11/26/2010 11:57 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Tea Party's Next Target: Sustainable Development

Cross-posted on Triple Pundit.

Now that the Tea Party has landed on our planet and in our country, like some kind of alien advanced strike force in preparation for a takeover, they are beginning to look around to see how they might rearrange things to better suit their peculiar perspective.

We'd be wise to carefully observe these folks, in an effort to understand how they think, or even, where they are coming from, since we've been told that they represent the future of America.

One member of a Virginia-based subgroup called the Virginia Campaign for Liberty, Donna Holt took aim at the UN's Agenda 21, an initiative which started in 1992. She told an assembled group of supporters this past summer that the Agenda, "...outlines, in detail, the UN's vision for a completely managed society, dictating the process to be used for industry, agriculture, housing development, and especially education. It's an all-encompassing plan to rule from an all-powerful central government." She went on to explain to an absolutely horrified audience that the name for this policy is "Sustainable Development" and that it seeks to abolish private property and prepare children for global citizenship, ultimately aiming to reduce the population.

What Agenda 21, which is also known as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development is really is a set of international sustainability guidelines. It's difficult to know which of the Declaration's twenty-seven principles these newcomers find so threatening. Perhaps it is #1 which states that, "Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature." Or the one that says, "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations." Hard to find anything wrong with that, either. Perhaps it's the one that says, "States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem." I admit that it is difficult to see the inherent evil here. Perhaps other examples might prove instructive.

Another one of these newcomers is a Colorado man named Dan Maes who was running for governor. Maes directed his righteous indignation at bicycles. He referred to his opponent John Hickenlooper's bike sharing policy as an attempt "convert Denver into a United Nations community."

"This is all very well-disguised," he told a group of supporters, "but it will be exposed." Okay. I can hardly wait.

A Florida-base web site that calls itself the "Home of Patriotic Resistance," urged its readers to oppose a bill that would require homeowners to responsibly maintain their septic tanks.

Up in Maine, an effort to avoid overcrowding of Highway1 along the mid-coastal area before it became a problem was referred to by Tea-Bagger David Andreasen as "centralized planning for the de-industrialization of large segments of Maine, and the relocation and isolation of the population into human habitation zones, along certain corridors over a span of 20 years."

Okay, I agree, these examples don't exactly elicit a battle cry from me, either. In fact, the things that they are so strenuously objecting to, all seem perfectly reasonable to me. But there does seem to be an emerging underlying theme here.

Perhaps one more example will clarify. This one is from Tea Party commentator Henry Lamb. Lamb says that, "If the word 'freedom' is to have any meaning at all, it must mean that people are free to live wherever they choose, and free to use their property as they choose." He then goes on to decry the emergence, first of zoning laws, then later of planning, "which gave the government the right to control the use of land," in the interest of the common good.

I think by now the pattern should be clear. These people have somehow come to see any kind of social consciousness as a gateway drug to socialism. They worship at the altar of narrow self-interest and have come to regard selfishness and irresponsibility as a defining characteristic of the American way of life.

This point is driven home in another one of Lamb's columns in which he praises author Beverly Eakman, who in her recent book, A Common Sense Platform for the 21st Century. "takes direct aim at the nation's education system for training generations of people to focus on the collective rather than the individual."

So it turns out that the problem all along was with those kindergarten teachers who told us that we needed to share with the other kids. Didn't they realize how un-American that was?

Of course, what these people don't see is that they have all been had by a secretive cabal of industrial billionaires who have recruited their aid in winning the recent election, in order to further weaken the already crumbling authority of the US government over corporate power, for fear that the few remaining regulations or offices not already filled with corporate shills, could potentially put a drag on their gargantuan profits. Ironically, the Tea Partiers will get absolutely nothing out of the deal, except the perverse satisfaction that a mob of beer-sodden, adrenalin-gorged sports fans gets after having rooted for the winning team.

RP Siegel is co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails. Despite the fact that he rides a bicycle and occasionally shares things with his friends and neighbors, he still considers himself an American.