Lincoln subverted the Constitution, but don’t look for anything more substantive than that.

But anything after the Civil War?

Well, it’s all sort of a blank until the Depression in the 1930s, when the evil Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to lead us down the path of socialism.

They know a lot about Ronald Reagan - or at least they know all the things that Reagan said. The cold hard reality of his rhetoric versus what he actually did is still in the mail.

For all too many of the Tea Party folks, the historical complexity of the United States is either ignored or was never learned. That is why they are able to spout bumper sticker philosophy on TV or Face book and expect it to pass for deep thought.

That’s why they are able to insist - with straight faces - that schools need to devote much more time to teaching about the American Revolution. As opposed to what, for example, the parts of history they don’t have much use for?

The Women's movement?

The labor movement?

The Civil Rights movement?

Perhaps instead of insisting that schools teach more about the American Revolution, the Tea Party folks might spend their free time reading even more American history. They could immerse themselves in the great literature of this country, and read about the great cultural movements that made us who we are.


Because honestly, as fascinating as the Revolutionary period is, there are other parts of our history that are just as exciting, and just as fascinating. Periods where men and women were every bit as brave, and put their honor on the line, just as much as the Founding Fathers did.

You wouldn’t know it from talking to some folks from the Tea Party, though. They haven’t a clue .

And maybe if they did do a lot more reading, they would realize how silly they sound when they so loudly proclaim that the Tea Party movement is the biggest grassroots movement in American history.

Sheesh . . . . .

******

Quote of the Day

It is never wise to seek or wish for another’s misfortune. If malice or envy were tangible and had a shape, it would be the shape of a boomerang. - Charley Reese

rsdrake@cox.net

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