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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Passion and Politics on St. Valentine's Day

Passion is a word easily associated with sex.

Making the connection with politics, the New York Times columnist David Brooks says he looks for passion in social movements because that's where the future lies. In other words, majority groups don't move the world. Rather, it's the small passionate numbers who initiate change, says Brooks.

This is my opionion: I think there's plenty of historic precedence for this passion concept, like the American and French Revolutions among the many examples. Brooks' statement on political passion is not new news. But, on Valentine's Day, it's worth a blog discussion about how passion is impacting on America's conservative Tea Party movement.

Indeed, the Tea Party's political dunkers are a group steeped in passion. Although I've not seen a flavorful manifesto, the likes of politico Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, the brew of passion stirred up by The Tea Party can probably be summarized on the palm of your hand.

Here's my selection of three Tea Party issues as I read and absorb them from the media:

1. Patriotism - Tea Party activists play the "I Love America" bagpipe like they blended the concept all by themselves. In my opinion, they believe the way to be patriotic Americans is to drink ideas like medicine from the cup they hold. Well, this is a bitter way to define Patriotism. A la Tea Party patriotism is not a passion I'm willing to accept. Patriotism is a sexy seductress, especially when it's clouding freedom of expression in an aromatic cauldron of Red White and Blue steam. For example, is it patriotic to criticize the President of the United States, who is designated as our country's leader in the US Constitution, because he uses a teleprompter to give speeches? It's more patriotic to praise American technology for bringing teleprompter technology to the aid of every person in the world who can afford to use it for public speaking.

2. Taxes - This is the shop where Tea Party proprietors sell their wares. They don't believe in paying taxes, but why? Do these people drive on highways? Do they know it was Republican President Eisenhower who used the power of the government's right to eminent domain to build our nation's highway system? Do Tea Party people receive Social Security Benefits? Do their families have relatives who live in Nursing Homes receiving Medicaid? Look at our nation's struggling public health system. Tea Party people shouldn't complain about Swine Flu (H1N1) because, without public health money, there would be no vaccine available. Have you noticed how the number of mortality numbers reported in H1N1 cases has declined since the vaccine finally became available? Why was American one of the last civilized countries to have this vaccine? It's because the public health system is operating on financial life support, that's why. Tax money is the water our public health system drinks to stay current with modern science. Influenza vaccine is still being made using the same technology in place 45 plus years ago - yet, DNA science is available to vastly improve our ability to respond to a pandemic with vaccine. Oh, hell (!), I'm going to throw this argument overboard because it's a drumbeat sinking into the rhetoric of health care reform.

3. Big Government - Tea Party people are passionate about overthrowing big government. Nonetheless, we don't hear what kind of government would be better suited to our taste. Big government is a strong tasting euphemism for no government at all - which means we'll drain down our US Constitution to a piece of antique paper protected in a sealed vault. If government is reduced to a study of history, then the US Constitution will be no more relevant than the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that were found sealed in pottery canisters centuries after they were written.

On Valentine's Day 2010, I prefer my passion to be appropriately placed in romantic sentiments rather than controversial political discourse. Physiologists maintain that sex and politics are immersed in the same areas of the human brain. I wonder if there is a tea remedy for this potentially harmful synapse? Like a chicken soup for the passionate brain made with tea and bitters, maybe?

Activists like those in the right wing Tea Party would be better off, in my opinion, if their sexual preference for political passion was kept in the privacy of their bedrooms.



Blogger brian.lecompte said...

Hear, hear!

6:49 AM  

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