Psychologist compares Tea Partiers to addicts

Yesterday on MSNBC, Martin Bashir interviewed psychologist Stanton Peele. The conversation included discussion around whether or not people in the Tea Party Moveement have a similar outlook as drug addicts.

I do not consider myself to be a “Tea Party Conservative.” I didn’t even vote in the last election, but I know that a lot of good and hard working Americans believe in the value of this movement, and the scare tactics used by some in the media to liken these individuals to radical terrorists is outlandish.

Dr. Peele is an expert on addiction, and they were discussing the addictive nature and possible future endeavors of the Tea Party Movement.

They’re pursuing goals that can’t be achieved. It’s sort of like a child who has some kind of fantasy, and they keep asking you to give them things to acquire that but it’s impossible to arrive at the goal that they want. The idyllic past that they’re pursuing probably never existed and it’s certainly not something that we can reach right now.

They (the Tea Party) are adamant about achieving something that’s unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things. It reminds us of delusion and psychosis. It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can’t have. They want a state of happiness or nirvana that can’t be achieved except through an artificial substance.

He then goes on to compare them to a child not getting what he or she wants and lashing out, the Norway terrorist attack being an example of this addictive mentality.

With Dr. Peele’s comments, he is depicting the movement as being people who are living in a world of delusion. They’re pursuing goals that can’t be achieved… they keep asking you to give them things to acquire that but it’s impossible to arrive at the goal.

Their goals can’t be achieved? According to whom? Just because you think the desired ends of the movement are unreachable does not mean that objective reality corresponds with your opinion, Dr. Peele.

The Tea Party Movement wants the government to cut spending and live within its financial means. The government is certainly capable of doing this; it is just that the government is unwilling to do this.

I think that thinking everyone who disagrees with you is crazy is crazy.

I think trying to find a way to compare these people to drug addicts is irresponsible.

For the people who speak out against the Tea Party Movement, there is something whch they need to understand:

The fact that we are in this economic crisis is not the fault of the Tea Party Movement. In fact, it was economic strife and high government spending which perpetuated the foundation of this movement in the first place.

What they accomplished in the 2010 election was a cultural phenomenon. The reason why this movement has so much influence is because there are a lot of Americans who agree with it. They want spending cuts, and congress just approved the largest debt ceiling deal in history. Trillions more dollars are being spent, yet some like to make it look like the Tea Party got its way.

In the short term, granting spending increases of billions of dollars and essentially giving Obama and his reckless fiscal history a free pass until after next year’s election is hardly a win for the Tea Party Movement.

jrb

One thought on “Psychologist compares Tea Partiers to addicts”

  1. Neither am I a “Tea Party Conservative”. And clearly we can’t go back to life the way life was for our nation’s founders. But the main problem we have in achieving our country’s goals is precisely that, we don’t have any goals. There is no vision of a future state for which we collectively strive. Therefore we are just a bunch of individuals trying to grab what we can for ourselves. It’s impossible for me to imagine an event that would unify us in any significant way. But if the Tea Party followers could unite us in philosophy I’d follow along. Perhaps we’re in a spot where any move is better than no move at all.

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