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Our Dominant Influences: Why Not the Worst?

Tea Baggers are both delusional and wrong, and that's okay so long as they play

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.

At the recent Tea Party convention, where Sarah Palin revealed the many varieties of idiot to be contained in one person, former Congressman and local bigot Tom Tancredo shared this summation with various mad hatters, insane obvious queens, and frustrated and aging white women. He said: "Because we don't have a civics literacy test to vote, people who couldn't even spell 'vote,' or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House named Barack Hussein Obama."

This has horrified progressives and not a few actual conservatives who are unsure how to manipulate this temporary emotional mob posing as learned academic theorists on a tear. Obama's bid for constructive functioning with a group of people that fear their own institutional incompetence had been exposed under Bush is doomed, since the Tea Baggers can only exaggerate to the point of absurdity supposed dangers of the current President to the nation.

v Obama - well read in history - knows exactly what he is doing. It is important to keep the three main elements of a nation's society involved in the political process - granted, a numbing cliché - because the record is clear what happens when you do not. Like it or not, the Tea Party represents the tattered remnants of what once was a vibrant and very constructive element in our nation. Henry Adams, alive today, might well be a member. The generations of Adams before him would, however, vomit.

Every functioning nation has an educated upper class, mostly wealthy and often solely devoted to maintaining that wealth against all comers, which they justify by implying an aristocratic inheritance of competence. Usually as a detritus from the predominant religion's favor to certain families or parties, there is a monarchy, normally derived from that upper class. Then, everybody else.

Power shifted between monarch and upper class by Regency through history. It was the nobility that inadvertently curbed the divine delusions of Kings with the Magna Carta, and it was the subsequent melding of goals between the common folk and the monarchs that curbed the power of the aristocracy in early example of triangulation.

Starting in the 18th century, the people themselves started lusting for power above either King or Aristocracy. France botched it. Once in power, the people slaughtered the monarch and the aristocracy and those among themselves who showed too much sentiment for other people not of their own background. As a result, the French people had no allies against Napoleon, and spent a century in turmoil as an exiled upper class tried constantly to regain power as a class with regressive elements in the Catholic Church by outright military coup. Instead of including former aristocrats in government, France condemned itself to various levels of civil war that has not ended yet. Not much different in the Soviet Union.

England, on the other hand, had small problem including or, indeed, depending upon, in the words of Great Liberal William Gladstone, its "dominant influences," by which he meant inherited land and power, either Whig or Conservative. This had led to a body of Government, the House of Lords, that functioned as a censor with a legislative veto, thus providing restraint on both idiocy and constructive advance both, and the restricting of its power became the goal of all social reform, and that only recently achieved. But the very elements that might have been moved to form violent coups against the nation came to meld into the fabric and use the entirely new social entities for common goals. All in all, a success, and we are its result.

What the Tea Baggers are is an attempt by those who think of themselves as America's latent Dominant Influences to reclaim a power they see stolen by a coalition between executive and the masses. But it was no more stolen in 2008 than China was lost in 1948. The Tea Baggers constitute the most unproductive elements in the nation: some inherited money, world class idiots, and letter sweater bigots. Among them you'll find the harpies that support and manage small and large city Debutante Cotillions - or those who would want to - and generally unaccomplished men whose functional illiteracy is displayed on the signs they proudly show the cameras. They were never in power but don't actually know that. Most are only social climbers who never were upper class or served in the military, two elements they try hard to hide. They are impressed by Sarah Palin because she has more money than they do and yet is obviously no smarter. Why not the worst?

They're not constructive, they're not bright, but they're not new, either. Progressives, so called, need to view them for what they are, and keep them at play.