Friday, August 20, 2010

Tea Party Speak Made Easy

If you are not an American, or are an American who hails from Blue America (i.e., not a 'real American'), you may have puzzled over the whole Tea Party thing sprouting up all across this great nation. You may have heard one of Glenn Beck's famous rants or listened to Rand Paul, Sarah Palin or Sharron Angle (look her up, she's a treat!), understood all the words, but failed to comprehend the meaning of the words. You may have then become frustrated and put your fist through the wall, despairing of ever "getting" the Tea Party movement.

While journalists, documentary film-makers, and scholars are presently conducting the kind of careful ethnographic research necessary to make this movement intelligible to outsiders, I have in the meantime compiled a quick and dirty guide to 'tea party speak'--the language that your right-wing colleagues, relatives or acquaintances have adopted and that, in all likelihood, has left you baffled.

Here is a sampling of "tea party speak" that I have culled from the internets using a super scientific research methodology (random google searches), followed by an English translation:*

*Warning: the following translations may be disputed by said Tea Party types >:-)

Tea Party Speak (TPS): "If you know even a little about forms of govt you'll quickly recognize that this [Obama's health care reform] is socialism. And socialism is a slide ever closer to communism - the most oppressive and godless form of govt the earth has ever seen on par with few others.

Translation: Europe sucks. America rules. We have to avoid the hell that is Europe.

TPS: We seem to have forgotten what a precious gift our freedom is and that we need to preserve it even if we have to forego some comfort [affordable health care].

Translation: I would rather be ripped off by a health insurance company or forego a necessary organ transplant than live in a European country with a black president.

TPS: I'll never agree that government ought be in the business of (re)distributing healthcare. And that's why I would like to see the private sector and charities step up and responsibly help the people in need. I say responsibly because many people have chronic and costly diseases [...] of their own choosing... Hardworking, sacrificial [sic] people should not be forced to carry the burden of shiftless, n'er do wells. It is one thing to fork over tax money to fix the roads, it is quite another to fork over tax money to pay for someone's drug addiction recovery or diabetes because they are eating themselves to death.

Translation: I shouldn't have to pay for anyone else's health care but my own. Poor people should ask charities for help. Poor fat people shouldn't get any help at all--they get what they deserve. My taxes should pay for roads, not to help poor, lazy fat/drug-addicted blacks or Mexicans. Screw them.

TPS: Those who suck on the teet [sic] of government cannot complain when the milk goes sour. Now, if the government creates laws and taxes that kill the economy, then hands out help to those it has crippled we have to begin to wonder.

Translation: Liberals are parasites who are wrecking our great nation. They must be eliminated.

TPS: I don't like the fact that federal government is basically going to give subsidies for tax-funded abortions in the HealthCare Bill.

Translation: Obama wants to kill babies.

TPS: Profit is a good thing. In fact, it is a very good thing. When you take profit out of the health care equation, companies will cease to be competitive. Without competition, companies will cease to improve. America has the best health care in the world precisely because of profits.

Translation: Greed is good. Private businesses should have a monopoly over health care and get as much money out of people as legally possible. That is "good health care." Europe sucks.

TPS: As a history and economics teacher, I can tell you that never in the history of the world has there ever been price controls that have been successful.

Translation: Because I am a teaching professional, I can talk freely out of my ass and you have to believe everything I say.

TPS: Doctors DO hate [Obama's health care] bill. Doctors already work 55 hour weeks... they aren't going to volunteer to work more for no money. (With taxes, they already do that four months of a year!) ... Without the income to help pay off medical school expenses, there will be fewer students desiring to become doctors. You will be waiting for months to get your studies done or read by a radiologist. My husband is a radiologist and he doesn't know ONE doctor who is for this bill. Since this IS their business, I would think their comments about this should be valued. It's like the astronomist who sees the asteroid coming, and all the lay people say, "Oh, we'll be fine. This is a GOOD thing." What does the astronomist know, afterall?

Translation: Random made-up statistics make me sound credible. The fact that my husband is a medical professional makes me sound credible. Doctors in America are aggrieved souls working under slave conditions for menial wages. If doctors don't continue to earn more than a quarter of a million a year, they will refuse to work, and we won't have any more doctors.

TPS: I [would] rather be screwed by the insurance company then the gov't take over another sector of business. Has no one been to the post office or DMV or better yet a VA hospital - all very depressing.

Translation: Greedy American businesses rule. Europe sucks ass.

TPS: I simply believe in the principles that I speak about. I believe it to be true because I feel it in my gut.

Translation: I don't need to provide any evidence for my claims.

TPS: I will admit that I am a true believer in America. I think it is an honorable country that has made mistakes. I love my country and just want to restore it to its founding principles. It seems like we are trying to be like Europe. I have nothing against Europe but I just want is to return to our roots.

Translation: Europe is for losers.

TPS: The power needs to stay in the hands of the people to prevent abuse. The more industries the gov't snaps up and controls, the greater our loss of freedom will be. Isn't what that we're dying for every day - freedom? At least when you pay someone in the private sector for goods and services, you know you are paying a person like yourself who has to pay a mortgage and put
food on the table. Not so with gov't who's employees are better insulated from the consequences of economic downturns.

Translation: Having a black president makes me feel deeply insecure.

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