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For a long time I've been trying to figure out what the single unifying point of the Tea Party movement and conservatives in general is. Finally the other day it came to me. They are scared shitless. I guess it's not really that hard to understand when you check out the constant stream of fear their handlers throw at them.  After all when you tell people 24/7/365 that the President is illegally elected, that they won't be able to worship their God, that government death panels are coming to kill their grandma, that rich people need even bigger tax breaks or there won't be any jobs, that the evil brown heathens are coming to steal their freedoms and install Sharia Law and that even their light bulbs are under attack then eventually some of them start to actually believe it.

Of course the problem goes back much further than the last few decades. As we all know, for the first few hundred years after the settling of America, white Christian males held 100% of the power in this country, then came the Civil War followed by the 13th, 14th and 19th Amendments. By 1950 that number was down to about 95%. Currently it's closer to 75% and dropping. That number is still too high given the actual percentage of the population that fits the description, but all those that do can see is people taking away the rights they held seemingly forever. Early on the federal government forced them to integrate schools and actually allow all the people of color to vote. By the 1980's the changes were in full swing. First there was a woman on the ballot for Vice President and next thing you know a black man was President. Then here comes Rush Limbaugh, FOX News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann all screaming to high heaven that white Christians are getting screwed and the deepest fears come bubbling to the surface.

Change can be scary and as we roll forward into the next few decades the power shift will continue. It's a done deal. Inside of 20 years all that will be left of the GOP is the hard core southern white Christian base - AKA The Tea Party and what a fearful party it is. To hold on to the America where they were kings their leaders are pulling out all the stops. They are rolling back voting rights at an unprecedented rate, telling their supporters there is a secret agenda to take away their guns, refusing to do anything to help the economy then blaming the lack of recovery on the "Usurper in Chief" and telling everyone who will listen that this is an election for the very soul of America.

Sunday that fear and anger lashed out again when a white supremacist in Wisconsin did what he'd been primed to do. He grabbed his guns and he went off to kill him some Muslims. He knew where they were. They met every Sunday not to far away. He'd seen them in their turbans with their beards. They looked damned scary and the building they met in is actually a Mosque. He was sure that they were up to no good, that they were infiltrators just as Michelle Bachmann had warned us all. Something had to be done and he did it. The fact they weren't actually Muslims but Sikh's really didn't matter to him as once again, the scary brown people with their weird dress styles, were flaunting their otherness for all to see. Now six people are dead. Seven if you count the shooter himself and the question "why" just isn't that hard to answer.

Of course it's not just him. Every day conservative become more alienated from the culture their fathers knew. They lash out both in the real world and through violent imagery from the safety of their homes. Can you see how scared that man is? The way he hides behind his glasses, afraid to show his eyes? Can you sense his helplessness as he resorts to pointing a gun at the whole world to try and scare them off? Read the frustration in his words. Like the dog barking at the strangers as they walk down the sidewalk past its yard, this man is desperately trying to hold back that which he fears the most.

You have to look beyond your own fear and nervousness and realize these people really just need a hug and to be told, "it's going to be okay." When they look at you like you've lost your mind and start to bluster, simply repeat steps 1 and 2. Keep doing it over and over. Change can be scary. These people fear change because from their perspective, it has only hurt them. That's obviously not true, but perspective is reality and we need to find a way to get past their defensiveness, find a way to reach them, to calm those fears and assuage that anger.

I admit, I've been as guilty recently as anyone of letting my anger and frustration over the GOP's lockstep marching and the unwillingness to bend to the inevitable changes this country and world are going to see in the next few decades dictate my words and actions. So today, I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm going to stop trolling these fearful, angry people. I'm going to find a way to tell them that it's going to be okay and they can stop being so scared - that the new world may not be the one they are used to, but it has a chance to be so much better. Still, odds are I can't do it on my own. We all need to do our part. We need to lead them gently and calmly through their fears and into the light of the new day. Do it on Facebook. Do it in bars. Do it in public. Do it at home. Hug a Teabagger for America each and every day. I know it's a scary thought, but, trust me, they are way more scared of you than you are of them.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:24:26 PM PDT

  •  It must feel terrible to be permanently stressed, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hungrycoyote, Dr Stankus, Tonedevil

    angry for incomprehensible reasons, and utterly unable to articulate your fears to anyone outside your own fright club.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:32:18 PM PDT

    •  Bob - I don't think the Tea Party has a corner (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      on stress. Reading diaries here at DKOS we see and read about many Americans who are feeling exhausting stress who are not even Republicans.

      More than any other single thing the Tea Party is stressed about government spending. All the other social and tax issues are not the driving concerns.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:34:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hold on to that dream (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        midgebaker, Tonedevil, Bob Love

        Maybe at one time that was kind of what they were after, then things got twisted. The Koch brothers started funding the movement early on and now there's a whole mess of people twisting what might have been a chance to have a serious discussion about government spending in lots of different ways. Even the stuff about spending is fear driven.

        Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

        by jusjtim35 on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:37:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess it's not really that hard (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Bob Love

          to understand when you check out the constant stream of fear their handlers throw at them

          Yeah, some of us here seem to be chuckling at the thought of hugging them, but  I see a scarily serious side to this too.

          The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
          H. L. Mencken

          All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

          Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

          It is not truth that matters, but victory.
          Adolf Hitler

      •  I think their "stress" is prior to any cause. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil

        Something tells me that chronic poverty and poor education are the basic drivers, leaving them with a sense of inferiority they can't admit to. Which is why it's everyone else's fault.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 06:10:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to just hug (0+ / 0-)

    the stuffin right out of them, burst their bubble, and set them straight.  The sad part is that most of them don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:40:31 PM PDT

  •  Hug a tea bagger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, a2nite

    Since so many are homophobic giving the wrong one a hug could get me shot.   I think I will pass on hugging a tea bagger!

  •  I agree completely. I've been dealing with (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mali muso, lina, VClib, Dr Stankus

    this fear problem with my father for quite some time. I just made a comment in my own diary along the same lines as the theory in this diary. The solution is not to respond to this hate and anger in kind. The solution is to respond to it with love and patience.

    My father is 80 years old. I know that I will not have him much longer. I absolutely refuse to let Fox News and right wing bloggers steal the time I have left with my father by shoving a political wedge of hate between us. So, I take my time to respond to his messages.

    Back in June he almost pushed me over the edge, and it took all the strength I could muster to respond to him. I am so grateful that to Dr. Lori for posting her comment in that diary, alerting me to the Fox Geezer Syndrome post. Ever since I read that, I have been more determined than ever to be the grown up and respond to my father with love and patience. To do otherwise would allow Fox News and the Right Wing Bloggers destroy my relationship with my father, and they would win. I refuse to let them win.

    For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

    by hungrycoyote on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 01:44:37 PM PDT

  •  the TBAgs can go to the ninth circle of hell; (0+ / 0-)

    Rotten Ronnie & tricky Dick are waiting to hug & screw them. Should be a good time for them.

    F*ck the TBAgs, oops nobody wants to f*ck them.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 03:23:42 PM PDT

  •  I would but . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal

    I don't want to get teabagger schmutz all over me.

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 03:58:34 PM PDT

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