It’s the willful ignorance:
No, tea baggers believe stupid shit because they want to. It’s willful ignorance. They spin outrageous theories because they know that the naked truth about what they believe would make them look like giant bigots and big meanies. So, instead of saying, “I don’t want health care reform because I like a system where poor people are shut out because that means I don’t have to see them in my doctor’s office,” they start yelling about the slide into socialism. Instead of saying, “I’m an incredibly selfish person who wants to keep my government-funded Medicare, but I don’t want to see that single mom down the street get health insurance because she’s a slut and I want to see her suffer,” they say that Obama’s trying to take their Medicare and that’s socialism. They’re not confused because they were badly educated and don’t have a grasp on critical thinking. In fact, I think a lot of us would be surprised to find that the person hollering ignorant shit about Obama’s birth certificate often turns around and is highly competent at a job that requires the cognitive skills they don’t bring to their politics. They’re willfully ignorant, and this distinction should never be forgotten when trying to understand them.
Here’s an example (italics mine):
“We’re bankrupt in America. We can’t run our households like the government’s running the country. That, and the idea of people [sitting] around on their butts. Fifty percent of the people collecting a check are paying no taxes, while the other 50 pull the wagon.”
This isn’t true on so many different levels. 47% of households don’t pay income taxes, but, if you have earned income, you pay payroll taxes (and many people pay more in these taxes, especially if they’re self-employed, than they do in income taxes). Everyone pays sales taxes. Most local and state taxes are very hard to ‘deduct’ out of.
One of the truly pathetic things about the Tea Buggers and movement conservatives is that they have spent a lot of time learning misinformation. It’s not as if they have been asked a question that they’ve never considered and are just bullshitting an answer. They’ve worked hard, scoured the internet, consumed various media to learn (such as it is) this astounding idiocy. But it’s finally starting to make sense to me: if your mythos is that you, along with other ‘real’ Americans, are carrying the weight for the rest of us parasites, then these deceptions have a purpose. It’s a form of psychological protection.
And it’s the same damn thing creationists do.