America is throwing another Tea party.

For those of you not aware of it, there is a grass-roots movement in America called the Tea party that in its two scant years of existence has become significantly influential. It is not as such a political party but rather a loose collection of diverse individuals. It seems to me that they represent a growing proportion of the electorate who don’t feel properly represented by the traditional political templates of the ‘Left’ or the ‘Right’.

Exactly when and where it started are hard to determine but initially it appears to have been a protest movement about the level of taxation on the ordinary person. The name harks back to the Boston Tea Party and is sometimes interpreted as an acronym for Taxed Enough Already but this looks to be a piece of reverse engineering. It’s no longer just about tax though.

It goes further than that. The majority of them think there is no discernible difference between the official policies on offer from either of the mainstream parties who supposedly represent these two political traditions. These are people drawn from both of those ideologies who are sick to death of being ignored and feel increasingly that their lives and liberty are being curtailed, inch by creeping inch, by a smug coterie of professional politicians whom they feel are only in the business of representing themselves and a delusional politically correct view of reality that they assume is somehow going to be good for ordinary people, even if it has to be imposed upon them against their will.

Mainstream policies seem irrelevant or in some cases, positively detrimental to their lives. Too many of these policies are directed at vanishingly small minorities and not the ordinary person.

They’ve got the same sort of detached and unresponsive professional politicians we have in Europe. In the UK, nearly all the leading politicians either come from very wealthy backgrounds or are millionaires in their own right. They’ve all had expensive private educations, finished off with more often than not, a spell at Oxbridge to make all the right social contacts. None of them appear to have held down meaningful jobs. Why should they? They’ve never needed the money. This retro demographic is a throwback to the nineteenth century, so if you needed the final proof that social mobility in the UK has ground to a halt in the last decade, that’s it. What the hell do people like that really know about people like us?

Having talked to some people active in the Tea party movement, their politics are really quite diverse but it seems to me the common message from them to politicians of any stripe is really quite simple – “Listen to me, just for once, listen to me”. Added to this, is their frustration that their concerns and views are not being represented by the main stream media (MSM) and are wilfully misrepresented on too many occasions.

The Tea party itself has been the target of smear after smear by a liberal MSM but as happens, it’s helped their numbers grow too.

In a high unemployment down swing in the economic cycle, a working man trying to support his family and seeing jobs disappearing to cheap immigrant labour, is entitled to raise his concerns about immigration levels without immediately being branded a racist and therefore smugly marginalised but that’s what’s happening. He feels he has no representation or a voice who will speak for him.

A parent has the reasonable expectation of sending their child to school to receive an education, not to be politically indoctrinated. Above all, they don’t want their children being taught that the culture they sprung from and are a part of, should somehow feel guilty for providing the decent standard of living to its people that other countries signally fail to do. Too much hard work and sacrifice has been rendered by previous generations to put their children and descendants in this better position in the world and that should be acknowledged and respected. It isn’t happening.

They tend to be people who work for a living, with their hands and with their heads and it’s all getting harder and harder for smaller and smaller returns. They’re the working stiffs who’re paying higher and higher taxes and not only adjusting to a lower standard of living but seeing those tax dollars wasted on madcap schemes or a permanent shiftless welfare class who in some cases, haven’t held down a job in five generations.

They’re people who have never before taken an active role in politics but are starting to see how things really work. It’s all low volume stuff; local meetings of a hundred or so attendees, persuading their friends and co-workers to turn out for the demo, getting a story into the local paper, dealing with a hostile MSM, setting up their own websites and getting people to actively express their dissatisfaction with the current politicians. 

They’re the men and women who make those juggling decisions every month between mortgage payments, rent, utility, heating bills, clothing and food. They’re the working mothers who really scrutinise the deals on food in their local mart and clip every one of those damn coupons. That little bit of rainy day money or the college fund for the promising kid just never gets bigger; it just gets dipped into to tide them over. It’s not that they want help from the government; it’s that they want the government and its petty officialdom off their backs and out of their lives.

They’re the ones who know how high crime really is in the streets and they also know if it happens to them, it’ll be the criminal who gets all the attention and free services, not them. They get to lose money they can’t afford because they’ll be off work recovering from injuries received. They don’t think there’s a debate over whether prison works or not because they know it keeps violent and criminal people off the streets for years at a time and that’s good enough for them. In their dumb and unenlightened way, it really “works” for them.

They no longer trust politicians in the mainstream. It’s a new sort of pluralism. If nobody will represent them, then they’ll do it for themselves. No party, Republican or Democrat, can be sure of their support because they aren’t endorsing either since they feel betrayed by both of them. What they’re doing is beginning to run their own candidates or on rare occasions, endorsing the campaigns of particular mainstream candidates who’re really listening to them.

