America's Upside Down Politics

One group is managing pretty well despite the Great Recession, and many of them benefit from big government social programs like medicare and social security. This group, however, is angry as hell and rails against "big government."

Another group is being hammered by the Great Recession, and they are being disproportionately hurt by cuts in government spending, yet, they are relatively quiet and convinced that everything is going to be alright.

This is the upside-down world of American politics. The former group is the Tea Party movement, and the latter group are blacks.

A New York Times/CBS poll finds that the members of the Tea Party movement are more likely than the general public to be doing well financially. They also tend to be white and over 45 years old.

Perhaps the most illuminating finding of the New York Times research into the movement is this:
Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.” 
Some defended being on Social Security while fighting big government by saying that since they had paid into the system, they deserved the benefits.

Others could not explain the contradiction.

“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”
For Tea Partiers, "big government" does not refer to the biggest government programs--the military, social security, and medicare--it refers to any program that might disproportionately benefit people who are not white and well-off--no matter how small the program.
In a word, when they say they want to take back "their" country, they mean it. In their view, the government is supposed to be for the white middle class and the white middle class only. All other people need to find some other country to live in.

Blacks are being hammered financially by the Great Recession. They are experiencing massive job, income, home, and wealth losses. The government programs that they would turn to in these times of need are being cut or eyed for cuts. Instead of protesting so that politicians are motivated to do something to help them, blacks are still stuck in Obama-euphoria land. They are more likely to say that things are better off now than five years ago, when this is clearly not true.

Because the screaming wheel gets the oil, the well-off and white Tea Party folks will shape American politics and the quiet black masses will not. The government will do more to help and to appease the white and comfortable while enacting policies that neglect or harm people of color.When will blacks wake up and see that they are being hit hardest by the Great Recession?