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Where There’s Tea There’s Hope

April 16, 2009

The left is jealous. They begrudge the success of the ‘tea parties’ taking place all over the country. They ask themselves how it is possible that after decades of specialising in, planning, training and practicing of organised protests it is now the other side that’s successfully gathering people for demonstrations in hundreds of places all over the country? And worst of all: theirs is the real thing! It’s spontaneous and it’s a grass-roots movement and it’s not even violent.

It is a part of left-wing culture to figure out ways of rousing social dissatisfaction and use it to pressure government into handing out goodies (Alinsky anyone? You, peut-être, Monsieur Obama?) and it is a fact that over the years those ‘movements’ have become well-funded and organised to the extend that the left has a host of professionals or semi-professionals who are specialised in political grass-roots-yeah-right activism and who receive funding from big-name-and-deep-pockets liberals and even taxpayers’ money through Congress (Acorn being the most prominent example.)

But the tea-party participants are not following orders given in text messages from the ‘Obama Action Wire‘ as have those who have flooded a Chicago radio station with threatening phone calls and e-mails in order prevent the broadcasting of interviews with David Freddoso and Stanley Kurtz respectively because they were – hold on to your edition of ‘Dreams of My Father’ – critical of The Great Obama. And while the mainstream media first tried to ignore and now tries to make fun of the tea parties, they should be aware that they themselves have lost all credibility they might have had left and have proven themselves unworthy of the great responsibility that media outlets have through their shamelessly biased reporting during the 2008 presidential campaign. Which is why you are more likely to get accurate reporting of what is going on at those tea parties from places like Pajamas Media than from CNN.

There is another striking difference between the tea party protests and the typical left-wing demonstration. The core demand of the former is that government decreases, while the latter virtually always wants more government. The call for lower taxes is equivalent to a call for the reduction of – or at least a halt to the expansion of – government and asks for citizens to be allowed to keep more of their own money rather than having to hand it over for redistribution. Left-wing demonstrators, in contrast, typically want more government intervention and/or goodies which is equivalent to asking for more taxes since all of those public actions have to get funded. In short, the tea parties protest the redistribution of power from the individual to the state. The left typically protests in favour of turning individual liberty over to the government.

No wonder that Democrats are trying to denounce the ‘tea parties’ as ‘fake’ and claim that participants at these protests have been summoned by millionaire right-wingers and other evils like Fox News. It is the typical lefty strategy to try and deny the legitimacy of the opposition rather than dealing with the arguments made. The left is attacking – probably instinctively – just at the right spot: it is precisely the fact that the tea parties are grassroots events in the sense that they have been organised by ‘ordinary Americans’ who are usually not the type to go on political demonstrations that makes these events so remarkable. When the silent majority is not so silent anymore you know you’re heading into the wrong direction.

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