My Friends from the Tea Party

In 1949 I was abducted from my family home, a little two-story brick farmhouse in Ohio, and taken, by a man and woman who bore remarkable resemblance to my parents, to a small farming community on the central Gulf coast of Florida.  Not only was I taken from my home, my way of life was dramatically changed only weeks after the abduction by my being sent to labor with the strangest of strangers in the local elementary school.

I soon discovered that there had been a war – I knew about World War II, of course, and thought at first it was that one – of such terrible and lasting importance that it had to continue being fought in a guerrilla action against 5 year-old boys from Ohio.  The local boys knew a great deal about me that I didn’t know myself.  I was a yankee and therefore of a disreputable species insistent on telling lies about a thing called the Civil War and also a nigger-lover among other horrors.

Where I had lived my charmed and happy previous life was curiously empty of all but pale skinned humans; I knew little of how to correctly feel about, what were then politely called, Negroes.  My new peers, playmates and tormentors dutifully tried to teach me about the various errors of my ways, though I proved a poor student.  I took their lessons to heart, however, since they were committed and serious instructors, with bloody noses and “Indian burns” as teacher’s comments.  But, like students everywhere, I learned what they were really teaching – how to avoid the unpleasantness.

For the faint hearted, do not be too moved by this narrative; I quickly learned the rules and turned my small, but farm hardened, body into a sufficiently brutal weapon that soon even the tough kids preferred to avoid being my teachers and allowed me to wallow on in ignorance so long as I didn’t show it to them too powerfully or often.

My point, beyond the pleasure of remembering my youth, is that those young men (and some girls, although they mostly found me just ‘too cute for words’) are now the so-called Tea Partiers of today’s political world.  The direct, powerful and monumentally misguided certainties of their youth have not substantially changed.  The cocoon of their daily existence has, however, been torn open by a black man in the White House, by the unavoidable falling apart of their life’s economic narrative, by the stench of rot coming from the piles of fetid lies told to manipulate them.  They are looking for someone to give a bloody nose or an Indian burn.  And they know, for certain, who it is; it is someone not like them, it is the foreigner, it is anyone who questions their certainties.

I know them, I grew up with them and they were my friends.  My first serious girl friend told me as she was about to graduate from high school (and planning the certainty of her future) that I would have to give up believing in evolution if our lives were to go on perfectly.  Another close friend told me that I had to not smoke a pipe around others, it was OK with him since he really knew me, but others got the wrong idea.  Just image if I had talked about General Giap’s book on guerilla warfare or the gentle and loving brush off, and not a thrashing, that I had given to the gay black student at university who had professed his love.

There are a majority of people in this country and all countries who must live their daily lives in certainty, and they will endure all manner of lies to do it.  They are not bad people; they are people, what the species is.

A group of the political class in this country have worked their way around to the complete cynicism of The Lie as policy.  With the help of psychologists, linguists, poll takers, sociopathic manipulators all supported with the money of another species, Homo elitus, this collection of power seekers has harnessed the fear of these former friends of mine – friends still if I were to go see them.

I have forgiven the rashed skin on my forearms and I gave bloody noses as good as I got.  I came to love and respect those poor misguided souls who even in their high school years couldn’t accept that the south lost the Civil War or that their God might have a speck of sympathy for a non-white person.  They were and are baggaged with a version of American culture that is a lie.

And now that the most despicable and hateful of political lowlifes are victimizing these folks, using their most cherished weaknesses against them, I am becoming heartsick.  I realize the power contained in the certainties of these, now terribly frightened, people.  I gave up confronting it as a boy and man; it was nearly futile.  And I am completely flummoxed now as to how it might be confronted today.

But it must be, and not with lies denying lies.  Somehow the stench from the lies of the power elite (they are not conservative or right wing or republican although those are the masks they are presently wearing) must be traced to their sources.  Hard truth, slow truth must be told and told again and again until it is heard.

I have written before that a lie is worse than murder.  A lie is intended to get you to behave in ways that disbenefits you in favor of others.  A big lie can ruin your life; rather than a quick death, many 10s of years can be spent destructively of self and others.  We are, today, in a downpour of lies about ourselves and the world that we live in, lies that are intended to support the immediate advantage of an economic elite, to disempower the rest of us both now and in the future and with the eventual consequence of reconstructing the human world into global oligarchic wage-slave states as the only form of governance that the economic elite can or are willing to imagine.

