Robert J. Elisberg: Political writer and screenwriter – Posted: February 3, 2011 01:22 PM
Just in case anyone from the “Tea Party” is watching the news from Egypt, this is what an actual revolution looks like.
A quarter-million people randomly taking to the streets.
No one dressed up in funny costumes and hats. No tea bags worn.
Visceral, guttural, raw human outrage against one man’s 29-year dictatorship while living under “emergency law” for 43 years.
No voters upset that they lost an election two years earlier.
Nobody angry that the government is trying to force national health care on them.
Not one poster of Adolf Hitler.
No professional lobbying organization putting together Official Protest Parties. BYOB.
No national TV network rallying its viewers with directions on where to meet and directions on how to get there.
Students and young people converging totally of their own accord, even as Internet accounts are turned off, even as phone service is turned off.
Middle-class, middle-aged people eventually joining in. Ultimately making it a national cause.
That’s a revolution.
And watching it unfold lays bare the “Tea Party” for what it is and always has been. Frightened, middle-class, middle-aged people upset that they have to pay taxes, angry that they can’t have life the way they alone want it, and disturbed that a Black man was elected president.
The spectacle of some reasonably-comfortable woman with tears filling her eyes, weeping mournfully that “I want my country back” looks even more utterly ludicrous while watching the nation of Egypt actually fighting to literally get their country back.
The display of some grown-up man in cruise wear sashaying about being a proud terrorist because he’s willing to yell at his congressman over taxes looks buffoonish when seeing a mass of humanity in Cairo scrabbling in wrenching desperation to be given dignity, democracy, freedom.
Seeing torn people agonizingly putting their very lives on the line, getting beaten, crawling over one another to overthrow their nation after 43 years of “emergency law” and after 29 years of a one-man dictatorship makes it belly-achingly laughable to watch a coffee klatch in lawn chairs waving misspelled signs, screaming at their government for trying to give them all health care, and declaring themselves part of an actual “revolution” — a “Tea Party Revolution!”
As global television is today demonstrating to the world in stark reality, the “Tea Party” is to revolution what a debutante cotillion is to the Vietnam War. What Bozo is to Shakespearean drama.
What we see daily in Egypt, that’s a revolution. What we saw in America last November, that’s democracy.
Democracy in all its glory.
“Throwing the bums” out isn’t a revolution. It’s what voters do. It happens. In fact, it happens a whole lot in elections whenever unemployment is high.
Billion dollar corporations paying to organize people so they’ll complain about taxes also isn’t a revolution. It’s what billion dollar corporations do. They only pray they’ll find customers gullible enough to not realize they’re being used as pawns. But then, that’s why God created marketing departments, to come up with a cute, endearing “Tea Party” brand name (“New! Improved! From the Makers of the John Birch Society!”) and bamboozle otherwise mature people into dressing up. And flim-flam them into seriously believing that they’re not only part of something, they’re part of a “Revolution!”
All that’s missing is the requirement to send in 10 box tops and getting a free decoder ring.
“The Tea Party Revolution.” Taking back our country.
Turn on your TV. That’s a revolution. That’s taking back your country.
After seeing a real revolution in their living rooms, no doubt there will be some who’ll start to back off a bit from looking too clownish, and now claim that, no, of course, it’s not a “real” revolution, that it’s just a metaphor.
Sort of like football players claiming that they’re “warriors.” Or Sarah Palin claiming that “Lock and Reload” is just about a surveyor’s mark.
Just a metaphor.
I look forward to the “Tea Party” corporations trying to convince their pawns that what they’re part of is a metaphor.
If supporters of the “Tea Party” corporations want to voice their displeasure at high taxes; want try to get rid of the Department of Education, National Public Radio, environmental protection, Social Security, Medicare, and national health care; and rail against every single word from the President of the United States solely because he’s simply too different from them — Godspeed. That’s their right in America. It’s the very soul of the nation. Indeed, while the creepiest among us call for Second Amendment Solutions, that’s the noble First Amendment Solution. But at least now, today, we and everyone all over the world can see on our TVs what a real revolution is.
And it isn’t the “Tea Party.”