No, I’m not saying stand down. I’m still bothered by the extensive intertwining of the Patriot organizations with the Tea Partiers. On the other hand, I do want to point out a major weakness — a fear that does not need considered.
They will not take over the nation. They’ll influence, sure, but they won’t take over. They suffer from two major weaknesses.
Weakness one is the obvious one: they lack trust. The underlying message — that the government (among others) is the enemy — is basically paranoia. They ascribe extraordinary powers to this enemy; more than it has, even. Spies and bugs everywhere, watching, waiting constantly for the chance to make its move. (sigh).
That lack of trust means most of them don’t trust each other, either. Oh, sure, part of it’s ego (no, MY way is the right way) but when push comes to shove they just don’t trust anyone, not even each other.
Weakness two is more subtle: they aren’t for, they’re against. “Against” can hold resentments and resistance forever, but it cannot build. “For” builds. The tea party is against – against taxes, against “big” government, against gun control, against giving benefits and aid to “them”, and so on and so forth. There is no “for”.
At most the for is toward “the way we used to be.” As most people know, you cannot go backward. It just doesn’t happen. Japan came close for a few decades, but even it kept some of the things it’d picked up — and since everyone else kept going it didn’t help.
The TP is a potential threat to general order. There’s a risk, if the patriots take over, that it will be ugly and nasty and we’ll wind up doing and seeing a lot of things we’d rather not. But the TP will not take over the nation.