How do I explain this to Billy or Alicia?  They will not hear it on CNN.  They will not seek it out; if you live on narrow certainties, especially when challenged, you seek in, not out. The liar has seeded the lie with ready rejections of the truth, with ‘socialism’ and ‘abortion’ and ‘take away your way of life.’  So that when I say, “You can’t continue to live as you do; we are all changing the world in ways that will make life intolerable for our children.”, they answer back, “Socialist, you only want to change my way of life because you are jealous.”  And then they give me an Indian burn and tell me to go away.

I have great sympathy for these folks, the real grass-roots that have been stirred to action by the feeding of their greatest fears.  They will often be the first and the most harmed by the very politicians that they support.  And sympathy that if the nation is to be saved from itself, they will have to have their certainties shattered; some would not survive it.

At this point in time I see no force formed or forming that can take on the Big Lie machine of Homo elitus.  All political parties are infected or can be, religious institutions too.  The educational system is running scared.  The intelligentsia either isn’t or is ignored.  The media is the elite with minor exception.  The economic elite has the weakness of doing anything that will make money so that truths that pay off can be told for a time; but my point is, who would you tell, and how, when many of those that you need to reach still believe in their heart of hearts that the south really won the Civil War and that non-whites aren’t really human.

James Keye is the nom de plume of a retired academic and small businessman living with an Ecological Footprint of 1.6 earths. He can be reached at Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on October 27th, 2010 at 10:44am #

    “He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” Orwell

    We are, today, in a downpour of lies about ourselves and the world that we live in, lies that are intended to support the immediate advantage of an economic elite, to disempower the rest of us both now and in the future and with the eventual consequence of reconstructing the human world into global oligarchic wage-slave states as the only form of governance that the economic elite can or are willing to imagine. James

    Did Orwell see the future on some things but not all. George Orwell. Birth Date: June 25, 1903. Death Date: January 21, 1950. These economic elite’s are not very good imaginer’s the truth the knowledge got loose to late big brother you screwed up.

  2. Don Hawkins said on October 27th, 2010 at 12:15pm #

    Also I don’t think Orwell saw the mad factor you know in a mad world only the mad are sane well that mad part does take it’s toll on the human mind very sure of that. As human systems start to fall apart and reality as opposed to unreality is in there face it will be ruff on these so called elite’s. Also Orwell to me gave to much credit to the originational skills and or intelligent’s of these elite’s that seemeth to emerge from time to time and walk among us.

  3. Don Hawkins said on October 27th, 2010 at 1:04pm #

    We are told much evil in the World. Here in the States this whole who is right who is wrong has reached new levels and sometimes the people who tell us this person or that person is wrong this system is better no that system is better possibly evil could be evil themselves as the game has changed since the time of king’s and Queen’s. It does seem we have little god’s now and then goes to littler god’s then the rest of us. Yes the game is now who can tell the biggest lie and get away with it while using the media. I mean they didn’t have TV’s in Rome or people like Rush Limbaugh thing’s were kept or at least they tried to keep the power a little more concentrated. So will we see a sea of slums and a few castles well we already do. That’s right the Queen of England canceled this year’s Christmas party, let’s see how the party goes on Wall Street next week the kind of money you can’t run out of.

  4. commoner3 said on October 27th, 2010 at 6:55pm #

    This is an excellent insightful article.

  5. hayate said on October 27th, 2010 at 11:04pm #

    I’ve known a few rightwingers (include zionists in this, as they are essentially rightwingers), that seemed human, even normal. The problems is, though, that they are not. They’re damaged people. There are bits missing from their social development that predispose them to the manipulation. Call it greed, me-firstism or tribalism, there is something missing that binds the psyche together among these folks. It blows me away the number of times I’ve known people who seemed normal and likable, but then some propaganda bs will trigger them and they become totally irrational. There have been a few who seemed to have got beyond their mind-warp with exposure to factual material, but the triggers remained. And all it took was some propaganda to morph them back into that tribal rightwing mentality.

