Monday, May 26, 2014

Everybody's After the Tea Party

What started out as an American tax revolt by conservatives has, through the good graces of the mainstream media, Democrat, Republican, far right and far left propagandists, become the whipping boy of every political power and would-be power out there. As a self-identified member of the Tea Party, I feel rather like the folk at the Alamo - surrounded and outnumbered.

  • On the one hand the Democrats and the loony left-wing piled on with a boost wherever possible from their allies in the mainstream media calling us right-wing kooks.
  • Next came the radical, Ron Paul right complete with conspiracy theories and a holier-than-thou attitude to complain we weren't real conservatives and make us look like right-wing kooks.
  • Then came the Republican establishment who were terrified that a resurgence of conservatism might endanger their long and largely unsuccessful attempt to win elections and accumulate power by staking out the middle.
I've always like the avuncular, country sort of folk who showed up for Tea Party rallies. They don't mind pushing back when outsiders try to co-opt what has proven to be the most resilient grassroots movement in recent political history.

The Tea Party gets accused of being beholden to some mythical corporate fat cats who are duping us all into supporting crony capitalism. Meanwhile the corporate fat cats are disturbed because they don't seem to be able to find a way to co-opt the Tea Party for their own purposes. With a movement like the Tea Party which has a few self-proclaimed organizations, no political structure to speak of, you can hardly blame either fat-cat corporations or fat-cat political organizations for being frustrated. Unlike most political machines, one has a great deal of difficulty finding out where to insert the money with this bunch.

I've been accused of being in the pay of some guys called the Koch brothers because I belong to the Tea Party. I don't know the Koch brothers and if I'm getting paid to write conservative weblogs for them, I need to figure out where to go to pick up my check.

Now if I wanted to work for the hard left, I could go to Craigslist or a couple of nonprofit jobs sites I know and there are hundreds of paid "grassroots" organizing jobs I could get working for the left. If I didn't mind living in a ratty, commune somewhere I could work for the scary libertarian or scary liberal faction and get some of my bills paid. But so far, I've never been paid for going to any rallies, writing blogs or passing out handbills in support of Tea Party events or activities.

It's that quality of being unorganized, self-identified and not-beholden-to-anyone-with-money quality that troubles the powers-that-wannabe. They don't like loose cannons like the Tea Party.

I love being a loose cannon.
In the days of fighting sailing ships, if you were a loose cannon, people on board the ship had to pay attention to you, lest you crash through the deck and knock a whole in the bottom of the boat or roll over someone important in the crew.

Personally, I think the Tea Party is doing a valuable service to the political process, rolling around all out of control, if only to rattle the folk who are sailing this ship of ours off into the rather nasty-looking storm over there on the horizon.

Just sayin'

© 2014 by Tom King

1 comment:

Mark Milliorn said...

Extreme critics of any political party astonish me regularly. How can such a person claim to love America when they so clearly hate Americans?