As you may have noticed, I’ve slipped into a kind of hypomania this week. Why am I so ardently battling left-wing lies about the right? Well, first of all, it is my honest belief that the left’s ghoulish behavior in the wake of the Tucson shootings is a prelude to 1) an attempt to restore the Fairness Doctrine or 2) an attempt to police political speech in some other way, and I feel it’s my duty as a liberty-loving American to stop that train of thought before it leaves the station.
Secondly, I hate bullies. For too long, the left has used its media monopoly to bully conservatives — and conservatives, who have been trained by the aforementioned media monopoly to play nice and avoid rocking the boat, have usually absorbed the blows without a fight. I’m not going to allow that anymore. We now have alternative media streams at our disposal (this blog being one example), and we should use them.
Certain individuals have scolded conservatives for defending themselves. To them, I can only say things that are unprintable. What the left has done is declare us accessories to mass murder. It is natural – nay, it is legitimate – for us to get angry and fight back. Lying down and taking it is tantamount to ceding ground to the left. The only thing that will really stop these schoolyard bullies is punching back – hard. (And of course, I use “punching” in the metaphorical sense. I wouldn’t want to be accused of using rhetoric that incites violence. And by the way, isn’t it sad that I have to insert this qualification to appease the reading impaired?)
But now to the central purpose of this post, which is to challenge the dominant narrative the left uses to “explain” the Tea Party movement.
First, let’s look at the stats. In the spring of 2010, Gallup conducted a poll which discovered the following:
- The Tea Party is more conservative than the general U.S. population. (Duh.)
- The Tea Party is slightly more male. (Other polls have come up with the opposite finding, though, so I suspect the sex ratio is very close to 50/50.)
- The Tea Party is predominantly middle class.
- Within the Tea Party, the age, education, employment, and race demographics resemble the spread for the general population.
The picture Gallup presents here certainly doesn’t suggest that the Tea Party is made up of slack-jawed hillbillies and white supremacists. But let’s tackle, one at a time, some of the specific charges the partisan left levies at the Tea Party movement:
The Tea Party is sexist.
Why? Because Tea Partiers tend to be pro-life? Not everyone agrees that anti-abortion policies are sexist. As a matter of fact, a very strong argument can be made that abortion benefits men more than it benefits women — and that rather than increasing societal sympathy for women in crisis pregnancy situations, the existence of legal abortion has curtailed that sympathy.
Moreover, during the 2010 election season, Tea Partiers supported an unprecedented number of female candidates. Here’s a story from CNN (hardly an organ of right-wing commentary) that discusses the phenomenon:
This article doesn’t credit the Tea Party for backing these female candidates, but it’s a stone-cold fact that some of the most visible 2010 races featured Tea Party-supported female candidates running against incumbent Democrats. If Tea Partiers were genuinely sexist, they simply would not have encouraged these women to enter the political arena – and they definitely would not love Sarah Palin, the supposed “queen bee” of the movement, as much as they do.
(Of course, Sub Spike would interject here that hardcore partisan leftists don’t recognize conservative female politicians as “real women.” My response? Oh, well. If I can get some reasonable folks thinking, that’s good enough for me.)
The Tea Party is racist.
During the 2010 election season, dirty, filthy racist Tea Partiers supported the following candidates in their bids for elective office:
Susana Martinez (New Mexico), the nation’s first elected Latina governor
Nikki Haley (South Carolina), America’s second Indian-American governor
Tim Scott (SC-01)
Col. Allen West (FL-22), who is awesome
Marco Rubio (Florida), who came from a family of Cuban exiles
And while we’re at it, what are we to make of the individuals who represented the Tea Party Express at this press conference:
As others have pointed out, this is a form of sublimation. If we weren’t hurling invective at each other, we’d be engaged in open tribal warfare. Do I want our political process to be conducted in a more civil manner? Of course. But when you think about it, verbal invective is pretty civilized compared to the alternatives (cane fights, pistol duels at dawn, the aforementioned tribal warfare, etc.).
But I’m digressing. Bottom line, the Tea Party is no more violent than any other American political movement. As a matter of fact, its record is quite good. And that pretty much sums up the reality in general. On all of the dimensions discussed above, the Tea Party turns out not to resemble the left’s fevered nightmares.