The Path of Least Resistance Makes Us Crooked
”The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and men, crooked.” – Napoleon Hill
I think the unspoken reason why liberals fear the Tea Party crowd is that the TPers are trying to force change instead of fighting for it. It seems as if they’re convinced the public is behind them, when it’s not. The fear comes in because, unlike traditional conservatives, the TP crowd isn’t conservative – they’re radical. They want to make drastic changes without caring for the consequences or even looking to see if they have strong national support for nation-wide changes.
Look at the CNN/Tea Party debate where Rick Perry and other far right conservatives argued elsewhere that Social Security is a ponzi scheme (“The only thing that could transform Social Security into a Ponzi scheme would be a scoundrel president and Congress ending the system.” – Teresa Ghilarducci). Rick Perry is arguing the American people need strong leadership that will tell them no lies about Social Security, and that they haven’t gotten that yet. In fact, the American people did get politicians who told them that Social Security is a disaster and needs to be reformed. That happened in 2004-5 and it was roundly defeated by Democrats who got massive support from the public. That led to the downfall of the Republican Party in 2006.
Those weren’t TPers, but that’s what the TP wants: drastic, massive change without care for the consequences. After the market crashed only a few years later, how can these people even consider suggesting putting one’s life savings in anything remotely volatile? The point of Social Security is more assurance than insurance – that if all else fails when you’re too old and frail for the job market, you’ve still got that as your last saving grace and won’t starve to death. Those are the consequences the TP crowd couldn’t care less about.
Maybe there are other solutions and alternatives to Social Security. Before we reform it carelessly, we need to have those solutions in place. The TP crowd doesn’t care about that. It’s all about distrust of government.
I once thought that conservatism was for progress but only slow, steady progress based on social norms and reasonable discussion. I once thought that the point of that was to convince the public first and then act with their permission. I understand that part of the debate is moving the window of discussion toward one’s end, and conservatives have done wonderfully in that arena compared to liberals in the last several decades. What they haven’t done so successfully is maintain that concept of slow and have been trying harder to force change. Now the TP crowd came out and is trying to make changes carelessly. These aren’t conservatives, they’re revolutionaries too chicken shit to use violence to get their way.
No, they’re not Birchers. A Bircher is less spineless. Those who came before the Birchers but espoused the same closed-minded, closed-border, anti-everyone else beyond those borders mentality weren’t Birchers either. They’re the same type of family but with a different name. They’re not the same, but they still smell the same and the color of spit from their mouths is the same.
It’s not coincidence that evidence-based knowledge is argued against by the TP crowd.
Global climate change is inconceivable, but they don’t like the sound of the consequences so they won’t happen and action is too inconvenient.
People depend on Social Security and taking it away will ruin them, but they don’t like the sound of the consequences so they won’t happen and it’s too inconvenient, so we should get rid of it.
Nations with nationalized health care systems are doing better health-wise and it costs far less, but they don’t like the sound of government in their lives except in women’s uteruses, gay men’s bedrooms, and a slew of other things they will make exceptions for, and it sounds like socialism, so let’s avoid the evidence.
Evolution has been scientifically proven and it’s too hard to try to understand how micro-evolution becomes macro-evolution because they don’t really care enough about science and their favorite reality television show on their high definition television is coming in through their satellite feed, so it’s too hard to think anything but one fluffy bearded guy in the sky did it all, so let’s force religion on everyone’s kids.
There are billions of Muslims in this world and they’re scared shitless about every one of them and it’s too hard to imagine that a few of them are actually good people since a couple of thousand of them have joined terrorist groups… no wait, they’re all terrorists, that’s right. It’s too hard to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, they all look the same. Who cares about numbers and facts, they don’t like empirical evidence.
Consequences are for nerds. TPers don’t care about consequences, they only care about the thrill of yelling about what they want and getting exactly what they want. They’re a crowd of children all crying in unison for the same stupid toy. They’re not conservatives; that liberals can handle and have a discussion with. The Republican Party’s leadership has been coddling the TP crowd because their jobs depend on it and they’ve been caught in the wake. They know they can’t fight it too hard, because they aren’t the Rick Perrys of the world which want to tell the people, the TPers in this case, the cold hard fact that they’re an ignorant bunch of children. Rick Perry wants to get more power, the Republican leaders want to maintain their power. They both will coddle the TPers as much as they can to gain or maintain that power.
The best thing the sane Republicans can do is either take down the TP in a way that saves their own party or take down the TP and jump ship when it all comes crashing down on everyone, consequences be damned.