I don’t know about you but I was rather surprised at the sheer size and vocality of the conservative right when they started appearing on the news in 2009 after Obama’s election. Where were all these crackpots when Bush was president? Where were they during the election even? McCain ran as a moderate and now he’s pandering to Tea-Partiers! Anyway, I found them to be incredibly annoying and they appeared largely ignorant of politics and taxes and frankly, most of the things they were rousing rabble over. Although they still bug the living daylights out of me and are obviously racist among other unpleasant adjectives, after living in China, I can at the very least empathize with their situation.
Knowing what I know about China beforehand and after having lived here about a month, I have arrived at a rather ironic conclusion. “Communist” China is the American Neo-conservative’s paradise. There is a huge government that not only suppresses liberals, but also is looking out for the interests of big business while largely ignoring the downtrodden and championing free markets.
Now I’ve always been somewhat of a liberal (although I went through the mandatory teenage boy libertarianism phase inspired by the likes of South Park), I just never really realized because the Bay Area is such a liberal community. In Palo Alto, liberal and moderate are essentially analogous. However, living in this right-wing environment has made me realize just how much of a liberal I really am. I think this is akin to what the Tea-Baggers must be feeling in America.
Under Bush (a white, protestant, “conservative” but not really) they were more or less at home and they saw themselves as the moderates. They were actually more conservative this whole time but were just unaware of this because the center was tilted right. Now with Obama and the Democrats in power, they have sensed that the center has shifted left and as a reaction to this, they have pushed dramatically rightwards in order to maintain their status quo. While I hardly agree with their opinions or actions, I can at least understand where they’re coming from. At least I only have another month of this suffering whereas the conservatives have at least another two and a half years (hopefully 6.5 years) of Comrade Obama.
PS: I would normally cite my sources for pictures but this image was so blatantly stolen from another site (by some Tea Bagger) and uncredited that I’m not going to bother.