On his HBO show, Bill Maher recently spent four and a half minutes demonizing the Tea Party movement. Of course, this isn’t particularly shocking, as marginalizing dissent and protecting the status quo is the full time job of the corporate media. Just ask Ralph Nader, who has done more for working and middle class Americans than anybody else over the past 50 years. He’s been marginalized and demonized by the press to the point where he is now the universal symbol for why we should NOT pursue truly independent 3rd parties, and real change. It’s quite the mindfuck, actually.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the the Tea Party is perfect, or that it’s even close to perfect. The aim of this post is to point out the underhanded methods used to discredit movements that threaten the status quo, NOT to promote the Tea Party, which, as I pointed out here, has been infiltrated and hijacked by the GOP in order to ensure that it never becomes a viable option for “mainstream” voters.
What began last year as a bipartisan movement against illegal wars of empire, multi-trillion dollar national debts, and bailouts for the very people who destroyed our entire economy, has come to be caricatured as an armed group of toothless, confused, right-wing, white power, neo nazis. This caricature has been presented so often at this point, that it no longer even matters if it’s accurate. After all, we are a nation raised by advertisers and public relations firms. Media dictates reality.
Are there some confused idiots in the Tea Party movement? Yup. Are there racists in the Tea Party movement? Absolutely, but the same can be said about ANY movement, including the Democrats and the Republicans.
Think about it. Who has been in power over the past ten years, while the United States military has been marauding through Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, in illegal, undeclared wars begun under false pretenses? And what do all of those countries have in common? If you answered that they are all Muslim nations, then you get a Pop Tart.
And who has been in power since 1948, as the United States has provided financial and military support to Israel as they’ve stolen the land of the Palestinians, and turned Gaza into a modern day version of the Warsaw Ghetto?
The answer to both of the above questions, of course, is Democrats and Republicans, and it really wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that support of those two wars, and of Israel’s ongoing apartheid antics equals RACISM.
But somehow, the media caricature of Democrats and Republicans is not one of Arab-hating, gun-toting, bulldozer-driving Zionists.
Do you see what I’m driving at here?
The Tea Partiers are CONSTANTLY referred to as gun-toting racists, while the Democrats and Republicans, who actually USE their guns (and bombs, and tanks, and fighter planes, and aircraft carriers, and drones, and missiles) to kill people of particular racial or religious groups, while robbing them of their liberties and stealing their resources, get away scott free.
Why do you think that is?
I believe that it’s because the Democrats and the Republicans do not ever, under any circumstances, challenge the corporate status quo, while the Tea Party movement came into existence last year as an INDEPENDENT, grassroots, bipartisan movement, specifically to protest the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the very banks that ruined the world’s economy, and the two illegal wars of aggression that have been going on for close to NINE YEARS, all of which made them very dangerous to the corporate status quo. In fact, many of the Tea Party’s members consider themselves to be political independents, who still cite those issues, and (gasp) completely nutty ideas like food sovereignty and support of the Constitution as their main issues. All of this meant that they needed to be infiltrated, co-opted, and marginalized.
So let’s examine the Bill Maher segment.
Maher begins by citing a very real problem that has been created exclusively by Democrats and Republicans.
That problem is the crippling national debt.
Maher goes on to take a very predictable cheap shot at what has come to be the caricatured physical appearance of the amorphous group that he not particularly cleverly refers to as “Tea-baggers,” instead of the Tea Party (get it, it’s a racy sex joke!).
“The problem with the Tea Party movement, besides their almost universal rejection of dentistry, is that they want money for nothing and chicks for free.”
“They want a deregulated market, and for their jobs to stay here in the US.
They want guaranteed heath coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions, but without a big government mandate.
And of course, they want big tax cuts along with deficit reduction.”
Never mind that plenty of Democrats and Republicans often make the exact same types of demands. Oh wait, Maher goes on to admit just that:
“Now, in fairness, this isn’t just the Tea Baggers. Ask the American people how they want to tame the deficit, by raising taxes, or by cutting spending, and cutting spending wins, always…”
He then goes on to accurately refer to the United States as “an empire” that “costs 1 trillion dollars per year to maintain”, and he says that “this is a welfare program for defense workers to build crap that we don’t need.”
And he’s absolutely right about all of that. Just as the “Tea Baggers” who have been saying the same thing are right about it.
Maher finishes with this:
“So Tea Baggers, if you’re unwilling to cut defense and give up the empire, you don’t really care about the debt, and you have to admit that you’re just a racist sore loser.”
See? Only the “Tea Baggers” are racists. Nobody else. Not even the people who have actually been in power, and have been responsible for over 1 million dead Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan since we invaded them close to nine years ago. Not the people who have supported apartheid Israel for the past 62 years. Certainly not Barack Obama, who, the last time I checked, most definitely hasn’t shown a “willingness to cut defense and give up the empire.” Not even the majority of “American people,” whom Maher pointed out, share many of the exact same views he attributed to the “Tea Baggers.”
None of those people are racist sore losers. Only the “Tea Baggers.”
This is exactly how false realities are created by the corporate media.
This is how the status quo is protected.
It’s enough to make you chew your own fucking leg off.