Contrary to the way they’re portrayed by the MSM, they’re not gun-toting, white supremacist, Aryan Nation, born-again creationists of the extreme right-wing. There are elements of that stuff in the mix but it’s neither large nor significant. The disillusioned left is well represented as is the racial diversity of America. Working people all across America are hurting, irrespective of the colour of their ass. The biggest influx of people the movement got was about a year after Obama’s inauguration. All those first time voters and activists swept up in the heady enthusiasm of the “we can do it” campaign, realised at about that time how badly they’d been taken and what an empty vessel Obama truly was. A good slogan can get you elected but it’s what you do from then on that matters and he’s under delivered every time.

They didn’t all walk away, bitterly writing off any further involvement in politics as a waste of time; a lot of them migrated to the Tea party. They now have a taste for activist politics and they’re wising up fast.

Every man and his dog on Capitol Hill know that the Obama administration has been an unmitigated disaster. It’s become a classic dead man walking situation headed up by a one administration president who seems to be universally disliked or despised in equal measure. To be fair to the man, he’s been asked to handle a systemic banking crisis but with it, as with so many issues he’s supposed to have been tackling, the response has been abysmal. He talks the talk but he doesn’t rise to the challenges and he’s been found out. 

The problem for the Democratic Party is not winning next year’s presidential election, because barring divine intervention, that’s already lost and they know it. It’s the one after that which will be a nightmare to win. Four years of a Republican administration will give lots of time for the economy to recover. They’ll be up against an incumbent Republican president with control of both houses of congress and a simple campaign message. I saved America from the damage caused by an incompetent Obama and steered you back to prosperity. For any political strategist, that’s a hell of a tough nut to crack but that’s the one they’re working on.

For the Republican Party, next year’s election presents more subtle problems but they’re potentially just as dangerous as the Democrat’s ones. What if their traditional knee-jerk vote, whom they know already feel alienated from the party, migrates to the Tea party?

Will America go the UK route, where a sure-fire electoral victory, crippled by the dumbest electoral strategy in living memory, deteriorated into a stalemate. The voters would be damned if they’d cross the floor to vote for the opposition but at the same time they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the party they felt historically represented them because the policies were so alien to any reality outside the chic dinner party circuit of London?  They stayed away and abstained; after all, there were seemingly no other acceptable choices.

For once, maybe they won’t abstain and may start voting for a third way; for the independents of the Tea party who’ll represent them. For career politicians and the established parties, this is the real danger the Tea party represents. No more abstaining if your natural party of choice seems to be ignoring you, you can go Tea party because despite the picture painted of it by the MSM, there are a lot of rooms in that mansion.

There are two key questions; are they having an impact and will they continue growing?

Without a doubt, they are certainly having an effect on the new generation of politicians. Last year’s midterm election demonstrated that for all to see. The Republican Party’s new candidates all expressed their skepticism forcefully on global warming orthodoxy among other things and picked up a lot of votes because of it. The Democrats hardly mentioned global warming, even though their president was trying to push cap-and-trade through at the time. They knew it would lose votes. Interestingly, they hardly mentioned their leader in their campaigns either. It reminded me of actors who superstitiously never refer to Shakespeare’s play Macbeth by name because it’s tempting fate and bad luck, choosing instead to call it “the Scottish play”.

As to whether they’ll keep growing, I think that depends in part on the answer to the first question. If mainstream politics continues to ignore the concerns that are the raison d’etre for the movement in the first place, then it’ll inevitably get bigger and bigger. America has a long tradition of secession and I can’t see why the political arena would be somehow immune. There’s a chance we might see the birth of a third mainstream party in America but the political diversity within the movement would take some managing; difficult but not impossible.

That very diversity has shaped the selection of the issues being campaigned for on a state by state basis, pushing local ones to the fore. This is potentially a party that could be very responsive to local concerns while still retaining enough commonality to assemble agreed policies at a national level.

The other factor that will unquestionably contribute to its growth is the post-Obama administration’s necessity to get national debt back under control. This will involve savage cutbacks in federal funding, higher taxes and the flotation of a lot of government debt. For at least two years, the effects of these measures will make times hard for the ordinary person, so I think it will inevitably swell the Tea party numbers.

If, on the other hand, the mainstream parties of either persuasion start running with Tea party ideas, then while I can see it hanging around for a while, I don’t see it developing into a permanent feature of the political landscape. Bear in mind, that a shift towards Tea party policies by either the Republicans or the Democrats would be acceptable. So far, it seems to be the former party who are doing just that while the latter are hamstrung by party loyalty to a very unpopular president and his increasingly outdated policies. They have to hang on in and take it on the chin this side of the presidential election but after that, you can expect to see them jettisoning a lot of policies, green or otherwise, with abandon.