    I find as I get older, my compassion for these people is receding.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 29th, 2010 at 2:09am #

    hayate, the Rightwing type basically fears and hates anything outside himself. Anything that differs, racially, religiously, in terms of ideology, sexual preference, gender etc, induces fear and loathing in them. The Jews invented a tribal religious ideology based on this hatred millennia ago, and have been dealing with Others, ie the goyim, on the basis of antipathy, fear and contempt ever since. That this tribal exceptionalism, and the delusions of infinite superiority to the rest of humanity, have often provoked hatred of Jews in return, is understandable, if regretable. Naturally, I do not see it as sufficient justification for harming a single Jew, except in legitimate self-defence, with innocents spared, contrary to Judaic practice, which sees the killing of civilians as a religious act. But now, now that Judaic money power controls the West, and the Jews have established their little redoubt in occupied Palestine, what do we see?
    Decades of hideous oppression and barbaric cruelty. Relentless aggression against its neighbours. Massacre after massacre, even of its ostensible allies the USA, in the infamous USS Liberty case. Mass torture and the murder of hundreds of Palestinian leaders. Almost certain involvement in numerous ‘black flag’ intelligence operations, including 9/11. The widespread dissemination of torture and terror techniques throughout the world. Establishing Israel as a centre for economic crime, including ‘blood diamonds’, sexual trafficking, human organ trafficking, pornography, financial looting and drugs,particularly ecstasy. And all the while the Zionazi tactic, borrowed from their greatest enemy and greatest inspiration, Adolf Hitler, of the ‘Big Lie’ sees relentless mendacity throughout the Zionazi controlled media. It is a position, I would think,unknown in history, for the worst elements of one tiny tribe, exercising unprecedented money power, to control the global centres of power to such an extent and to such malign ends. Where does it end?

  7. James Keye said on October 29th, 2010 at 1:35pm #

    Mr. Mumble,

    The general thread of your argument is not unreasonable, but the filling in of the vast empty spaces seems not unlike the tribal certainties that you criticize. The USS Liberty and other Israeli behavior combined with the truly remarkable lack of honest reporting; not only Israel, but so much in our present situation begs explanation. However, the 50 to 100 million people in the US who are so culturally confused as to reject basic science, operate on dangerously narrow belief systems and support the very people and institutions that put them in the greatest danger are not the “Zionazis” that you speak of. You might make the argument that my Homo elitus and Zionists are the same, but that seems an over simpification.

  8. Maien said on October 29th, 2010 at 4:32pm #

    I do appreciate your story. However I see that your homo elitist as well as the peers that you grew up with as being two necessary parts (victims and tyrants) of a story based on competition, destruction and extremely immature humans. Sorry, Mr. Keyes but I cannot subscribe to relatively recent propaganda (last 5-6 decades being preached by western social sciences) that humanity is a limited and never changing beast. That is incorrect information which has proven very useful to your homo elitus. Easily believable by those that are taught from birth that they are less, do not deserve and that they are sinners. Wonderful belief to rob children of their own sense of accountability,value and therefore their creativity. Wonderful way to insure that children grow up without common sense. So much easier for the elites (useless eaters) to continue to abuse the rednecks (useful idiots). As Hayate points out the stupidity (my word) gets to beyond ridiculous. Being technically advanced and rather efficiently barbaric simply does not qualify this group as mature, civilised humans. The proven daily barbarity validates that intellectually, emotionally and spiritually these are very challenged immature humans. Their whole paradigm of victim/tyrant must change.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    I simply cannot feel any sympathy towards these individuals, elite or redneck. It would appear that these producers of soldiers did not think twice about enslaving and plundering the resources and lives of brown people anywhere…and then shouting out to the world that their ingenuity produced their wealth. They were entitled!

    Of course, this is after I was silly enough to watch the news last night and I witnessed the melodrama of a child, tortured into adulthood, Omar Khadr as HE APOLOGISED to the wife of a soldier killed in war. America loves her t.v. and needs to often rationalise her behaviour to herself. The elites and the rednecks need each other in order to avoid accountability for their own security. So much easier to steal/murder, while claiming to be the advanced civilisation. I wonder if the Occupiers of Palestine and American soldiers are being asked to apologise for the crime (theft, murder, rape ..where none existed before) they create wherever they have their bases. If their wives benefited from booty …should the wives also apologise for the civilians killed. All these dead brown people in how many countries?

    I am not a completely actualised human either. However, I have worked out that it is stupid to insure one’s own security through lies, murder and theft. I find the peers of your youth, to be repugnant. I find the useless eaters, your homo elitist, also to be repugnant.

