“I lied to myself for years about who my allies were. No more.”
— Ben Howe, Red State
While the overwhelming majority of the Tea Party supports Sen. Ted Cruz’s run for the presidency, those elements within the conservative movement most loyal to Donald Trump are, however, major power brokers within the Tea Party. Among those “teabaggers” include Katrina Pierson, Gina Loudon, Scottie Nell Hughes, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, the last of whom for years appeared ambiguous in her approach to the Tea Party movement, but now very openly aligns with Trump, thus intermingling in the same circles.
The old guard paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly are now fossilized like the dinosaurs preceding them by about 65 million years. Soon, dozens more, far younger, will join them in our great societal train wreck created through disinformation and unlearning. What appears to be spontaneous phone calls by Trump to Fox News as revealed to be another Trump-bribed propaganda microphone according to defamed Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus is now nothing less than his obsessive compulsive means of further sucking up media coverage free of charge, in order to prevent himself campaign expenses.
It would appear a seemingly sound strategy; it has been. Trump’s moronic zombies await each Nuremberg rally and tweet as if the weekly cliffhanger ending to Dallas from over 30 years ago. However by doing so, by funding on the majority of his campaign with allegedly no major donors or bundlers beholden to multiple Super PAC’s, there is no major paper trail as to who he bribes, what shady deals he engages in, etc.
And what about that phone call placed by Trump to Bill Clinton prior to his officially announcing his candidacy? His ties to George Soros, so extensive they are, beg from me many questions.
Fortunately (or not), the Internet age has made it incredibly difficult to hide “skeletons in one’s closet”. To the contrary, it also means one can revise the past to fit one’s narrative—all of which Donald Trump is doing again in the case of Rafael Cruz, who he now claims collaborated with Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate John F. Kennedy through planted photographs and film released by his close friend David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer.
As Ben Howe put it succinctly, at the core of the Tea Party upon its arrival in 2009-10 “was principled, fiscal conservatism and a desire to return to the things that had made America great.” Among those details included such slogans as “Take our country back,” “Return to the Constitution,” all of which embodied Trump’s campaign slogan: Make America great again. The Tea Party demanded a budget the “federal government had to live within. A shrinking bureaucracy. An end to exploding entitlements.”
Social issues were not at the forefront of importance so much as the early pioneers were willing to sort out their differences after they stopped “the runaway train of government largesse.” But by 2011 there were some cracks in the movement, with some who seemed to just be profiting off of it without actually helping: politicians who had won on its rhetoric in 2010 but were less inclined to stop government growth upon entering the Beltway. Compound this by the fact Mitt Romney was nominated and later lost in 2012, and suddenly a lot of people “simply put down the signs and went home.”
Ben is correct. When one enters into politics, he or she will learn about their allies, not all of whom are always one’s friends, nor even colleagues. It was then he learned of the fascist tendencies or, in his actual words, those he thought he agreed with “only 70% of the time. Which normally is a great reason to consider someone an ally, but not when the other 30% is cringe-inducing paranoia and vapid stupidity.” As a result, he claims to have ignored his moral compass.
But did he really? Is choosing to conserve a political movement by “peace over principle” so unprincipled by making the mistake of supporting those with whom he disagreed on core matters in their joint fight over “other things that were more important?” Though the Congress of Vienna ended the Napoleonic wars and ushered in roughly a century of relative peace (save the Crimean War and nationalist dissent), it did little aside restore the divine right of monarchs, even the Ancien Regime itself.
Lest he be God, Ben could not have fathomed the result to be, “almost to a man, every single person I cringed at or thought twice about” became a committed “supporter and cheerleader of Donald Trump.” It is perfectly natural therefore that through trial and error, we grow from our mistakes so long as we survive them. It is okay to understand that a significant faction of the Tea Party might make one reflect and say, (as in Ben’s words) “wait…we ARE the stupid party?”
So long as we learn who among us are good; that we associate with them, and disengage with those “in this for money and power and influence,” one need never go down in flames with their principles. We must understand the principle espoused by Søren Kierkegaard:“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.” If we take this to heart, we can rest assured in the words of Edmund Burke that those willing to forgive our flaws will “Applaud us when we run, console us when we fall, cheer us when we recover.”
“Life is a mystery to be lived,” wrote Kierkegaard, “not a problem to be solved.” It can only be “understood backwards,” yet “must be lived forwards.” Because of my Christian faith, I understand how “Sin is in itself separation from the good, but despair over sin is separation a second time.”
Mistakes, therefore, should never be allowed a second opportunity. The Tea Party, a non monolithic political machine, is now in shreds following Trump’s apparent triumph of the will that will result in indefinite nights of broken glass. We have lived these rogue fascist elements’ nightmare for seven years now. And we must stop ruminating and quickly recover before their sins taint us all threefold.