The toxicity of the Neo-“Tea Party” crowd.

In true libertarian fashion, I hold nothing sacred but the indefeasible value and worth of man’s own faculties as reflected in the free market. This means almost everything has a cross-hair on it. (And yes, I used violent rhetoric that I will NOT tone down.) From the most liberal (borderline communist) democrat in Massachusetts, to the most zealous preacher in southern Texas, to the most apathetic stoner in California, everything is up for critique and debate.

Neo-"Tea Party" is toxic wasteThis brings me to the title of this article: The toxicity of the neo-“Tea Party” movement.

I was recently afflicted with a dire case of mental defeat. You may have read my rant on hypocrisy, and if you didn’t you just missed a hissy rant about neocons, nothing too shocking. This article intends to be a less-emotional, more analytical piece.

This recent episode got me thinking, after seemingly blinding rage subsided and left my brain to think objectively, the neo-“Tea Party” groups are actually toxic to the spirits of the Liberty movement. I don’t think I am alone in said episodes. Maybe they don’t bother many of you as much as it does me and perhaps it’s my extreme hatred for hypocrisy that gets me so worked up. Nevertheless, I imagine you can empathize with me on this.

The Neo-“Tea Party” ropes you in with their “red, white’n’blue” imagery and “We the People” talk. They make you feel safe for the first few moments of your exposure. Heck, they may not even have an “issues” list that goes much beyond fiscal arguments. So, here you are, a true Patriot and admirer of Liberty, looking at this group and feeling hopeful.

This could go on for a while. Then you start to notice small things that make your eyebrow rise. An article about some politician (or the lack of coverage of another politician), a poll that seems skewed, a large portion of user comments are troubling, or you may stumble on donation information and find out they have been supporting one partisan group over another.

So, after all this, you realize “this is NOT the group I thought it was.” If you’re lucky, you didn’t end up donating any money or spending too much time getting skewed information. At the very least, however, you realize you have been duped.

Then, if you’re like me, the shame sets in. “I should have known better!” or “I should have looked into it more!” flood your head as you berate yourself. Then that shame turns to despair as you realize just how many Neo-“Tea Party” groups there are floating around both on the web and in real life.

All the while, your will has taken a severe blow as you get a possibly false idea on the mountain of opposition you face. After all, everything you have been reading or watching is skewed and cluttered with Statist rhetoric. But, the damage is already done, you suddenly feel helpless.

Now you can see how Neo-“Tea Party” groups are toxic. But, what does this mean?

If you are able to prepare beforehand and, more importantly, get anecdotes like this one, you can avoid the spirit-crushing experience of supporting a fake, Statist group or following their biased “news.” You can better understand the fact that, the mountain of opposition you were exposed to was only a cardboard backdrop put together by astroturf organizations.

You can claw and grab and dig yourself out of the pit and stand tall and proud. You got duped, yes. But, you are still here. Your will has returned and they have failed to destroy your spirit. This has a multiplier effect because you feel more empowered to go out there and fight even harder. They showed you theirs, now it’s your turn to show them yours (pardon the imagery.)

I write this article because, as I said, I know I am not the only one to have experienced this. I know I’m not the only one who feels, every now and then, a sense of uselessness and futility: “What’s the use? Everyone is sheep bought and sold by the MSM, anyway?” (Sound kind of familiar?) I write this article to help you out as well as myself.

The cause of Liberty isn’t a self-replicating machine. It needs fuel, and every now and then they try to hike up the price of the fuel.  But, if we look at the cause of Liberty as a fire, we can see that we have access the fuel. It’s all around us, we just need to know how to make it work, how to keep our fire lit (if you catch my imagery.)

I have taken up a new motivational phrase, albeit from an unusual source. But, it fits my needs. “Keep those flags of discontent waving!” (Charlton Heston in “Planet of the Apes.”) It is with this and the support of my fellow friends in Liberty, that the fires keep burning. Make no mistake; we are heading towards a mighty wind. But, with enough fuel, we can persevere.

About Andrew Weit

I voted for Obama in 2008 and realize what a big mistake I made. I am now working to change this mistake and join the pro-Liberty tide that is the Ron Paul 2012 movement.
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One Response to The toxicity of the Neo-“Tea Party” crowd.

  1. Joe says:

    Appreciate the article and insights, for sure, Andrew. The problem is–and I run into this as an organizer (Tea Party)–that this let-down, disappointment, frustration, whatever, is often in direct proportion to the rigidity of the standards and parameters of whatever ideological litmus test WE choose to impose on others.

    For example, in the fight for Liberty, in our movement, we are all seeking out ideological comrades, kindred spirits with whom we can cooperate and mobilize and inform others and take meaningful, effective actions.

    But if we set our bar SO HIGH, if we establish such staunch “purity tests” (i.e. does this individual or organization share my beliefs and principles 100%?) we ultimately defeat ourselves. We basically become a force of one, or maybe a few. While it’s noble to seek out purity of principle, and we feel good for having eliminated the hypocrisy, we have also severely hobbled ourselves, and rendered ourselves impotent.

    Let me put it another way: we can look at a group or individual that shares 75% of our values and beliefs, and say, “not good enough”. Okay. Then we can look at a group or individual that shares 90 or 95% of our values and beliefs and say, “not good enough, either”. While the former might make sense, to me, the latter does not.

    For one, it is GOOD to have some disparity, to have various perspectives within one movement–within reason, and as long as the essential ideals are in place. It is possible to emphasize the commonalities, the overlapping values, rather than highlighting the differences. Second, it allows for our own growth, learning, and evolution. Were it that we had no one around us other than those who thought and believed EXACTLY as we did, how would we learn anything new? How would we hone our own ideas, if nto by sharpening them against those of others?
    (In fact, I would argue, surrounding ourselves with people who think EXACTLY as we do ultimately brings stagnation, and can even breed resentments).
    And finally, as your own bio attests, what if what you believe to be true and good NOW were to change yet again? It was not so long ago that you were a self-described Oabamphile…suppose at some point further down the road, perhaps your convictions evolve or change AGAIN…?

    It is not that I disagree with anything you’ve said here…it is just that, as a Tea Party organizer myself, I often have to adopt a “big tent” approach, in the interest of creating relationships, building membership, and achieving goals. Some members might have vestigial neocon leanings, some might have statist attitudes…it is my goal to erode these with what I believe to be truth, and to foster and nurture the aspects that I value in the essential fight for Liberty.
    But I cannot completely condemn them. I will settle for the 85-95% overlap. I will not demand “purity” of shared principle, at least not at first.

    From the Tea Party perspective, it is an observation I have likewise had with the “classic” Libertarian movement….so much energy is put towards opposition, towards opposing hypocrisy and/or other groups with which there is disagreement, that sometimes it “cuts off its own nose to spite its face”. I see it as (what I like to call it) political “little man” syndrome, in a collective form. And given the corrupt dominance of the 2-party system, I get it. It makes sense. But if the emphasis is instead put toward working FOR things we believe, and emphasizing those, uniting and not dividing (sorry, don’t mean to be trite), then all our shared efforst are much more effective.

    I would venture that most of our Tea Party brethren are at least 85% in shared principle, and we should foster, encourage, and build on that (rather than the 15% of principle or practice we detest/disagree with).

    I know, as individuals we still have our personal ideological “deal breakers”, but in sum, we should stress our shared beliefs and goals, and be working in concert against our common enemy (those damn statists!)

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