The Other Fringe

Friday, April 17 the "TEA Party Patriots" (TPP) held a huge multistate rally to complain about single payer health care.

A little while ago I went to the post office and there, stapled to a bulletin board was a teabag.

I thought this was odd, probably because as an undergraduate I’d read about executives who were closet homosexuals. The "teabag" was a reference to part of the male genitalia, to "teabag" is to engage in an act, and hanging a teabag by a public restroom mean there was a lonely guy nearby. (Urban Dictionary "teabag" link CAUTION frank language) 

Turns out that isn’t what this particular tea bag was about (go ahead and use the restrooms near the post office).

The TEA stands for "Taxed Enough Already". It’s a "grass roots" movement initiated by the "American Liberty Alliance". Don’t get too excited, the organization actually has almost nothing to do with liberty; it’s a "Free Market" organization. "Free Market" isn’t anything like a "Flea Market" and is kind of the opposite, since a flea market is about little people reusing good items and the Free Market is about corporations doing what they like, and a few people getting as rich as possible. Hey, "greed"… it’s somebody’s version of the American Dream.

The TEA bag idea is the work of people (lonely executives?) at Don’tGo Movement.com. Not an anti-diarrhea medicine, the group’s name seems to be a clumsy homage towards "Move-on.org", a wildly successful, truly grass roots internet movement for moderates and moderate liberals.

Don’tGo Movement (a really counter-intuitive, rather self-contradictory name) attempts to organize just plain folks in the army of defense of the Free Market System, which they see as central to Americanness. They really mean "defense", too, and they even have news platoons, undoubtedly ready to take on the liberal media.

The TEA bag/ALA/Don’tGo problem is that the government has been taken over by socialists. These people, Democrats sure, but a few Republicans, too, believe in taking from the rich to give to the poor.

The site claims, as does Move On.org that it is not really a political organization, but rather a loose association of activists:

"we’re not a political organization; Rather, we’re a free-market minded web infrastructure that is organized by individuals who believe in personal liberties and limited government regulation."

The only problem is, there is no sign of individual or civil rights on the site. "Liberty" simply means the right to make money in an unobstructed way, with no social conscience and no benefit to the people who work for you or buy your products.

There is no demand for the right to smoke cannabis, no demand for a woman’s right to choose to be pregnant, no mention of any liberties at all. Just free market capitalism at its most naked and self-absorbed.

We would all love to see less taxes, on our selves. We all want less government intrusion. Some of us want it for humans, some for corporations.

I care nothing at all for corporations; they have all the advantages. They have lawyers, and lobbyists, they live several normal lifetimes, they even have "personhood" under the law. Corporations have every advantage.

And, the less they pay, the more we, real people, pay. Free Market fanatics believe the company can hire you, spend your energy and life toward their ends for a modest reward, and cast you loose when you are sick or old. "Socialism" to them means having to share the profits. Don’t like taxes and fees and government regulation? No one does, but those are the ways capitalists pay their dues to do business in a civil society.

Anyone really concerned with our society’s survival shouldn’t be hanging teabags (unless they’re lonely), they should be lobbying for true liberty, the liberty of people, not corporations.

Lobby to reduce fees to SMALL businesses, eliminate regulation and taxation for home businesses and hand crafters, work for social responsibility, insist that corporations are not persons, that they need to be re-chartered every twenty years, and if they haven’t been good citizens, they shouldn’t be renewed. Better yet, "lobby" to do away with the "lobbyist" system of government and replace it with real grass roots democracy.

Here are theALA-TEA bag, and Don’tGo Movement sites.


For balance, here is MoveOn.org

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