Michael D. Higgins blasts the Tea Party for cultivating a culture of fear.

“It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” ~ Brendan Behan

I just heard this portion of a debate from 2010 between Michael D. Higgins, the current president of Ireland (he was elected in 2009, so this debate took place while he was president he was elected in 2011, so he certainly had reasons to play politics in 2010) and Michael Graham, Tea Party radio host.

Holy shit, why can’t our politicians sound like this?  Because in America the man saying these words wouldn’t have a chance, and that’s a damn shame.

It’s a pity that the strategy of manufacturing and then exploiting fear has not even begun to expire in the Tea Party.  It’s an even deeper pity that it works.  If anything is an indictment on the Tea Party, and even the Republicans, it’s that they cling to this idea of American exceptionalism while, at the same time, lacking the bravery to keep themselves from being manipulated by Tea Party/Republican leaders through fear.  This is why they have to stop the gays, it ignites their xenophobia, and it’s why they need god watching over everything so much that they’re going to force him into every nook and cranny even beyond their own lives; because they’re afraid.

Certainly there are legitimate things that should worry us, but for the Tea Party faithful they’re almost impossible to pick out from the ghosts their leaders keep throwing at them.  Luckily for those politicians who get elected, ghosts like the consequences of marriage equality are easier to fight than poverty or unconscionable financial inequality.

Y’know, now that I’m a full-time blogger, I could work from anywhere.  And I could get used to Guinness.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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