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On Tea Partiers

Sue freaked when she read the previous post because she thought I agreed with the majority of the Tea Party’s positions. No, I do not agree with everything he said. Not hardly. But on some things, sure.

Right now the Tea Partiers are mostly inchoate with a right-wing slant. Sooner or later they will probably find a leader and a voice. If the left doesn’t get involved in this process now, then the result could be scary right wing, zenophobic, racist (and heavily armed.)

But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s my point. Their anger is based on real grievances, and those are shared by many on the left. Washington DC is indeed unresponsive, mired in corruption, while the banksters continue to siphon off billions. That’s the core of the problem.

Liberals and progressives need to stop defending Obama and DC, hoping he’ll somehow come to his senses and do the right thing. Good luck with that. The far left, which successfully organized massive Iraq antiwar protests, is comatose now during this crisis of capitalism they say they’ve waited for decades to happen. Most curious indeed. But they are no help now.

If the left doesn’t want Tea Partiers to end up going scary right-wing, then they need to get involved, get off the sidelines, and stop defending the status quo. Get involved in shaping the dialogue or suffer the consequences for not doing so. That’s my primary point.

  • EGrise

    Liberals and progressives need to stop defending Obama and DC, hoping he’ll somehow come to his senses and do the right thing. Good luck with that.

    It’s been interesting watching the base Dems bash Rahm Emmanuel; the whole time all I can hear is “if only the cossacks weren’t misleading the Czar…”

    Well my friends, as Brad DeLong says, the cossacks work for the Czar.

  • The parallels with Dr. Zhivago are indeed fascinating.

  • DJ

    Note that many who share those “real grievances” voted for Obama, hoping for change that didn’t materialize. (And as for who has the guns, some Obama voters are heavily armed, too.)

    But your point is taken: the xenophobic content is largely spewed by would-be leaders stirring up the masses against a fictional enemy– a classic way to unify a movement. Coincidentally (?), this would also deflect momentum away from changing the status quo. At the moment, it looks like they’re jumping out front and making it a parade– many in the tea party camp don’t like the self-appointed leaders much.

    If the vacuum remains, xenophobes will be the only option. There’s an incredible opportunity for change here for someone willing to get out and do some grassroots work.