Note: Updated addendum beneath the fold.
From the New World Historipedia, 2110 C.E.
In the early decades of the new century, a popular grassroots movement took hold.
The movement grew out of a general dissatisfaction with those in power at the time, a perception that their nation was declining in power and prestige, that their once dominant currency and technology and culture were fading in comparison to other, inferior nations, and from the ill fortunes of a disastrous war that had been waged for all of the wrong reasons and that had left many of the nation’s youth dead and disfigured and scarred.
Across the nation, small loosely organized groups of political activists disrupted town hall meetings and elections and the business of government. They heckled and hounded and harried officials and stood on street corners shouting their protest. They staged rallies and conventions and appealed to popular dissatisfaction and a general anger. Their litany of complaints were many and widely varied but in general their organizers denounced the failures of liberalism and the hijacking of the democracy by those they saw as communists or socialists and as corrupt and dishonorable and elitist. Their concerns included an increased sense of diluted national and cultural identity - for which they blamed an influx of immigrants and foreign influences – a faltering economy, and the perception that those who had not earned their place in society were sapping the strength and will of a great and superior people.
A number of charismatic leaders arose during the first decade of the movement. In general, these leaders were failed politicians, the disaffected, the rogues, the minimally educated, the local rabble-rousers, who played upon the fears and the base instincts of the general population. Often they appealed to the population’s lowest common denominator. Increasingly these leaders blamed ethnic minorities and foreign residents - along with dissidents, liberals, homosexuals, religious minorities, the wealthy, those perceived as decadent or corrupt or immoral including many members of the prevailing political parties, the military, commerce, and industry – for the country’s woes. They denounced the nation’s elected leaders as traitors, communists, usurpers, liberals and as uncaring and uninterested in the plight of the so-called common man. They appealed to the populist desire for a new start, a renewed sense of national identity and purpose, a chicken in every true citizen’s pot through hard work and honest labor, and a purging of the alien in their midst.
These small groups, many and diverse with differing agendas and priorities, eventually merged into a new national political party. At the head of this new party was a populist - attractive, charismatic, and a powerful speaker – who used the new communications technology of that modern age to reach the masses in a manner never seen before, fanning the flames of outrage and discontent and righteous indignation. This titular head of the party wrote a book, a biography of sorts, that outlined much of the movement’s ideology. The writer became party’s leader in all but name, to the chagrin of others who felt themselves better qualified but lacked the necessary cult of personality, and thousands stood in the cold to hear The Leader speak, to touch a sleeve, to obtain an autograph, a pat on the back, and a picture with their children. And while The Leader encouraged stalwarts to disrupt the meetings and rallies of the party’s opposition, no dissenting voices were allowed into events where The Leader appeared. The charismatic leader spoke passionately of taking back the nation for its true people, of common sense, nationalism and the restoration of the country’s pride. And always, always, there was the message of vigilance, grave and dire warnings about those evil men, subhumans really, who would scheme to steal the country away from its rightful owners, of the terrorists and saboteurs and shadowy unseen enemies, and against the weak and the inferior and the alien and the ungodly. The crowds roared and cheered and grew and were caught up in the energy and the carefully managed moment that seemed outwardly so spontaneous.
Clumsy and disorganized at first, nevertheless the new party appealed to the common man, the mob, the thugs, and those who felt abandoned by the so-called elites. They began to influence elections at the local level and it wasn’t long before they began to gain real political power. Their message was a powerful combination of half-truths and popular hysteria, a carefully orchestrated campaign of information warfare that appealed directly to the mob and crushed any appeal to calm and logic. They began to create their own reality.
As their organization increased and their power grew, this new party sought to purge itself of dissenting viewpoints. Though the party billed itself as separate from the reigning political parties of the time, it was made up almost entirely of nationalists who became more and more extreme as time went by, encouraged by their own success and a wave of popular support. The Leader was more and more surrounded by tight group of insiders and became more and more convinced of a manifest destiny. Increasingly mainstream leaders feared to speak out against The Leader, against the Lieutenants, against The Party, moderate and opposing voices were silenced, sometimes violently, branded as traitors and weaklings and counterrevolutionaries. Parades and rallies drew thousands who came to hear the stirring speakers and revel beneath the flags and ancient icons of their national history – icons co-opted by the movement as sacred and patriotic symbols of the new age.
