THE BLOG
11/11/2013 01:02 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Tea Party Wakeup Call

I feel sorry for the Tea Party. It is paying dearly for being duped by the very corporate culture that is bankrolling it. And to make matters worse, Tea Party members are being led astray by misguided ideology to vote against their own best interests.

Tea Party supporters have been brainwashed into believing that governmental regulatory restraints on business are harming the economy and shrinking the profits that would otherwise trickle down to their pocketbooks.

Empirical evidence indicates that this story line is a fiction. While Wall Street is experiencing record profits, the average citizen, which includes many Tea Party devotees, is not participating in the bonanza. Corporate profits in many if not most instances have been either reinvested in the business or used to relocate facilities and hire labor abroad at cut rate prices.

Then there is the Tea Party's rigid ideology which is doing it in. According to Tea Party doctrine, society's enemies are big government and excessive regulations which encroach on individual freedom. Consequently, Party loyalists vote for politicians who personify this philosophy in Congress and state houses.

Let's be clear. As far as the size of government is concerned, you don't hear too many Tea Party types complaining about Medicare and Social Security.

Jurisdictions which are prime locations for Tea Party activism suffer from some of the worst environmental and public health conditions in the nation. Consequently, the Tea Party needs the safety net of protective governmental regulation as much as the "shiftless" individuals it laments are living off the federal dole. It has to get over the ideological bias that is supportive of weak legislation and lax enforcement in many of its locales.

A recent Institute for Southern Studies survey identified the 10 most environmentally unhealthy states, all of which harbor significant Tea Party strongholds and include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. The United Health Foundation's ranking of the five unhealthiest states is almost a replicate: Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas, and West Virginia.

Tea Party types and their representatives in Congress tend to be big time deniers of global warming. Shouldn't they be reevaluating their position? The Southeastern United States is projected to be extremely vulnerable to global warming's initial adverse effects (i.e. rising sea levels and super oceanic storms) and is home to some of the largest concentrations of Tea Party followers.

Tea Party advocates are also victims of self-delusion in regards to individual freedom. They don't seem to grasp that if one is sick, economically squeezed, or subject to a severely degraded environment, individual freedom is greatly constricted by the formidable challenge of survival.

The Tea Party grassroots needs to wake up and realize it is complicit in being played for a sucker.