As part of my intention to eschew politics, I went to a Chico Tea Party Patriots meeting. If I say that enough, it’s bound to make sense, like fighting for peace.
Here are the three core values of the Chico Tea Party: “Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.” Fine with me. The moderator stated that many of the members also share social values, although the meetings stick to the core values. She read a disclaimer that said that nobody there speaks for the party as a whole, a refreshingly anarchic arrangement.
Based on my occasional perusal of various pinko online news sources I expected the meeting attendees to lack erudition and be so poorly informed as to not recognize their own self-interest. I don’t know about their self-interest, but I think one reason they’re poorly informed is that they listen to Larry Wahl.
The moderator said that the liberals are in control of Chico and must be fought if conservatives are to have any say in city government for years to come. Then she introduced “our very own county supervisor,” who gave them a story about the “horrible problem with the growing of marijuana in Butte County.” Their supervisor rattled off buzzwords—kids, gunshots, strange people, cartels, pit bulls, burglaries, stink, AK-47s—and told us how important it was that we contact our own supervisors and then go to the county board meeting in Gridley on May 24 to support the outright prohibition of outdoor grows. He also said that very little of the pot grown is used as “ . . . quote, medicine,” implying that compassionate use is a scam. He was applauded.
When the moderator called for questions I asked how increasing police involvement in marijuana fit in with the notion of limited government. The tea party’s supervisor explained that his position on marijuana is separate from the core values.
After the marijuana snow job, another speaker gave the story on Measure A and why moving Chico’s council elections to June is vital for the survival of life as they know it. It seems that early Chicoans set the city election for April, so as to focus purely on local issues. Then in the 1980s the liberals got it moved to November. I asked what reasons the liberals had given for wanting it moved, but nobody could remember, just that the liberals were behind it, and [David] Guzzetti was involved.
I don’t know what to think about the tea party, except they seem not to let their core values get in the way of their social values and they don’t say what their social values are. At least most of them are old.