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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

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Adventues in Self-Loathing: The Gay Tea Bagger?!
A recent conversation with some friends turned briefly to a politics, and part of the discussion was so mind-blowing and foreign to me that I am still, many days later, trying to wrap my head around its absurdity and lack of logic.

Up until this point, I hadn't really given a thought to the possibility of there being gay members of the Tea Party. More self-loathing than the Log Cabin Republicans, more self-deluded than women who willfully deny their own reproductive rights, I always equated the concept of a gay Tea Party member with being a Jewish Nazi or an African-American member of the KKK. Being a gay member of the Tea Party involves mental calisthenics I am not capable of; I cannot embrace a group whose ideology wants me marginalized at best--and wants me dead at worst. But yes, indeed, this friend told me; he knew someone well who was gay, and who embraced the Tea party wholeheartedly.

How? I asked. How can any self-respecting gay person even consider such a thing?

"He doesn't want anyone touching his money," was the response.

I'll let that sink in for a moment. While you ponder, let's revisit some of what the American Tea Party has had to say about homosexuals.

The Tea Party Platform itself opposes gay marriage, as if that comes as any surprise:

We regard the traditional definition of marriage, the union of a man and a woman, as the core unit within the American culture. We oppose any aberration to the definition of marriage.

The queen of the Tea Party in the US Congress, Michele Bachmann, gleefully works hand-in-hand with anti-gay groups. Oh, and fellow potential 2012 presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee embrace the hatred, too.

Oklahoma state representative and Tea Party member Sally Kern equates homosexuality with terrorism. Oops, my mistake; she considers homosexuality to be worse than terrorism.

Tea Party ally and speaker Roy Moore advocates state-sanctioned execution of gays:

The State carries the power of the sword, that is, the power to prohibit conduct with physical penalties, such as confinement and even execution. It must use that power to prevent the subversion of children toward this lifestyle, to not encourage a criminal lifestyle. (Emphasis is mine.)

The leader of the Montana Tea Party cracks jokes about murdering gays. True, he was fired, and offered a limp apology, but his true colors have flown.

These are just a few examples; the internet is peppered with articles, blogs and videos that represent the homophobic nature of the Tea Party and its members. They dislike the gay community so vehemently that many Tea Party members will only rest once all the homosexuals in the United States are dead. Their intense and often violent rhetoric is horrifying.

So, to the gay Tea Party member in question here, all that is well and good; go ahead and push me and my kind to the margins. Feel free to openly and legally discriminate against me. By all means wish bodily harm and even death upon me. But for heaven's sake, don't touch my bank book!

This reflects a shallowness of character that makes a mud puddle look as deep as the Pacific Ocean in contrast. To be so money-focused as to ignore and even defy your own well-being...words fail me. How can a decent and respectable person react to travesties such as Matthew Shepard's murder with a shrug while carefully tracking their account balances? To their gay friends, and to themselves, for that matter, they are in effect saying, "I don't give a damn about you; I will happily sell those I know down the river in order to keep my money." To quote Daffy Duck, it is akin to saying, "Consequences, schmonsequences; as long as I'm rich." It's funny when it's a cartoon; it's repulsive when it's reality.

I just feel confusion and sadness when I encounter such a concept. Money does not buy dignity, nor does it define character. Those who obsess on it seem more than eager to give up both.

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Your guess is as good as mine; I just can't figure out such a mindset.

Wow I thought you knew about those uncle toms.

I guess when you have more regard for money than human decency, this is what happens.

I think it falls into the broader: well they line up on other views so I'll just ignore that rhetoric and dismiss the reporting of it. Because hey its all about economic issues after all.

Um, okay. I guess I am weird, then, in that I find it difficult to cozy up to someone who wants me dead.

But that's just me.

I agree with you but lets be honest that some people will ignore those facts or attempt to create excuses...

Apparently so. I just wonder, over time, how many of this person's gay friends will abandon his sorry ass.

Like the saying goes, don't shit where you sleep.

If one felt progressive politics couldn't possibly help, and had a fatalistic attitude, I could see going for a lower-hanging fruit of 'at least I'll theoretically have my money.'

Alternately, if one felt unaffected by the issue--perhaps sucessful at living a closeted life, or living in a queer ghetto and feeling immuned to what goes on in the outside world--that could make one prioritize differently.

Or hell, to get attention and get a rise out of 'liberal pussies.' :J

I'm not defending it or suggesting it, just speculating!

Our conversation wasn't all that long, so I am going on a bit of a dearth of information. But if I had to venture a guess, it would be your Option B as stated above.

This person, from what I can gather, is quite wealthy and almost obsessively materialistic--someone to whom things matter more than people. So I am venturing a guess that, in their sheltered little world, the social aspect has no real bearing upon them. More's the pity when reality finally hits them, if it ever does.

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What may have started as a honest-to-goodness grassroots and we-the-people movement against heavy taxation (ironic, since personal taxes are the lowest they have been in almost 60 years) has since become a billionaire-funded political machine designed to keep the lackeys in lockstep--which is why I find the nickname "Koch Suckers" to be so apt.

The GOP initially embraced the Tea Party, since they were perceived as having the philosophy "anything the left likes, we hate;" witness the ugly Town Hall meetings during the Health Care Act debate. This philosophy includes homophobia, misogyny and a grotesque and ugly racism couched none-too-subtly in the birth certificate fiasco. The GOP was willing to overlook that for the time being, seeing the Tea Party as a useful means to their end.

Since the victories they enjoyed in the 2010 midterm elections, though, the Tea Party has had a false sense of empowerment and entitlement, and has been throwing their weight around in almost totalitarian fashion; look at Scott Walker and Paul LePage for just two examples. Their members in Congress are even battling with the GOP now; they are an out-of-control Frankenstein's monster. Politically, the Tea Party now represents a game no one can win.

Ultimately, though, I agree with your latter point in your post; I believe the Tea Party in reality represents the most extreme and ultra-right section of the Republican Party--those who don't think the GOP as it stands right now is right-wing enough. And there's some irony for you; what had started out as a strictly fiscal movement has now come to represent the most stunted, backward and hateful social thinking in American society.

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Ironically, these "grassroots" Tea Party members tend to march in lockstep with whatever their billionaire puppet masters feed to them. Their only "facts" are information that comes from one or two very limited sources, and other, more accurate outlets of information are ignored outright if what they say doesn't match up to what the 'baggers want to hear.

But I am on board with what you said; their willful ignorance is both frustrating and confusing.

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