News & Politics

Tea Party Movement Returns, This Time with Much More Dangerous and Explicit Rhetoric

It's not too hard to guess where talk of Judgment Day can lead to in the context of a right-wing, gun-loving movement.

According to the "Tea Party" Web site, Tea Party Express II: Countdown To Judgment Day" is underway. Here's how the Web site describes it:

All throughout the recent Tea Party Express national bus tour we kept receiving calls from people around the nation who lived far away from the route our buses took across America. We vowed at the time to keep the Tea Party Express effort alive -- and that’s exactly what we are doing. Join us from October 25th to November 11th, 2009 as we tell Congress and the White House: “Enough!” Let’s stand up and stop the bailouts, cap and trade, out-of-control spending, government-run health care, and higher taxes! We’re back and determined to take our country back!

What will happen on their predicted Judgment Day?

If you buy the biblical spin of the Religious Right folks who make up the bulk of the Tea Party movement, the implication is clear: Jesus will soon return, send all Democrats, gays, blacks, progressives, liberals, college-educated unbelievers, etc. to hell, while saving what Sarah Palin calls "us real Americans" -- in other words unreconstructed, frightened and resentful, white, lower-middle-class Americans.

(As a former right-wing evangelical anti-abortion leader who built a good career from these folks until I quit in disgust with myself, the anti-American nature of the movement and the takeover the Republican Party by extremists, I know of what I speak.)

If you put the secular/right's "tree-of-Liberty-must-be-watered-by-the-blood-of-tyrants-Timothy McVeigh spin on the Judgment Dayscenario, then there will soon be a hoped-for bloody day of reckoning for the occupant of the White House.

If you put the Republican Party/Rupert Murdoch/Fox News spin on Judgment Day, then it's the old game trotted out once again: Stir up the malcontents and get them to defeat their own self interest in the name of flag, country, God, babies, free enterprise -- and support the corporate interests that profit from village idiots, say by defeating health care reform.

When the Tea Party folks say they want to "take back our country" who do they want to take it back from? It turns out it's going to be taken back from the democratic process itself. The effort here is to reverse the last election result.

In this scenario any time there is not a white, wealthy, far-right Republican in the White House and any time Congress isn't controlled by the far (white) right of the Republican Party, then the country has been "stolen" from "us real Americans."

Since democracy is not so easily undone, the implication is that to "take back" America must needs involve not votes but "Judgment Day." In the view of the right Democracy Herself has failed "we" good, God-fearing, "birther" "deather" "he lied!" "Obama is Hitler!" Americans. So we must now turn to "other means."

First Tea Parties, then Judgment Day. Get it?

What do you think "we real Americans" have all those guns for?

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Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.