We’ll know in about two year’s time what will happen with the Tea party. Protest movements can morph into political parties or at least significant advocacy groups. Such initiatives have occurred in America before, notably with Ralph Nader and Ross Perrault. Both of these proto-parties died out; Nader’s because it was a single issue group that was eventually reabsorbed back into the Democrat Party and Perrault’s because it was really just a rich man’s attempt to do some back seat driving of the Republican Party. Both of these movements split the vote of the mainstream parties and Nader is still blamed by some Democrats for causing them to lose at least one presidential election.

America is an innovative culture and new ideas springing up there tend to start being echoed around the world after a spell of time. There are first signs of the equivalents to the Tea party idea appearing in other industrialised nations, most notably Australia.

There, on the other side of the Pacific, a popular protest movement is emerging over the Gillard administration’s proposal to introduce a Carbon tax despite her having promised not to do so in the recent election. Given how universal the revolt appears to be and the totally mixed demographics of its protesters, it’s beginning to look a bit like the start of an Australian Tea party with a touch of local Eureka Stockade anger over taxation.

When I read reports of unionised workers jeering Shop Stewards trying to convince them of the merits of a Carbon tax, I know some politicians are already beginning to see that curious little red blinking light just on the periphery of their vision; it’s called the career dissipation warning. We’ll see how that movement pans out too but rather sooner I think.

©Pointman

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Comments
13 Responses to “America is throwing another Tea party.”
  1. manonthemoor says:

    Very interesting and relevant piece, our politicians of any stripe no longer represent the taxpayers.

    The EPA big shots had a drubbing just last week in USA

    The EU is demanding a 4.8% increase in contributions, will Cameron stand and be counted?

    and this piece here:-
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/nosedive-moment-for-warm-mantra/story-e6frfifx-1226041787475

    describes the trouble headed for Joolia in Oz

    We have seen popular revolutions in the Middle East based upon unemployment, hunger and poor representation, we also have Greece, Portugal and Ireland headed on a one way trip to financial disaster, driven by the greed of the EU and their banks.

    I will be voting NO for AV because a permanent coalition situation I see as unacceptable — all probems will be caused by those others.

    As with the Middle East the power of the internet will prevail, the power of the MSM and the politicians is lost, the public are better informed and ahead of the game.

    History is being written, recorded on the internet with links, and we are part of it.

    motm

  2. mlpinaus says:

    Pointman , thank you. You have put together a nice summary of why I am soooo p*ssed off. Thought it was just a part of a natural decline into “grumpy old fart-dom”. Or as I said to ‘Swan, a natural fury. The Orange Roughy will be out in a year and a day after taking office, but she is not the real problem in Aus. The problem is that no-one speaks for me and mine…. Neither side of what passes for politics here seems to be capable of running a corner shop. Nor would they ever ASPIRE too….. beneath their bloody dignity …..
    regards
    Marcus

    • Blackswan says:

      G’day Marcus,

      I still love the “Orange Roughy” line and each day it is proving to be more apt …… LOL

      As for the “corner shop”, under our Govt policies they are fast being run out of business in favour of Multinational Corporate Monopolies. But you’re right – none of our Political Elite have probably ever signed a payroll cheque or manufactured anything to the betterment of our Trade and Industry. Myopic fools who can’t focus past the next election and their fat pensions.

  3. Blackswan says:

    Pointman

    I agree, an excellent overview of what ails Western Politics today and why hard-working taxpayers feel unrepresented in what purports to be our respective Democracies.

    You refer to politicians of all persuasions being hamstrung by ‘political correctness’. Those of us who are old enough, remember when and where this particular phrase came from. It was the Soviet Union and any of the citizenry imprudent enough to speak out against the policies of the Ruling Party could find themselves consigned to a remote gulag and probably members of their families as well.

    From my perspective, the common denominator in all of this is…… the United Nations. In a comparison I’ve used before (but I can’t think of a better one), the UN is like a giant octopus wrapped around the face of humanity.

    We were generally taught to believe that living in a Democracy meant we elected our community representatives to convene in a Parliament to debate issues, to legislate in the interests of law & order and to administer our affairs and our finances in the best interests of….. we, the people.

    Nobody elects our nations’ representatives to the United Nations. They are political appointees, usually Party hacks and apparatchiks who have served as useful tools to Party interests. Not a bad gig for services rendered – a most lucrative life lived in a style so far removed from the likes of we common folk as to be little short of obscene in its extravagance.

    It is from this coterie of characters, cloistered in its ivory towers, that we are handed down all manner of directives – from the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to the UNHCR determinations on what constitutes a ‘refugee’ to the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

    Who can argue against these theoretically worthy concepts of administering Human Affairs? Only those of us who are aware of how their insidious influence has, over decades, broken down law and order, seriously compromised family life and rendered sovereign borders invisible while whole cultures and populations are disenfranchised as the movement of people around the world ebbs and flows.

