I’ve never been to a Tea Party meeting. If you asked me who my local, state or national Tea Party representative is, I would have no idea. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone representing themselves as an official Tea Party spokesman interviewed on national TV. Was the Tea Party on the ballot last election? If so I didn’t notice them. Has anyone seen the official Tea Party manifesto? Where is the official Tea Party headquarters in Washington DC? Who is the national chairman of the Tea Party? How many secretaries, aides, and flacks have they?
I write all this because it seems strange to me that such an amorphous organization is credited with the destruction of the Republican Party and the Republic itself. At least that’s what every establishment news outlet, Democrat politician and most of the GOP establishment claim.
The White House talking points, intoned endlessly by our supposedly unbiased press, is that the GOP has been captured by an extreme minority that drives it to extreme positions. These positions are a symptom of extreme partisanship that threatens the marvelous system we presumably had before. The unity of message on the left and establishment is remarkable in a free society. Tea Partiers are “Dangerous extremists” with “Anarchist motives”, and of course, they are “Racists.” They have “Captured the Republican Party,” presumably by the sneaky stratagem of getting elected. It’s as though the whole establishment is reading lazily off the same mimeographed notes.
This need to stamp out the Tea Party hatches some rather rare curious juxtapositions. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus rail against the Tea Party as a “Selfish Minority,” thus proving that they have neither a sense of irony or shame. The same people who take money from George Soros, leftist foundations, organized labor, etc. find Koch brothers funding of tea partiers damning.
All I ever heard from the Tea Party types was a desire for us to live according to our Constitution. They also make a big deal out of not spending wildly more than we take in. I gather a lot of them don’t favor going to war with a new opponent every three years or so. Call me naive but that doesn’t sound all that radical to me.
If the Tea Party is such a menace, with such power, why aren’t they showing up to defend themselves? Why, when Senator McCain calls Tea Party affiliated colleagues names, doesn’t the national spokesperson for the Tea Party speak up? That is because THERE IS NO NATIONAL TEA PARTY. The Tea Party is a movement and a tendency. It arose spontaneously in response to several shocks to the national system in which the status quo broke down; most pivotally, the economic collapse of 2008. The typical attendee at the original Tea Party rallies were small businessmen, laid off workers, and farmers who just had the economic rug pulled out from under them. Most of these were either Republicans or Libertarians who played the game of life with their own money. Such people had for a long time viewed the GOP as the party that looked out for their interests. They began to notice something wrong under the Bush presidencies. Massive deficit spending, a Bush/Bankster backed housing bubble, and questionable adventures overseas, all strained their faith. The collapse of 2008 was the final straw. There was no getting around the fact that the GOP establishment and the Left Establishment had more allegiance to the Banksters than to the people.
These disappointed people sought each other out, outside of the main parties who had already betrayed them. They came together in inchoate clusters with leaders emerged among them as leaders always do. These leaders put forth some propositions and sought out politicians to enact these propositions into law. This is right out of civics 101. (If that’s still being taught.) There are many slinter groups and little unanimity among the various, dispersed Tea Party organizations. There is no one national Tea Party organization. There are at least two main groups in DC and they have little or no control over their members. In short, the Tea Party is a genuine populist movement. These are Americans who want their country back.
So why the hysterical condemnation by both the establishment and the left? Because both depend on deficit spending, racial balkanization, Wall Street money and endless wars. That, is the status quo. And even though the status quo is unsustainable and leads to our downfall, too many entrenched interest groups are invested in it to upset. It’s the pond in which all slimy establishment Amphibians swim and breed. They cannot survive outside it.
Nothing frightens them more than an actual grass roots movement. And that is why they wish to disgrace and destroy The Tea Party.
I am no fan of unbridled Populism. Still, It is delusional to suppose that a population so betrayed by our decadent, and dysfunctional establishment would never rise up to defend their own interests. Hard choices and real leadership by the productive element in our society could have averted the need for a tea party. It is just as sure that if the Tea Party is crushed, something much uglier will take its place.
As I write the GOP blunder in shutting down the government and thereby playing into the hands of the President is coming to an end. The Establishment has won and the whole circus of unconstitutional government, deficit spending and vote buying will now resume. One thing is sure. The Tea Party, which has no form or substance to respond, will be crucified in public discourse. Maybe we need an actual Tea Party?