The false consciousness goes both ways.
I think the Tea Party movement is many things; but to dismiss its aspirations for less government would be as foolish as to credit it with any serious plan to achieve less government. That's the problem; it's an emotional morass (cultural panic, economic distress, pure protest, religious fundamentalism) made coherent by a small government philosophy, with no actual positive understanding of what small government can mean today, except low taxes and entitlement- and defense-driven bankruptcy.
My fear is that in power, this total absence of actual ideas or proposals will mean a purely negative and nihilist agenda of hating on Obama, or even having an interest in making the economy worse, to heighten the contradictions.
In other words, that power will not make them responsible; it will simply make them even more mad. These people are not, in any menaingful sense, conservatives. They seek to conserve nothing of our current state; they seek to destroy, and use the language of reactionary revolution.
If I saw any reasonable figures among them capable of compromising with the president to make our long-term fiscal outlook better, I'd feel less bleak. Instead, I hear the Gingrich rhetoric of hyper-partisan posturing and recklessness.
So, yes, I will be going to the Sanity Rally. And praying hard the day after.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.