Editor’s note: Here is an account by our friend, Ruricolus.
Some thoughts on our local Tea Party meeting last night. The main event was a debate between the two mayoral candidates for the coming election in April. By “debate” I mean mostly taking turns answering questions, but the moderation was free enough that they got some back-and-forth in between the candidates and between the candidates and the audience. Not to Trump-Biden #1 levels, which would have made half the nice people there fall over faint, but the gloves came off a little.
The Republican candidate is a business-friendly Boomer right out of central casting. He very narrowly beat the Gen-X candidate in the primary, which is unfortunate. He seems like a good enough man and would probably be a capable administrator, but he won’t go off-script, which the Gen-X candidate seemed capable of doing. His answers were solid, if unsurprising.
The Democrat is a 56-year-old Karen with ties to the Soros-funded Indivisibles group which she’s tried to scrub from her online history. Like most leftists, she objected to “labels,” not wanting to be identified as liberal or anything else. The final question asked them to describe their political philosophy, and hers boiled down to: “My daddy died when I was 10, and my mommy said mean President Reagan cut our family’s assistance, so I’ve hated Republicans for 45 years.” This town normally votes 75% R, and the primaries went even harder that way, so she shouldn’t have a chance, but….we’ll see who counts the votes.
Anyway, to the meeting. There was a fair bit of civnattery on display, as you’d expect from Midwestern conservatives. We started with a prayer by a priest (in civilian clothes, sigh), but a pretty good prayer that included a Chesteron quote, and then the Pledge of Allegiance. We ended with a verse of God Bless America and a collection for the local Birthright office. A mix of good and eye-roll-inducing.
Everyone in the room of about 100 people was white. I’m sure that bothers many of them, and if a black showed up, some would want to elect him president at the next meeting, but fortunately that hasn’t happened yet. In a 95% white town, it probably won’t any time soon.
About 6 people were wearing masks. I don’t understand that at all. If you’re worried about the virus and you think masks work, why go to a meeting where you’re going to be rubbing elbows with dozens of non-maskers? The weird psychological experiment continues.
This Tea Party group was one of the earlier ones formed, before there was a national organization by the neocons to co-opt the whole movement. It started when the city council wouldn’t let a man address them about a new budget, and he was able to organize enough people to force them to give in. Unlike the local Republican party, they’re trying to get involved in the community with charitable events. Covid made that tough for the past year, but I think we’re about to the point where people will be willing to blow that off and hold events out in the open. That’s good to see, because if we’re going to organize from the bottom up, it has to be about more than votes on election day. It has to be about the general health of the community all year long.
The group’s board is entirely men, of a decent rage of ages down to probably 35, except for the president, who is an older lady. She’s kind of a no-nonsense battleaxe who runs a tight meeting on time, so if you have to have a woman in charge, she’s not a bad one for the job. I’d say she was elected because she’s good at getting things done, not for virtue-signaling purposes, but it reflects on the willingness of men today to sit back and let a woman drive.
These people’s biggest weakness, by far, is niceness. More specifically, the desire to be seen as good and fair. Seen by whom? That’s the problem. Seen by God? Great. Seen by your family and friends? Fine. But it’s not well-defined, so too often it means seen by everyone including the enemy, which turns into an impossible quest for approval from people whose approval would be a sign that you took a very wrong turn.
The first example was opening the meeting with a reading of the group’s mission statement, because, as the president said acerbically, many people think they know what we’re about and get it wrong. It really bothers them that there are people out there throwing words like “racists” or “insurrectionists” at us out of ignorance or malice, and they waste energy and rhetorical space trying to counter it.
The other main example was at the end, when the moderator thanked us for being civil, and said how great it is that we can listen to each other and go away friends. That’s such typical Midwestern Nice bullshit. In day-to-day life, Midwestern Nice is, well, nice. It makes for a highly pleasant, well-functioning community. But this isn’t day-to-day life. This is a decision about leadership, and everyone in that room knows that one of the candidates would love to ramp the lockdowns back up and kill their businesses, and replace cops with social workers as a bonus. She shouldn’t even have been invited to this meeting of what she considers lawless rebels, or she should have been required to address us by Zoom wearing three masks. But they can’t turn off the Nice, even when it’s not deserved. They keep hoping people like her will go away with a new respect for us and tell their friends we’re actually good people.
I’m probably coming off too negative here, because those are the things that grated on me. To their credit, they’re the only ones even trying to figure out how to fight — well, them and the alt-retards, so I’ll take them. They have a lot of civnattery and Nice to get over, but they’re starting to get a glimpse. The pandemic, and the way our community eventually blew off the state and profited from it, has people talking about how we need to focus locally. Not in a Galt’s Gulch dynamite the highways coming into town sense, at least not yet. But they’re realizing that we can be more independent than they knew. It’s a place to start.