This is the only Tea-Bagging I want to see!

I am not one that typically likes to involve themselves in issues or social movements that anyone with moderate intelligence could deduce to be completely irrational and/or counter intuitive to one’s well-being. But lately I’ve been barraged by the “small government is better” crowd, not necessarily a part of the tea party, but coming from the same philosophical ilk nonetheless. Hell, I’ve even talked with some “liberal” democrats buying into to some of this toxic rhetoric from the ill-informed.

To give them a simplified critique: the oppressive taxes you pay (the lowest Americans have paid in over 60 years) go toward building and maintaining roads, schools, fireman, policemen, protecting us from foreign invasion, making sure our food and water is (somewhat) safe to eat and drink and on and on and on….

Again, that is a very simplistic analysis — don’t worry, it’ll get more pedantic as the caffeine kicks in. This leads to the clever title; when will, if ever, cognitive dissonance kick in for those of the belief that government is always the enemy no matter what? For those who aren’t up on social psychology, cognitive dissonance is simply holding two contradictory views at once.

I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of that in some form or another. The theory of cognitive dissonance also contends that these contradictory views will ultimately lead one to go with the logical viewpoint. I would like to believe that it is possible, but I can’t foresee the bulk of the tea-party movement having a sudden epiphany that their mode of thinking is illogical: “no taxes and no big government, but give us everything that those taxes pay for; and don’t socialize my medicare.”

Of course, cognitive dissonance doesn’t always lead to one creating and accepting the more logical schema. In fact, one can always use even more irrational thought processes to justify the irrational one they are clinging to– such is the way of the tea-baggers.

I would be remiss however, to limit cognitive dissonance to the tea party “movement” alone. This principle applies to all of us, especially “liberals” who blindly support Democrats without taking notice of what the Democratic party has actually accomplished for anyone other than the wealthy (or the ruling class if you will). I understand that the “lesser of two evils” approach is sometimes the only option we have in a political system monopolized by two sometimes indistinguishable parties, but nonetheless, having blind faith despite no evidence to support such faith is cognitive dissonance no matter how one looks at it.

The Tea Party however, is the focus of my two-bit social psychological analysis; the democrats will have to wait — although I should be a bit more tactful as I’m sure registered Democrats make up a good chunk of my readership. Now the tea party movement — you know, the movement essentially created and cradled by Fox News — take cognitive¬† dissonance to a whole new level of intellectual ineptitude.

The photo to the right kind of says it all. Of course the sentiment of cutting the size of government is usually only a popular one when a Democrat is in office. The fact that Reagan expanded the size and scope of government more than any other president before him seems to be lost on the tea baggers. I also recall the W. administration taking government expansion to a whole new level of fiscal irresponsibility. Where exactly was the tea party during those eight years? Oh, that’s right, the Republicans don’t count to the tea baggers, it’s only those commie Democrats (just so you know tea baggers, my philosophical and historical foundation is based on dialectical materialism–commie stuff–and I take great offense being associated with the Democrats).

While anyone can understand why cutting the scope of the federal government would be a popular notion considering the corruption and wastefulness of so many of the agencies our tax money goes to support, it begs the question: what exactly happens if the tea baggers get their way? It seems they would be happy without taxes at all — hell, I know I would — yet they don’t seem to comprehend what our taxes pay for.

Even though I believe our democracy serves largely to maintain Imperialistic hegemony throughout the world, our government still provides so many necessary services that our economy and our social structure would literally crumble without a large state presence. I can’t speak for all of the tea baggers, but I would ascertain that most of them are products of public education — paid for by, anyone, anyone…taxes. I’m sure many of them drive cars on roads that are maintained by….you guessed it, taxes. If your house is on fire, wouldn’t it be nice to have some kind of — what’s the service I’m looking for… — fire-type department to put out the fire.

I could go on and on obviously. The simple fact is that our taxes, which aren’t very much relative to most of the world, provide us with very basic and necessary services. The services provided us are all a form of socialism to varying degrees. If we do away with taxes, do these tea baggers expect all of our “socialist” necessities to still magically exist and function? I have a novel idea. How about using your “movement” to actually bring awareness to how corrupt so many of our agencies are? …how they are run by former corporate executives and give precedence to business interests over us, the people. How about the novel idea of making our tax dollars work better to provide better services and doing away with the silly “socialist” rhetoric as every important civil function in this country is a form of socialism. Stop being manipulated by Fox News and come to terms with your cognitive dissonance — reality will set you free.