It's Happening Here
If you still don't believe that the tea party has the potential of completely upsetting our American apple cart, you probably also think this new 'internet' thing is only a passing fad. Yes, it is true that the 'baggers have reduced the pressure on Democrats, who are now a little less likely to lose control of Congress, but this is no time to relax. The 'baggers have shown that they can win--and win against long odds. That could still happen in November.
I read somewhere (and can't find it--if anyone can, please link in the comments) that, while American students have fallen behind those of many countries, they still lead in one area: confidence. Somehow, the 'baggers seem to me to be in somewhat the same situation, a little short on knowledge but long on confidence. In Michael Gross's piece on Sarah Palin for Vanity Fair, he indicates that Palin hadn't even heard of her 'political heroine' Margaret Thatcher before the 2008 campaign. Lack of knowledge hasn't stopped her, though. The less informed she's shown to be, the more her fans love her.
The 'baggers aren't about knowledge, anyway, but about belief, and about their absolute confidence that they are right... which brings me back to one of my old favorites, one of those books whose importance is affirmed over and over again: Eric Hoffer's 1951 book The True Believer. There's no reason to worry about the past, to study history, say, or anthing else: the importance is belief in the "true" vision of the future.
Whaddya need school for, when you already "know"?
Maybe today's Know-Nothings will prove as unsuccessful, ultimately, as their predecessors of 150 years ago and more... but we don't know that. Similar movements have managed to succeed elsewhere; they can here, whether the polls show them lagging or not.
Now is the time for every good man and woman to come to the aid of the party. We can't sit this election out, no matter how disgusted we may be with those now leading us.
The alternative may be ten times worse.