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Tea Party Lunatics?
Apr 13, 2010

Dr Bob, while I respect your expert knowlege of HIV, you do yourself a disservice when you engage in political remarks, especially by attacking the Tea Party Movement. You should keep you political beliefs out of this forum. Referring to the Tea Party Movement as "lunatics" is simply unjustified and quite ignorant. Do you even know what the Tea Party movement stands for and who are the people involved with it? Let me enlighten you... the vast majority of Tea Party members are average citizens, laborers, businessmen, housewives, you name it, that are fed up with the out of control deficits and the excessive government waste and profligate spending that will drive the economy into the ground and will saddle our children with crushing debt. They are fed up with the lobbyists and influence peddlers that have a choke hold on politicians. They are fed up with the march towards higher taxes, more bloated bureaucracy and bigger government and more government control of industry and the free market. As if the government could ever run anything more efficiently than the private sector. I do not know for certain, but I would speculate by your past comments that you are a big government socialist. I for one and the Tea Party in general hold firmly to the fact that for the common citizen Smaller Government = More Freedom while Bigger Government = Less Freedom. To malign the Tea Party members by calling them names rather than egaging in a discussion of ideas displays your ignorance and intolerance of any opposing viewpoint. But, that is typical of socialists and leftists. They consistently loose in the forum of debating and exchanging ideas and philosophies and revert to juvenile namecalling. In closing, why don't you keep your ignorant political namecalling and remarks to yourself and restore credibility to your forum.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

In my humble opinion (which happens to concur completely with that of anyone who lives in the "reality community"), Tea Party folks are, as a New York Times article reported, a hodgepodge of people and groups who spout frankly paranoid beliefs as if they were received wisdom: the Federal Reserve is our enemy and should be abolished; citizens should stock up on ammo; states should "nullify" federal laws and even secede; Obama is a Muslim trying to create crises in order to destroy the economy, convert Interpol into his personal police and create a New World Order; etc.; etc.; etc. You may consider folks who believe this poppycock as average citizens, but from a psychiatric perspective, they are paranoid. It's entertaining that you claim the reality community doesn't want to "engage in a discussion of ideas" with Tea Partiers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we seen rather alarming footage on all the TV news programs showing Tea Partiers screaming and disrupting every attempt at rational discussion??? I do understand and even empathize with folks whose lives have been upended by the recession, job loss, home foreclosures and plummeting retirement accounts. They are angry and want to know why this has happened and whom to blame. (I often wish someone would remind them of the Bush Administration's "creative" accounting method for the Iraq war, which was not to account for it at all and not to include the astronomical costs in any budget!) Glenn Beck and other radical right-wingers with paranoid views about politics offer these folks a way to channel their feelings of helplessness and confusion into feelings of victimization and self-righteous militancy. In other words, many Tea Party activists move from legitimate and normal concerns into paranoia that is dangerous, cruel and counterproductive. By the way, I have exactly the same feelings toward left-wing conspiracy theorists and "lunatics." The psychopathology is exactly the same. It's well established in the medical field that you can't help a paranoid patient by arguing with his belief system (his view of reality from the vantage point of his or her parallel universe). Rather you have to address their underlying fears and offer alternative solutions to his problems. The biggest threat to the health of our economy is the demoralizing unemployment rate. Unwisely the deficit zealots are not interested in doing anything to counteract this crisis!

It's also interesting that you consider my rather benign and lighthearted "lunatic" remark so insulting. Didn't the Tea Party crowd that was screaming "kill the bill" during the health care debate then call Representative John Lewis a "nigger" and Representative Barney Frank a "faggot." And didn't Representative Emanuel Cleaver get spat upon by a Tea Party protestor?

If my "lunatics" adjective offended you, I certainly apologize. Perhaps paranoiacs would have been more politically correct. However, I doubt you would have liked that very much either. That's OK. I certainly don't mind that you disagree with my opinion. And I respect your right to believe whatever nonsense you wish. I'll promise to keep any open mind, if you'll do the same. Deal? Personally I think we need to pay much less attention to the tea party or other parallel universe yahoos and much more attention to those suffering from unemployment.

By the way, since this is an HIV/AIDS information forum, did you have a question I might be able to help you with?

Dr. Bob



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