There is this stone in my shoe named Joe.
Joe is a tea party advocate and, as anyone who reads my columns might expect, despises everything I write from a political standpoint.
Joe doesn’t hold back from sending me all the stuff he assiduously researches on the Internet. Almost all of it is anti-Obama. Some of it is quite disgusting and disturbing, but the overarching themes are that President Barack Obama is bad for the country and pro-Obama voters are stupid, etc.
After a couple years of reading this rubbish, I decided to ask Joe what his vision of America should be. How should the government work in his world? What would our society look like if the pet whines of the tea party were implemented and made the law of the land?
My lengthy questions went included:
Who would be your president and what would he or she look like? How will you handle having your government retirement and Social Security checks cut off or greatly reduced? Will you be OK if you get really sick and have huge medical bills while Medicare is cut? Will you be able to afford your medications or your insurance if the Affordable Care Act is someday repealed? Where will your grandchildren go to school? Can you or your children afford their private school education even with vouchers?
If unemployment compensation and food stamps are cut off, unions are disbanded, all regulations on businesses and banking are lifted and the minimum wage is cut, how will people eat and clothe themselves and their children? Who will have jobs sufficient to pay taxes? If income taxes are cut, property and gasoline taxes are reduced or eliminated, “sin” taxes are rescinded and sales taxes are dialed back, who will pay for the $1 trillion per year military expansion to protect our borders from invading illegal immigrants? How will our national parks look with thousands of drilling rigs competing for the sunlight with the few trees remaining? How much will that 40-foot wall along the Mexican border really cost? Will it work — will it have to be manned with armed guards in towers and searchlights intersecting each other for 2,000 miles? How would the world economy look if we just defaulted on loans by not raising the debt ceiling? Would those other countries’ economies mind?
The response to these questions was silence. It was the first time I had been able to shut him up. The silence is wonderful … and telling.
I suppose the Koch brothers will be able to afford buying all the elections that will make Joe’s world a reality by ensuring the correct politicians are in place to perform these tasks. Hey, it worked in Wisconsin.
Will Joe’s world find someone as caring about working people as Scott Walker? There’s Sarah "Reload" Palin, after all. She has just the right intellect the tea party needs to undo a century of progress and good.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.