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Andrew Levine on Tea Party Smarts and the Poison of Ted Cruz

Tea Party and Crazy – flickr creative commons license

According to Wikipedia the Tea Party movement is not even a party, it’s …

Several polls have been conducted on the demographics of the movement. Though the various polls sometimes turn up slightly different results, they tend to show that Tea Party supporters tend more likely than Americans overall to be white, male, married, older than 45, regularly attending religious services, conservative, and to be more wealthy and have more education.[135][136][137][138][139] Broadly speaking, multiple surveys have found between 10% and 30% of Americans identify as a member of the Tea Party movement.[9][140] Most Republicans and 20% of Democrats support the movement.[141]

And as Levine points out, Ted Cruz and David Brat are the epitome of this. Both being graduates of the most prestigious private Universities. Both doing very well academically, even graduating magna cum laude. Indeed though there are those who say it’s just a racist movement first popularized in the South, it really is more – and less – than that.

They and Cruz are not the elite but worship those who do have money, especially the elites. They think that everything should be privately owned and bought and sold. They love “free market” capitalism but are hardly libertarian.

The dominant inflection is libertarian.  But Tea Party libertarianism is more visceral than philosophical.  Tea Partiers talk an earful about freedom, but what they really want is freedom from government interference in areas that matter to them.

Racism and bigotry is only a part of it, for they despise anyone who is not like them. Most especially those below them, those they see as having servitude as their only worth. I read once where racism is only the ultimate in snobbery.  Tea Partiers are the ultimate snobs – and snots.

Tea Partiers are also averse to state programs that advance the well being of the least well off, especially when they are not white.   In this respect, the Tea Party is like many other right-wing political movements throughout the world.  It has a xenophobic, nationalistic and, more or less explicitly, racist tinge.

Mind you, this is primarily about economic and class division, and keeping minorities poor, keeping them as cheap labor.

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Andrew Levine on Tea Party Smarts and the Poison of Ted Cruz

According to Wikipedia the Tea Party movement is not even a party, it’s …

Several polls have been conducted on the demographics of the movement. Though the various polls sometimes turn up slightly different results, they tend to show that Tea Party supporters tend more likely than Americans overall to be white, male, married, older than 45, regularly attending religious services, conservative, and to be more wealthy and have more education. Broadly speaking, multiple surveys have found between 10% and 30% of Americans identify as a member of the Tea Party movement. Most Republicans and 20% of Democrats support the movement.

And as Levine points out, Ted Cruz and David Brat are the epitome of this. Both being graduates of the most prestigious private Universities. Both doing very well academically, even graduating magna cum laude. Indeed though there are those who say it’s just a racist movement first popularized in the South, it really is more – and less – than that.

They and Cruz are not the elite but worship those who do have money, especially the elites. They think that everything should be privately owned and bought and sold. They love “free market” capitalism but are hardly libertarian.

The dominant inflection is libertarian. But Tea Party libertarianism is more visceral than philosophical. Tea Partiers talk an earful about freedom, but what they really want is freedom from government interference in areas that matter to them.

Racism and bigotry is only a part of it, for they despise anyone who is not like them. Most especially those below them, those they see as having servitude as their only worth. I read once where racism is only the ultimate in snobbery. Tea Partiers are the ultimate snobs – and snots.

Tea Partiers are also averse to state programs that advance the well being of the least well off, especially when they are not white. In this respect, the Tea Party is like many other right-wing political movements throughout the world. It has a xenophobic, nationalistic and, more or less explicitly, racist tinge.

Mind you, this is primarily about economic and class division, and keeping minorities poor, keeping them as cheap labor.

Levine wonders about their fixation on gun ownership and how these tea party people could also be so educated, maybe not realizing that both go hand in hand. That they feel and believe their high incomes and bank accounts entitle them to be able to defend their possessions and wealth by any means necessary.

One other little item, I would wager that few if any served in the military because their attitude would not be tolerated there for a minute. I say this without fear of contradiction since their attitude toward those who have served is the same as their attitude toward anyone else who is not white and well off.

Levine also explores the Tea Party’s lack of any real political convictions. This is simply because they have no conviction at all outside of their own personal well being.

Let me remind you of who we are talking about. Not those poor whites who associated themselves with the movement, but the upper crust. Lawyers and Doctors and Executives and College Professors and Bankers and Stockbrokers and all. The ones who live in exclusive neighborhoods and high rises and condos and want very much to keep them that way, exclusive.  Who want to keep their country clubs off limits to anyone they deem their lessors. And their schools and their neighborhoods and their doctors, office and hospitals …

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Marcia Jarmel

Marcia Jarmel

Marcia Jarmel founded PatchWorks with Ken Schneider in 1994. She has been producing and directing documentaries for over 15 years. Her best-known work is the ITVS-funded Born in the U.S.A., which aired on the PBS series Independent Lens and was hailed as the “best film on childbirth” by the former director of maternal health at the World Health Organization. The documentary has been used to educate hundreds about childbirth options, and to lobby legislators to reform midwifery laws. Eight years after its national broadcast, Born in the U.S.A. continues to engage families, communities and health care professionals.

Marcia’s other films include Collateral Damage, a mother's lament about the human costs of war that screened worldwide in theatres, museums, festivals and schools as part of Underground Zero: Filmmakers Respond to 9/11. Her Return of Sarah’s Daughters examines the allure of Orthodox Judaism to secular young women. The hour-long documentary won a CINE Golden Eagle, National Educational Media Network Gold Apple, and 1st Place in the Jewish Video Competition. It screened on international public television, and at the American Cinematheque, International Documentary Film Festival, Women in the Director's Chair, Cinequest and numerous other film festivals. Her first film, The F Word: A short video about feminism uses whimsical animation and interviews to foster discussion on this so-called contentious topic. Still in distribution after 15 years with Women Make Movies, The F Word screened on KQED's Living Room Festival, AFI's VideoFest, and the Judy Chicago film series at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Marcia’s additional credits include producing and directing films for the San Francisco World Music Festival, co-editing the Academy-award nominee, For Better or For Worse, and assistant producing the Academy Award nominees Berkeley in the Sixties and Freedom on My Mind. She was a resident at Working Films Content + Intent Doc Institute and has guest lectured at Stanford University San Francisco City College, San Francisco State University, and New York University.