Globalization, The Tea Party, and Us Versus Them

THE Relationship Blog

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‘Those who oppose evolution will get left behind dragging their knuckles.’

Americans are isolationists. At least that is what we were taught in high school. Admittedly, Texas may be drafting a new educational curriculum that portrays the United States as the Florence Nightingale of the world, tripping around hand-in-hand with Mexico and Canada, passing out flowers and sandwiches. Until they do, we will stick with the idea that American’s do not care about the rest of the world, unless they try to blow us up.

This whole blowing up thing has happened twice in our recent history; once at Pearl Harbor and once on 9/11. The aftermath of the two was radically different. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, we went to war. We reached out, decimated Japan with massive overkill, and moved back to our Olympian throne with no thought or care for the lesser countries. When we tried to do the same thing after 9/11, it did not work out as well. Thanks to social media, the internet, and cell phones, every time that we killed someone, the blood splattered our faces. Our throne was no longer on a dais but on the ground and the peasants where touching our feet.

When we say that the world has become small, what we are saying is that it has become personal. We cannot look at the collapse of the economy in Greece with a dispassionate apathy if we get on Facebook and find out that our Greek friend just lost his job and can’t make his grandma’s Baklava recipe. (Sorry about your job. BTW, how is grandma and can I get her recipe?) We have a relationship with our Greek friend, his grandma and her baklava.

And now is the part of this post where we talk about the Tea Partiers and the social conservatives. They want to lift the American throne back up to the mountaintop and away from the rest of the world. They want to make the United States separate and supreme. We understand them and we even honor the idea but, quite frankly, it will never happen. We are evolving into a new world society. We have discovered fire and can never undiscover it.  Globalization is no longer only a business concept. It is a culture. The fight that we are having in our country now is one between those that can see farther then their own backyards and those that can’t.

According to Pew Research, 92% of social conservatives are white and 61% are over the age of 50. These are approximately the same statistics as those that do not use social media. Basically, the Tea Partiers are old white people with no tether to the rest of the world. For them it becomes very easy to draw the ‘us and them’ line because they do not know any ‘thems’. The natural progression from there is what social psychologists call categorical thinking and, what the rest of us call, racism. It is human nature to try to categorize that which they do not know then, using another good psych term, create situatedness to rationalize their belief.

There is a line being drawn right now but it is not the one that the Tea Partiers think. It is a line between the new and the old, the evolving and the extinct, the world and Tea Party.

Of course, since they do not believe in evolution, this post is lost on them. Damn!

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