Two Tea Parties

Today, my two daughters had a tea party over here for their friends.  I was pretty excited when they had the idea–imagine, my precious little girls wanting to voice their concern over bloated government waste and dwindling civil liberties, mildly protesting the financial burden that our leaders’ policies are putting on them.

But, apparently, their idea of a tea party had more to do with sandwiches, fancy dresses, Kool Aid, and Taylor Swift songs.  Alas.

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3 comments on “Two Tea Parties

  1. So, is their idea of bloated government the DHS and the panic/xenophobia -induced Patriot Act that hijacked Civil Righs and spies on everyone, or the Public Shcools, which have been the most important “leveler of the playing field” for the children of immigrant Americans, the poor, the freedmen etc.

    Without Public School, emancipation would have made little difference.

    So which one do we do away with .first: Education of DHS; actually, the SS, or Schutz-Staffeln were the corresponding government institution that spied on everyone, and made sure no popular front arose to confront the NSDAP. Thus, Hitler, whose party only got 31% of German vote, became the Reichskanzler (it was about partisan competition, as the Communists wanted to be in the Cabinet, but NSDAP wouldn’t cooperate), and under the pretense of the arson in German parliament, which was blamed on Communists (the main rival of the NSDAP for the working class vote), and a man named Lubbe was summarily arrested, “tried,” found guilty and executed with scant evidence and no due process, the parliament gave Hitler a Carte Blanche as Reichskanzler in 1933 with 31% vote in the election. His Homeland Security (SS) was not about the “Muslim threat” but the “Jewish Question”. Jews were blamed for every imaginable wrong in the world, and endless propaganda demonised them, and also all other minority groups such as Roma were systematically harrassed, put to forced labor and then gassed (if the survived the work camp).

    I am not drawing a direct connection, but just as Hitler was given his “emergency powers” in 1933, the US abrogated Civil Rights by the Patriot Act, because of the fear that had gripped the country because of the 9/11 attacks.

    The “emergency powers” to wage war on Iraq was given under the pretense of the “Muslim threat” that was actually a couple of PR-savvy guys, who took credit for the 9/11 and promised a lot more.

    The massive DHS have done much less to secure Americans since its foundation, than the fact that before the current wars in Middle East, and especially Iraq, there were actually few people willing to blow themselves up to “show up” Uncle Sam. When Bin Laden was found, he was not what we expected, was he?

    My message is that panicking is always a bad thing. Plus, as far as shrinking government, wouldn’t it be better to do it at a more opportune time? Roosevelt Depression in 1937 was the result of a premature tightening of the budget to get rid of deficit (NB! a Dem wanting to balance the budget). Because so much less government spending actually shrunk the economy, it caused renewed mass unemployment etc.

    Radical budget-cutting now will have the same results. A Depression tends to create a redistribution of wealth… who is in the position to profit from a Republican Depression now?

    I’m not arguing this from a partisan point; I detest party politics, although I guess it’s necessary. I’ve studied Economics and History. They should teach us something, right? True, Social Security was too generous for people with income from other sources, but the Baby Boom was at the time an unexpected thing that is busting the Social Security and Medicare budget. But Social Security also meant peace in the society. When income disparities are too big, and unemployment too high, it creates a vicious circle of despondency and poverty.

    But as far as partisan politics go, Bush I raised taxes (probably fully aware that it’ll cost him the election in 1992, and it did), and Clinton cut defense spending, creating a huge surplus, that was supposed to be put in a “lockbox” if anyone remembers anymore. Bush II radically expanded government with emergency powers, and created a huge deficit under the influence of Cheney’s “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter” ideology. They did matter then, if they matter now.

    I guess what I’m saying is that there are examples in History of people letting fear dictate their thoughts, and going for an extremist/nationalist ticket in sufficient numbers to influence actual decisions in Legislatures. Totalitarianism of one kind or another has usually followed.

    Will Americans let fear send them to extremism? Will ideology matter more than what history and economics teach us?

    Sorry about my endless rambling. And for some reason, my spellchecker isn’t working.

  2. Wonderdog, if it helps, when my older daughter served up a pan of brownies that she’d baked, I made my presence known.

    Velska, really? You respond to a cute anecdote about two girls having a party with a long political tirade? Have too much free time, do we?

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