Many of us have been hard pressed to find a rational explanation for the rise in popularity of the tea party movement. At first it seemed to be something of a blue collar class thing, but that turned out to be untrue—tea partiers are better educated and better off financially than the average American. Then we moved on to the racism meme, and that explains a lot, certainly—the immigrant bashing, the Obama cartoons. But that in itself didn’t explain the number of otherwise reasonable people who are perfectly prepared to throw the fruits of progressive government of the past seventy years into the trashcan. Of course, white privilege is rebelling against the prospect of modestly higher taxes for the rich, but that doesn’t alone explain the outright glee with which the tea party wants to worsen poverty in America, or take away the recent expansion in healthcare coverage.
None of this makes rational sense.