The most infuriating thing about the people who showed up for Glenn Beck’s rally (many of whom are from the Teabagger crowd as well), is the disconnect between what they clam to want, who they’re steamed at, and reality. To wit, they proclaimed they were in D.C. to:
“Restore honor” to our military. But where were they when Bush sent our soldiers to Iraq under false pretenses, and provided them with shabby, ill-suited body protection and armored vehicles once they got there?
Restore honor to America. Again, where were these protesters when, under GWB, most of the world decided our honor had ebbed? Under Obama our standing in the world has improved, so what “honor” are they talking about?
Restore Traditional Family Values. Whatever these are. I’d list these as: women staying at home, couples not divorcing, no pre-marital sex, outlawing abortion, no gay marriage. “Restoring” the first three on the list (even among the group protesting) can’t even be spoken about seriously without inviting ridicule.
“Return America to God.” Since our two most religious presidents in the past 40 years were Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, both generally regarded as the most ineffectual, clearly electing a “God-fearing” president isn’t their answer. “God” in this definition apparently doesn’t include the one worshipped by Muslims, because the bulk of the protesters oppose the Ground Zero mosque.
Restore Our Freedoms. Beck and his followers clearly believe our personal liberties are under assault. These “liberties” don’t include (see above) abortion, gay marriage, or building a house of worship where you see fit. That leaves freedom to practice THEIR religion (Christianity), and less economic regulation.
Less Economic Regulation. These folks linger under the misconception that we’re a nation of “mom and pop” shops being strangled by red tape, rather than a country run by multi-national corporations that have more resources than some nations. Are teabaggers really demanding we put unregulated corporations in charge of protecting the safety of our food supply, air, money, working conditions and keeping medical care affordable? Government’s role here should be regarded as the “the great equalizer,” not the enemy.
Lower Taxes/Balanced Budget. Aside from the fact that 95% of Americans are paying lower taxes under Obama (even though only a tiny fraction of teabaggers are aware of this), how is it not obvious that these two phrases are mutually exclusive of each other? The tea baggers also, of course, expect the government to lower unemployment, but when it spends money on a stimulus to do just that, they rabidly oppose it.
Re-claiming the Civil Rights Movement. From whom, exactly? What “civil rights” are they not receiving that they’re entitled to? Can anybody say?
Taking Back “Our” Country. They protest vociferously that they want a “free country,” but there was an election in 2008, they lost, and these folks can’t seem to deal with it. Hence the crazed “Obama” theories (not born here, Muslim, socialist) so as to de-legitimize him without appearing un-democratic. They also want “our” country to be free of illegal immigrants, even though statistics disprove that this group disproportionately commits crime, takes away jobs that “real” Americans want, or take more out of the system than they contribute. Which leaves race as the real issue.
In short, this loud, vocal group wants mutually exclusive things, many of which fly in the face of their “core” principles of personal and religious freedom, and a democratic America. They wrap themselves in general, noble-sounding concepts, like “honor” “freedom” and “God,” but if pressed to precisely define what they mean without veering into pushing theocracy, intolerance, or sounding like corporate stooges, they can’t do it.