Ten years after the party organized its first convention, revolution came.
It began as a night of violence against their own. A purging of the ranks and consolidation of power into the hands of that single charismatic leader. Those who would challenge The Leader for ownership of the new party were dragged from their homes in the middle of the night, beaten, and then hanged from the nearest lamppost in an orgy of blood and violence. Knives flashed and glass shattered. Party stalwarts took their place at the reins of power. The population took this lesson to heart and remained silent, and perhaps approving, when a month later the party’s thugs began rounding up foreigners and outcasts and undesirables and destroying businesses that they perceived as taking jobs from real citizens.
Then The Leader took full control of the government.
While The Leader spoke of being appointed by God, there were others who spoke of rigged elections and mourned the death of the republic, but they didn’t speak very loudly, barely above a whisper – and for some, even that was too much. It was a dangerous time to speak your mind out loud.
The party’s message was that of small government, of piety and purity, of jobs, home and hearth and family, of strength and pride, of hard work and just rewards, and no handouts to the weak and the poor. The Leader stood before the nation and gave stirring speeches, promising to empower the poor and downtrodden by removing the crutch of welfare and government handouts.
The poor, freed of their chains, would become self sustaining and productive members of society – or starve.
It didn’t quite work out that way. The poor, herded into ghettos, stayed poor. Isolated and alienated and without access to basic services or support, they settled behind the walls into vast islands of misery and poverty and disease. Some rebelled against their condition, they were dealt with. Eventually, something would have to be done, a solution would have to be found. The party leaders debated long and bitterly about what, exactly, that solution should be. Eventually, somebody proposed labor camps, and the poor were shipped out – work, they were told, would set them free.
Outside of the slums, new cities arouse, shining beacons of light and technology for those who could afford it - or for those who were well placed in the new power structure. For those without power or influence or connections and a party loyalty card, life was not nearly so good. They were told that they were free and they walked beneath the flapping flags and they heard the patriotic music - but many saw The Leader’s message as a mockery of what once was. Many of those people came to the slow realization that they were living in a dictatorship, a place of violence and fear hidden beneath a thin veneer of civilization. Their rights were gone, their republic dead, their voices silenced, and they lived in fear of their government and their neighbors and, sometimes, even their own children.
By then, of course, it was far, far too late – and they kept their opinions to themselves. Many hunkered down and waited for a regime change that would never come, many more attempted to flee across fortified borders – borders that had been walled to keep invaders out were plenty effective at keeping people in too. Walls always work in two directions – a fact that most of the population discovered too late.
Meanwhile the rest of the world looked on in horror and dismay or with gleeful disinterest, depending on which nation did the watching. Many mourned the passing of the old republic and feared what it had become and they took in the refugees until the borders were closed.
Many knew that one day, very soon, there would be a war to make all others pale in comparison – the weapons of that age guaranteed it.
Very soon the entire world would burn.
I guess I should have mentioned that I was engaging in a bit of speculation here, a writing exercise, a bit of storytelling, a voice from a hundred years down the road into the future so to speak. Talking in general about how the future might see that certain extremist regime which began as a nationalist movement in Germany in the early 20th Century, or maybe I was actually talking about that popular revolution in Tsarist Russia around about the same time, or maybe I was actually talking about the fascist revolution in Italy, or maybe the Revolution in France that cost so many their heads, or the one in Iraq that brought Saddam to power…
Why? Who did you think I was talking about?
It’s pretty obvious what I’m implying with this little cautionary tale.
The first part of the story above is true to date, it is the second part (see if you can spot the break) that is the speculative fiction portion - but lifted directly from history.
Frankly this Tea Party insanity scares the shit out of me.
