I've been following some of the "Tea-Party" antics, and quit frankly there's nothing new here.
Throughout history, people have fallen for the same lines, the same rhetoric, only delivered in different forms by unscrupulous or misguided (intentionally and otherwise) leaders who play on societies fears.
And people fall for it. They suck it up like a dry sponge, and they do it because most citizens want to believe (in an act of what can only be called blind-faith) that their government is doing what is best for them.
They do this because they do not want to get involved in the necessary debate.
They do this because they do not want to be responsible.
Want to make someone's blood boil? Want to make them want to get up and fight for something?
Wave the flag in their face and tell them who’s to blame for their lot in life.
... the Jews, the blacks, the communists, the gays, the young, the elderly...
Lie to them! Tell them they must do this or support that
… for the betterment of society.
In the absence (enforced by threats of persecution by misuse of, or blatant disregard for, the law) of open public debate and opposition, people who crave leadership and direction will believe what they're told... or sold.
... And because society seems bent on refusing to learn from the past, like the man who drinks the sand in the mirage because he is so thirsty, he does so because he doesn't know any better.