11 January 2012

Here's a letter that my hometown newspaper (The Camden Chronicle) and former employer (The Jackson Sun) were both too cowardly to print:

Dear editor,

While spending the last 18 months studying at a seminary outside Boston, I’ve been keeping track of events back at home in Benton County. And as I’ve lived in Boston and seen how the descendants of the original Tea Party participants run things, I’ve come to realize the folks back at home have some misunderstandings.

The protest against taxation without representation was not a protest to end ALL taxation; the New England patriots just wanted the money spent more fairly, closer to home, rather than in England. So I think in the interests of accuracy, the modern-day Tea Party should embrace the ideals of the philosopher who’s so inspired them, the Russian-born novelist Ayn Rand.

Rand was a staunch capitalist and rugged individualist who admired bold thinkers, such as a serial killer of her era whom she praised for knowing what he wanted and going out to get it. She would surely look on approvingly at efforts to defund our local library (and provoke the state to remove books for the first time in state history) so as to ensure the future generation could be raised uneducated and thus better fit to serve those in power.

Rand was not a Christian; she saw Jesus’ advocacy of helping others as a sign of weakness. She’d thus admire the bold fight against providing health care to the poor, feeding hungry children, extending unemployment benefits, or helping provide health insurance to public workers, all Tea Party positions that ask “What would Jesus do?” and then propose to do the exact opposite thing.

Tea Party politicians cannot follow Rand and Jesus, but they don’t have to reject religion entirely; indeed, they’ve worked hard to instill religious values in our government, just not the religion you’d expect. Anton Levay based many of the teachings of the Church of Satan on Ayn Rand’s principles. So I encourage the Benton County Republicans to change their name to the Satanist Party and proudly present their true face to the world as they battle to preserve wealth and success for themselves, poverty and underperformance for the rest.

Jason Tippitt
Newton, Mass., originally from Camden

1 comment:

  1. Good post, pretty accurate. Most of the people in the tea party are just aimlessly and angry. The "Randroids," as I call them, are the ones that lead this angry bull around by the nose. Dick Armey says, "Be mad at big government." Grover Norquist says, "Be mad at taxes." Lou Dobbs says, "Be mad at immigrants and minorities." Newt Gingrich says, "Be mad at the poor and destitute."

    I think you actually might be onto something here. Our best shot at taking the wind out of the Tea Party's sails may be to force their rank-and-file to reconcile their political agenda with their faith, since they report overwhelmingly as Christian and disproportionately as Evangelical. For example, I have a conservative uncle who emailed me a link to an old video of Milton Friedman (talking up rational self-interest, capitalism, etc.) and added to the message, without irony, "WWJD?". I (an atheist) shot back that Jesus was very clear on that question, citing Matthew 6:19-20, Luke 16:9 & 18:22 and Acts 2:45.