The United States of America has withstood many challenges in the last two centuries, but always it is the internal threats that have come the closest to destroying the ideal of the founders and the nation itself – just as it has in the nations and places I listed in the footnote above.
It always begins this way, small groups of nationalists, low brow fanatics, rabble, the disaffected, the toadies, the religious zealots.
The complaint is always the same: they are taking our country away.
The leaders of these organizations are always a fractious lot – because that is the nature of these people, they don’t share, they don’t compromise, they have no intention of sharing or compromising, they’re not in it for idealism they’re in it for the power – eventually, the most powerful will seize control of the party and eliminate the competition, one way or the other.
It always happens at the same time: economic depression, end of a long disastrous war, during a time of political upheaval.
The blame is always the same: liberals, homosexuals, the godless (or worse, the wrong god), the elites, the aristocrats, the decadent, the rich, foreigners. Someone must be blamed.
The message is always the same: We’re gonna take back what is rightfully ours!
The lies are always the same: revolution will set you free. Revolution will make all men equal. Revolution will make things right.
The rhetoric is always the same and the details are always vague.
When the revolution comes, it is always the same: the liberals, the homosexuals, the godless and those who worship the wrong gods, the elites, the aristocrats, the decadent, the rich, and foreigners are dragged from their homes and hung. Then the other undesirables are rounded up and put into ghettos, or re-education camps, or shallow mass graves.
The new country is always the same: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Genocide. Totalitarianism. War. Destruction. Collapse.
It is always the same.
I’ve seen it, I’ve been there, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, it’s always the same.
Yes, I know. I’m being alarmist, right?
The Tea Partiers are simply Americans, they come from all walks of life, they are neither rich nor poor, Democrat nor Republican, liberal nor conservative. They are fed up with Washington. They stand for the Constitution, for smaller government, no taxes, state’s rights.
It’s all a lie.
It. Is. All. A. Lie.
But they’re caught up in it, caught up in the revolution. They can’t seem to see it. They are overwhelmingly ultra conservatives, white, working class (or unemployed class as the case may be). They’re all the type who pride themselves on common sense and sneer at higher education and the “elites.” They hate the rich and the government and they love their guns. They are overwhelmingly evangelical Christian.
If you skim the Neocon curds off the top of the Republican milk, you have the Tea Party.
They are being manipulated. These foolish dupes will be the cannon fodder in this revolution. Behind the scenes that they have neither the wit nor the wherewithal to see the power is gathering. Greedy, selfish power. The failed politicians, the rabble-rousers, the extremists are swarming to the leadership of the Tea Party like blow-flies to an open wound. And that type of leadership is same kind of leadership you always get when the mob forms – the proof is right in front of your face. Look who these people are, and who they aren’t – even the most conservative of the mainstream politicians shied away from this convention. It is the extremists who are left, the failures, the outcasts, the rogues, the ones who couldn’t cut it, couldn’t get elected or reelected, in the mainstream, and so now they wear their failure like a badge of honor and denounce the very mainstream they once were part of.
If they gain real power, the ending will be the same as it has always been.
Don’t believe me?
