Politics is a real drag, and I hate it. But last night I dragged myself to a Tea Party meeting and fund raiser. I wasn’t in the greatest mood, and I have a long history of being immensely turned off by political meetings of any sort. Still, this weird sense of duty made me go anyway, and I expected to just grit my teeth and get through it. By “it” I mean the insufferable pontificating and displays of egotistical “I take myself very seriously and you should too!” behavior that inevitably seems to accompany most political meetings and discussions.
Most but not all. Once again, the Tea Partiers renewed my faith in the power of ordinary people to just get fed up and say “HELL NO!” to activist busybodies.
The speaker (whose name does not matter here) was no political junkie, but an ordinary family woman who was just fed up with what is going on. She won me over with a very simple remark that there was nothing she hated more than politics, and nothing she would less rather be doing. She also said (as did several other people) that conservatives want to be left alone.
Naturally, this was music to my ears.
She realized (as I think most of the rank-and-file Tea Partiers realize) that the problem is people who like politics, who like hearing themselves pontificate, and who don’t want to leave people alone. Tea Partiers are people who would rather be left alone, and would have been perfectly content to leave the rest of the world alone, except they’ve learned that the Golden Rule doesn’t work in reverse. Leaving them alone does not guarantee they will leave you alone; instead it guarantees the opposite.
So, much as I realize that this sounds like another impossible contradiction, I have to say that I rather enjoyed doing what I hated last night. I still hate politics, but there’s something incredibly optimistic about being with fellow haters — especially those whose goal is to take away power from those who won’t leave people alone, and then leave people alone.