The Un-Americanism of the Tea Party

August 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Conceited, Dysfunctional Politics | 1 Comment
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As a matter of principle, the Tea Party is against compromise.

It therefore seeks to establish an Authoritarian politics.  It seeks to establish the opposite of an open society.  The Tea Party believes that it knows the final truth, and can learn nothing from those holding other views.

But the American experiment is based on the goal of an open society.  That goal is its most fundamental principle, from which flow all of its other goals and principles.

Hence the Tea Party is un-American at its very core.

The line of reasoning above is a syllogism.  The conclusion followed by strict logic.  It is inescapable.

From the Tea Party’s Authoritarianism follows, in particular, that the Tea Party is the antithesis of Libertarianism, which is one of the proposed routes (not necessarily the best) to an open society.

Readers may recall that the same points were made, in a different way, in a post about Grover Norquist, who was a precursor of the Tea Party.

Given the Tea Party’s un-American authoritarianism, allow me to call it the Pee Party.

Grover Norquist’s Un-American Political Philosophy

July 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Posted in Enemies of Freedom | 1 Comment
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Grover Norquist is chiefly known for what he calls the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

He bullies candidates and elected legislators to sign the pledge, by pointing out that the tea party will punish at the polls anyone who doesn’t sign.

When a legislator who has signed later encounters a real-world situation which can only be solved by raising taxes, Norquist has a “talk” with him or her, much like a mafia enforcer talking with a waverer.  That usually works.

Notice how coercive and inflexible all of this is.  It is authoritarian.  It is the opposite of support for a free and open society.

Contrast Norquist’s coercive “there is only one right way, my way, and it will never need to be changed” attitude to the attitude that James Madison and others embedded into the Constitution.  Madison had carefully studied what had caused earlier democracies to fail, and had engineered into the Constitution correctives for those weaknesses.  Chief among them was the diffusion of power, the checks and balances that provide a diversity of inputs, and adaptability.  These lead to a self-correcting power, the ability to change course without political upheaval – that is the greatest strength of a free and open society.

Norquist opposes adapting to changing circumstances.  He thinks that a meat-ax like rule should be made beforehand, and then should be adhered to, mindlessly.  He wants to make us brittle rather than flexible.  Norquist is the anti-Madison.

Grover Norquist is an Authoritarian – an enemy of freedom, not its defender.

He is an inadvertent – but real – enemy of the American experiment.

On July 4, Grover Norquist should have held his head in shame.

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