THE TRUTH SERUM by Author Thomas N. Tabback (http://pearlgate.org <http://pearlgate.org/content/tnt.html> )
On January 15, 2010, in Huntington, IN a gathering of some three hundred American Patriots took the first major step towards restoring our One Nation Under GOD, where Liberty and Justice for the We The People shall reign once more. The Huntington Tea Party hosted a “Stand for Freedom” candidate forum for United States Senate and Indiana General Assembly hopefuls seeking to unseat incumbents this year. However, this was not to be simply another in a long line of well-scripted candidate meet-and-greets, where We The People hear much from the candidates, but come to understand little about where they truly stand. In order that the people would know who had come to vie for their votes, I came to speak before this gathering to issue a challenge to both voters and candidates alike. It was a challenge of Truth, for we must know that we are not placing kings and queens before us, but servants of the people. Watch the video here <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1DIKuOjjZo> The men who stepped forward to answer the call for One Nation Under GOD, in order, were Richard Behney for U.S. Senate (opposing incumbent Evan Bayh), Andy Lyons for Indiana's 5th District congressional seat, Ron Fusselman for the 50th District state representative seat, Marlin Stutzman for U.S. Senate, Don Bates Jr. for U.S. Senate, and Tom Wall for the 17th District state senate seat. Those who did not step forward, I will not mention. What followed was a prayer for the Lord’s wisdom and guidance, we seven men, hand in hand, along with the entire congregation of voters gathered. We prayed that the Truth would be revealed in these candidates, that we may known the lion for the people among them, for only the Lord knows a man’s heart. Brothers and sisters, this is how We The People reclaim our nation of promise, and restore it to its founding principles. These principles are, unequivocally, rooted in the Lord’s Truth. If we do not pursue this Truth in such a bold and overt manner, then by the hands of strangers, whom we call Senator, Representative and even President, We The People will seal our own fate. We must know these men and woman who stand before us, claiming to be champions for the people, but may in Truth, cleave to the darkness. We must guard and nurture our land of the free and home of the brave, for it is the inheritance of our generations to come. What fruit can grow from seeds sown on bad soil? What tender shoot can survive if left unattended before the thorns and thistles? We need the Light of Truth once more, for then we will know right from wrong and good from evil. It is Truth that neither politics nor ideology, nor any endeavor of man can deliver our nation. These are the things that have gradually pushed our country off the great rock of our foundation, leaving us now precariously dangling over the abyss. It must be the Lord to whom we turn for healing and deliverance. We The People must repent for our desperate and covetous pursuit for the riches of the world, through which we have forfeited the greatest of the Lord’s Commandments, spoken by Christ: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Mark 12: 30-31 Therefore, remember and apply this Truth Serum to any who presume to represent us, that we indeed, appoint only those who will in faith and firm resolve, fight to restore our One Nation Under GOD:
- He or she must fight, incessantly, against any law or policy that destroys Life.
- He or she must fight against law or policy that promotes and encourages the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- He or she must fight against any law or policy requiring We The People to deny Christ The Lord, and makes unwelcome any symbol or expression of our faith in our public square.
It will not take millions of Americans marching on Washington, DC to restore our nation to its people, but just one American. It will not take millions shouting out in protest, but one who is willing to speak boldly the Truth where most inconvenient. It will not take millions to arise from their slumber, but one, who will see the grass for what it is, who will submit to the Lord’s will, who will dare to challenge the establishment of power, and who will bend no knee to a king. It will not take millions of Americans, but YOU, fully awake, ablaze with courage and confidence in the Lord, to compel the great king and queen to bow before the Lord. Let your voice be the next to boldly proclaim the Truth before any who wish to steward our great nation. Let no man or woman who presumes to represent you deny Truth. Let them step forward in the name of the Lord and stand tall for One Nation Under GOD. Let them testify to their spirit and determination to undo all the wrong that has been done in the name of the world, which their predecessors so faithfully served. Let We The People bear witness to the man or woman of Truth, if there be one among them. Let us beseech the wisdom and revealing spirit of the Lord that we may not merely see, but perceive, not only hear, but understand. It must be that only a candidate of Truth may earn our votes. If no candidate of Truth will come forward, then we must turn to Christ The Lord, and write in His name in their place. In this way, We The People will ensure that Truth, Justice and Liberty will be preserved for our children and many generations to come. God Bless Your New Year And Always Speak The Truth!
Don’t believe me?
Listen to the speeches, listen to the speakers at the Tea Party convention.
Don’t believe me?
Visit the websites of the Tea Party Nation and read what they have to say. See who they hate. See who they blame. See what they promise.
Then compare them to the revolutionary movements of history, especially the one that began in Germany in the first part of the last century.
If you can’t see the parallels, if it doesn’t alarm you – all of you, everywhere in the world - then you are a fool.
* Tip of the tea cup to Nathan, who forwarded the Tabback screed to me.