I scarcely heard in the media the obvious question: "what had they lost?" What was going on? So many people attached in a very visceral way the idea that they were losing their country to the passing of ObamaCare, and no one really questioned how ridiculous that was. What was it in the lives of these predominantly white conservative Americans that made them so passionately associate the spirit of their country, with crappy and overpriced medical care? It made me wonder if as young men and women, the Tea Partiers had had some magic, special orgiastic moments with crappy and overpriced health care. They had bonded, the tenderness of their union creating a special place in their hearts, and no matter what happened they would always be connected. It was as if each of them had carved into the tree trunks of their hearts a special message to crappy and overpriced health care, "it doesn't matter how much you suck, you will always be the one for me."
When the Tea Party first emerged, Bill Maher was perfect in terms of critiquing how the "America" that they were pining for, wasn't actually that great. It wasn't great if you were a woman. Even if you were white, the country wasn't yours, and if you were anything else, you might as well not belong. If you were a man of any other color you were out of luck too. This was a time when you were allowed to really hate other people and you could voice your hatred, you could discriminate and oppress people pretty much openly. It was a time of plenty of xenophobia and fear, but in the minds of those who once ruled in that era, it feels like everything was just simpler, easier. Everyone was closer when it feels like everyone was the same and there wasn't alot of difference and foreignness. And whatever difference did appear could be strangled and beaten into submission.
The election of a black president (or half white, half black), was something too symbolically insufferable for these Tea Partiers. It was the deathknell to their happy world which never really existed. They literally want to turn back the clock. In order to reject the idea that Obama is president, they believe him to be a Muslim, they refuse to accept that he was born in the US, and they react to his policies as if he is the anti-Christ. This is why the Tea Party is useless. Not only is it incredibly inconsistent as an ideological group (rallying against Big Government, while loving so many existing aspects of Big Government), but it is obsessed with the past, and has difficulty thinking about the future.
What makes the Occupy Wall Street protests different is that these people are not pining for a previous version of the world (at least not a recent previous incarnation of it). They are seeking to change things to improve them. They don't have any illusions that a generation ago, or two generations ago, corporations weren't greedy and the rich weren't rich, and so if we just go back to those days everything will be fine. They see that a new system has to be created, one which does not privilege the rights, the interests of the 1% that own almost everything, over the 99%. Rather than just appear and disappear, like most protests, they are occupying space, right in the middle of where so much misery in this world comes from. So much of the infrastructure of the world, especially that which comes from governments exists to support and protect the interests of the wealthiest. So much of the difficulty in changing things comes from the fact that the government operates as a buffer, keeping Wall Street itself insulated from alot of the hate the world has for it and the doom and gloom it creates in the world. I like that they've taken their message to Wall Street and I hope they stay there for a long time.