Teabaggers are not the enemy. Common ground does exist

Crooks and Liars says teabaggers are a construct of right-wing operatives, dangerous loonies, and any talk of engaging them or joining together on common issues is idiotic.

They want jobs for sure, but they think that any government which is led by a Democratic politician wants to destroy their freedoms and as we see, take away their guns. The tea party crowds are a FOX News/corporatist-led movement. What comes out of their mouths is mostly gibberish promoted by right wing talkies and not based in reality.

I disagree with this. Here’s why.

1) The media always focuses on the most nutcase of protesters. This happened constantly when I was helping organize Iraq antiwar protests. You could have a crowd of thousands and the photos were of the craziest protesters with the most deranged signs. DJ, who posts here, lives in rural Utah and says most the teabaggers he knows are Democrats and not racists. That hardly fits the media stereotype – and that’s exactly my point.

2) The teabaggers are a real phenomenon. Sure, they are egged along by right-wing operatives. But they don’t like big government, don’t like the bailouts, and most especially really get really pissed when urban liberals piously lecture to them about their lifestyles and react in horror when they carry guns.

3) Guns are an part of rural southern / western culture and have been for generations. This is an issue they will go to the barricades on. For C&L to be aghast because protesters legally carried guns to a protest in New Mexico means they really don’t get it about a large part of US culture. (And let’s not forget the Black Panthers legally carried guns to the California capital in 1968, freaking out a bunch of people too.)

4) There is a populist upsurge happening in this country now. It will continue to grow. Populism has a long history here, it’s red, white and blue American, and ignores traditional political party boundaries focusing instead on the theft by a few from the rest of us.

5) The left must become involved in this resurgence of populism or the right will have it for their own. C&L does an extraordinary job of exposing the most rabid and deranged of the right. But they err in thinking that fringe represents all the right.

There is common ground. We need to find it, then work together on changing our current system of theftocracy with its plunder by a few.