  9. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 5:02pm #

    Humm I live in the South the deep South rural better known as the stick’s. How long about five years but I have lived in many places and the people here are a tuff bunch from all walk’s of life.
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

  10. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 5:15pm #

    On Earth – when there had been an Earth, before it was demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass – the problem had been with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm’s way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly from one place to another – particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e. covered with tar, full of smoke and short of fish.
    — Douglas Adams

  11. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 5:35pm #

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s/woman’s need, but not any man’s/woman’s greed.

    I changed that one a little. Some may not like man first ok change it. What came first the chicken or the egg?
    Earth provides enough to satisfy every woman’s/man’s need, but not any women’s/man’s greed or we could say;
    Earth provides enough to satisfy every human’s need, but not any human’s greed or;
    Earth provides enough to satisfy every life form, but not any life form’s greed.

  12. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 5:43pm #

    Oh I just turned on the new’s for five minutes oh my god they are using UPS or was it Fed Ex when it absolutely has to be there over night. This could only happen on the third planet from the Sun at least what we know so far. Am sorry after all these political messages my mind is off a tad.

  13. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 6:12pm #

    Ok I just got this hot off the wire.

    WASHINGTON (Oct. 29) — Authorities on three continents thwarted multiple terrorist attacks aimed at the United States from Yemen on Friday, seizing two explosive packages addressed to Chicago-area synagogues and packed aboard cargo jets. The plot triggered worldwide fears that al-Qaida was launching a major new terror campaign.

    Ok I went to CNN and they are taking this seriously then went to Fox New’s and they are taking this very seriously I think Pearl Harbor was mentioned now just on the off chance present path it look’s like in ten years tuff day’s for millions of human’s and other life forms and in twenty years the beginning of survival for most human’s/life forms and color me crazy but this is not taken seriously sometimes I just don’t get it but that’s why we have leaders and as we see at least here in the States some of the greatest minds in human history past and present and all done on a little mote of dust third one from the Sun in a Galaxy with these cool looking spiral arms and heck we human’s have only been here about two

  14. Don Hawkins said on October 29th, 2010 at 6:15pm #

    hundred thousand years.

  15. hayate said on October 30th, 2010 at 12:46am #

    Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 29th, 2010 at 2:09am


  16. Don Hawkins said on October 30th, 2010 at 4:09am #


    Last night on CNN Anderson Cooper he was wearing Levis with a brown coat blue shirt and seemed well rested anyway it was said by a policy maker that we will always’ have terrorists and they took one of the good book’s and used it or are using it for evil purposes only a few. Then went to Fox and something happened maybe they figured out this whole UPS part will help the Democrat’s so it look’s like they will talk more about the elections and how to take back America from the Koch brothers I mean the Socialists. Yes we human’s have been on the Earth now about two hundred thousand years just think in another say one hundred thousand years flying car’s am sure.

  17. Don Hawkins said on October 30th, 2010 at 4:49am #

    Let’s see the first of November and a Hurricane and could it be the oceans are a tad bit warm do to climate change no as it’s never talked about it’s kind of like an invisible wall for the media in the United States you can go up to the wall but don’t cross it no no no. Just on the off chance that’s true who the hell made this wall the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Steve Forbes and a few more and how do they all know how to do it at once. It’s almost like the new’s the information we get comes from a voice no face just a voice a nameless voice didn’t Orwell talk of this something called big brother I wonder is big brother watching well just on the off chance I don’t love you big brother do I hate you well no but I’ll bet if I ever meet you in person I would feel evil in the room although might not have time to feel evil as you would probably be talking and trying your best to play head games with my soul. Aha but I remember a mirror cannot reflect the image of a vampire. A vampire is empty to the core; therefore, there is nothing to reflect, there is no one there beneath the coiffure of immaculate hair.

  18. Don Hawkins said on October 30th, 2010 at 5:56am #

    Take a look at that and reminds me of the world we live in nobody has the slightest idea where we are going then again with these special glasses some of us have not hard to understand. Haiti the people and the land could we say in somewhat of a weakened state. This Cat 3 or larger in November is climate change still a hoax will probably head for Haiti and it will get very tuff. Is there still food in the warehouses and the money to help Haiti where is that money and who is in charge? That’s right the Stars are in charge.