The Tea-Party-ers (1): A Circus Side-Show

I do not mean to be insulting, but I’ll just tell it like it is, and you’ll think it’s insulting. ‘S-up to you.

When I was a kid, I liked the day when the circus came to town. Only once did I get to go to the empty lot where the circus was having an erection. The elephants were used to hoist the big tent to the big top, and several other tents went up, too. Fun to watch the activity prepping for the big show in the main tent, all the artists warming up and the wild animals in cage-trailers sounding off. Then there was the circus parade downtown, the steam-powered calliope bringing up the rear.

I had no money to go to the big show. I went once or twice. They wanted an extra admission to stay and attend the wild-west show, Wild Bill Hickock, or Buffalo Bill, I think. I liked to tramp the midway for other, money-fleecing entertainments and THE side-show, a special tent holding some of the world’s most unusual people, bearded ladies, tallest men, littlest lady, Tom Thumb, Siamese twins, the world’s strongest man, among others. The side-show barker would bring onto a stage outside the tent one of the most usual, as a teaser (not to give away the most unusual), but once in awhile I could steal a peek inside — I never had the price of admission.

I am reminded of those things by the present Tea-Party-ers, whenever I hear Sarah Palin giving her “Barker” imitation, standing outside with a slick spiel (also, like the “snake-oil” peddlers elsewhere on the circus midway) and the piercing whine of a jet-engine voice, with her siren-song luring folks in to see her strange assortment of unfortunate gabble inside her conservative tent.

Michelle Bachman has the same effect of enkindling the “side-show barker” or snake-oil peddler image. In fact, those two are just about alike in every way, in my book. They are not credible. Unbelievable. They are desperately grabbing for individual celebrity, and they are getting it by saying the most extremely absurd things they can think of. Credibility is one quality any orator must begin with. When the speaker opens the mouth and produces words for consumption by the multitude, credibility must be there as testimony to legitimacy, authenticity, honesty, “truthiness”.

When the Tea-Party-ers gather in something they call a protest-rally on the Capitol lawn, there we see the circus side-show. It is really a sort of “freak-show” of political misfits. It is a gathering of “know-nothings” who have taken over a legendary action against the king of England, colonists dressed as American Indians dumping loads of tea into Boston harbor with the slogan, “No taxation without representation!” Today’s Tea-Party-ers hang an absurd tea-bag from the brims of their freakish hats as a protest, their icon of resistance, and their slogans are against “socialism”, according to their placards, a word they cannot define. They define it by horrible caricatures of Pres. Obama, showing him as Adolph Hitler. That is their syllogistic deduction.

Any Tea-Party-er has to be a freak of American politics and an example of American education gone bad.

With that, I will go on to my next essay to logically follow upon this one.

Please see part 2 of this essay, entitled,

The Tea-Party-ers (2): The Human Voice in Democratic Discussion

Published in: on April 17, 2010 at 8:14 am  Comments (6)  


  1. This is very interesting data. You have managed to make this very sensible. I like how you make your points in such a different way.

  2. This is what good writing is made of; interesting, engaging, intelligent and well-written content. This is exactly what I see in your article. Thank you.

  3. This is true quality content that I can relate to. Thank you for your candor and great passion for this subject. This is good work.

  4. Nancy: I have not seen any images that would be helpful. Actually, I try to “write pictures”, if you can make sense of that. Metaphors, and such “lights of speech”, as Cicero phrased it. I would like pictures, but I have seen enough of those (???) Tea-partiers. Don’t need another picture of them. They remind me of Smoky Stover, the fireman of “ancient” (to you) times in the funnies. He always had a fireman’s hat on his head tied by a string to his nose (I think). I’d rather let my words do the conjuring. Thank you, N(e or a?)ncy. (JFD)

  5. What do you think concerning adding some more pictures? I’m not trying to offend anyone, content is really great. Just as I know visitors acquire information much more effective when there are certain helpful images.

    Nency Mainfield

  6. Really nice story u got here. It would be nice to read more concerning such topic. Thank you for giving that info.

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