I told you so! I did on 3/31/10 (in “A Fucking Liar?”) I said that the next tea party would include infiltrators that would work to make the movement look like the stereotype promulgated by the biased, lazy press. Here it goes, from Associated Press, not usually considered an organ of the crazy right wing:
“Opponents of the fiscally conservative tea party movement say they plan to infiltrate and dismantle the political group to make its members appear to be racist, homophobe and moronic.
Jason Levin, creator of www.crashteaparty.org, said Monday the group has 65 leaders in major cities across the country….”
I am only a little bit worried. First, there is an excellent chance the announcement is a hoax or a simple publicity stunt. (AP rarely checks out its facts.) Second, Left-radical activists are not very smart. They don’t know much beyond breaking McDonald’s windows. They are also grossly under-informed because they rely on one far-out source of information only, if any. So, if they ever get there, the infiltrators will probably do something really stupid. They will shout “Down with the nigger!” or “Kill Obama!” in the middle of a crowd of respectable middle-class ladies, or carry a misspelled sign denouncing “fagots.” They will promptly be shouted down and thrown out. I say I am a little worried because it’s not that difficult to arrange to have a cameraman ready to capture the split-second moment for the benefit of the New York Times and MSNBC (that both believe that some stories are too good to check).
Note: Dear FBI and Dear Secret Service: I am describing here what I speculate infiltrators of the tea party movement will do. I am not advocating (NOT) the assassination of the President. For one thing, it would be a long-lasting catastrophe for the conservative movement if there were any attempt on the President’s life.
All the same, the tea party movement ought to be implacable in chasing away anyone pursuing anything but its own narrow, well-defined goals.
As always, I am concerned about the people in the middle who decide in fact the results of elections. And I stay in touch with young liberals. (I tell old liberals I have nothing to say to them, that they are not worth the effort because they will soon be dead.) I spend a long time talking with a left-leaning young man recently and learned a lot, or remembered important things that had slipped my mind.
First, let me describe it lest I am accused of setting up a straw man. He is a 22-year old college student at a reasonably good university. He gets very good grades, an item of information I am not inclined to ignore because I am a former professor. (Briefly, I believe that some students who received bad grades are smart people and I also believe that students who earn high grades regularly are always at least reasonably intelligent and that they have character.) The young man is also a hard worker; I know this for a fact. Finally, he possesses an intelligence well above average and he is intellectually serious. (He does not play games when he discusses an issue; he prizes his credibility.) This young paragon of virtues also voted for Obama and pretty well supports anything Obama does or says. He is a perfect foil for me.
My conversation left me impressed with what he did not know. Two things stick to my mind:
1 He seemed to be under the impression that the CEO of a publicly held company is the guy who owns the most stock. He seemed surprised and incredulous when I told him that there is no rule that any CEO should own any stock in the company he manages.
This young man knows little about the workings of capitalism. He seems to be informing himself on his own, in part by taking the trouble to talk to people like me. Yet, at this point, there is no way to count on him to way the pros-and-cons of government control of the economy.
2 He was skeptical also when I informed him of the idea that the US Constitution limits the power of the Federal Government to what it explicitly mentions. He does not know we have a deliberately negative constitution. He was further astonished when I tried to point out to him that the Constitution intends for the federal Government and the individual states to be different entities with separate powers and separate jurisdictions. My friend did not seem to know any more in this respect than many Frenchmen of my acquaintance who believe that the President of the United States appoints the governors of each state.
I am just reporting a conversation that’s still fresh in my mind. The report is not about a young man I subjectively judge better than average but about our educational system and about our media. The conversation helped me understand better the air of unreality I often catch in the commentaries of Obama supporter, as if they were aliens. Some or many are.
Next: I like this young man. I am going to blackmail or bribe him into reading our very short constitution. I am also thinking of persuading him to sue his high-school for fraud.