    And they are accountable to nobody. The level of graft and corruption from this ‘august’ Organisation has been breathtaking in its scope – from the apparent vaporisation of Trillions of dollars to the ultimate Fraud of Global Warming. All of this has had a trickle-down effect permeating every facet of every bureaucracy in every nation who are all now scrambling for their well-upholstered seat on the Gravy Train.

    It has been my experience that to challenge any of these UN-sourced Policies (around which the laws of our respective countries have been crafted) is to invite the reason/excuse/dismissal that “We are signatories to these UN Conventions/Treaties and there is nothing we can do about it”. Ergo, Nobody is Responsible and Nobody is Accountable.

    Little wonder that people have finally been roused from their complacent slumber when our very way of life and standard of living is under direct threat from all sides.

    They are yet to be made aware of the implications of the UN’s Climate Policies and their Agenda 21on ‘Sustainability’. Who will tell them? Certainly not their Political Representatives who are working feverishly in the face of imminent exposure to implement it and not the MSM who, if their journalistic hacks have even heard of it, are willing to tread on the toes of their political/corporate masters.

    Will Australia see the emergence of a Tea Party or even another Eureka Stockade? Time will tell, but Australians are (though many don’t quite realise it yet) a resilient people of ingenuity and backbone whose bullsh*t antennae are zinging with a ‘whats up with this picture?’ alarm.

    Anger and adrenalin are great drivers of change. We have been compliant and unquestioning for long enough. Our political representatives had better start coming up with some answers to the many questions now being fired at them as the people themselves begin to finally realise the true power they have to change the course of the affairs of our Nation.

  4. Blackswan says:

    G’day MOTM

    Great link of yours there to Andrew Bolt’s article. He’s right. For years now we were hard-pressed to count on the fingers of one hand how many journalists/broadcasters who actually challenged the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the Climate Hysterics. He’s has worked hard at it and deserves to chortle “I told you so”.

    He’s currently being prosecuted in the Federal Court for “racial vilification” in an action brought by a coven of fair-skinned, blonde blue-eyed, latte-sipping city activists who claim Aboriginal ancestry, in that he defamed them when he wrote an article stating that they didn’t represent the interests or opinions of ‘bush’ aborigines who are disadvantaged in so many ways. We await that outcome with interest.

    It was good to see the EPA bureaucrats gibbering under cross-examination wasn’t it?

    Glad you’re voting No to AV, as it was exactly this warped system of electoral distribution of “preferences’ that handed power in Australia to the Gangrene minority and a few so-called Independents. It is a cankerous system that completely skews and subverts the will of the majority.

  5. orkneylad says:

    A most excellent read Pointman.

    “the career dissipation warning”

    Indeed. 🙂

    Best,
    OL

  6. Blackswan says:

    Just when we thought we had all woken from sleep-walking through our lives, we get this………….

    The Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, the Reverend Niall Reid, said in his Easter message that climate change was the result of ”unsustainable, unfettered and unthinking addiction to economic growth”, and those who could not entertain a less destructive path were like those who sent Jesus to the Cross for expediency’s sake.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/church-leader-likens-inaction-on-climate-to-crucifying-christ-20110421-1dqlq.html

    This is the same Uniting Church who receives around $10 million to run and administer Sydney’s “Safe Injecting Rooms” where heroin addicts and others can go and ‘shoot-up’ courtesy of the taxpayer. Police are forbidden to operate in the precinct as they would “deter clients from attending”, and any passer-by in Kings Cross can watch the vulture drug dealers doing deals in the neighbourhood free from any nosey Officers of the Law.

    Syringes, swabs and saline are also handed out freely; even given in bulk to dealers on the theory that it’s “safer” for dealers to provide such ‘accessories’ to their trade.

    Seems to me this Reid character’s own ”unsustainable, unfettered and unthinking addiction to economic growth” bears a little scrutiny itself.

    Unusually for this swan, words have finally failed me.

    • mlpinaus says:

      Swan, when all else fails, there is SOMA…. comes in various forms at this time…. football, AFL, rugby….
      a play at the play house, the national brass band championships…. go read a book… go to the art gallery…. take a serious look at a bottle of single malt… go fly yourself down the coast……… Talk to ones with a similar affliction….thought. The fuckers just grind you down, when really their true importance is best marked with a short, sharp fart….
      regards
      Marcus

      • Blackswan says:

        G’day Marcus,

        All splendid suggestions……. and I heartily endorse your conclusions. Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend.

        Cheers.

  7. Blackswan says:

    25th April 2011, ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day Australia and the 96th anniversary of the WW1 landing on Gallipoli against the Turkish Army.

    Another “coalition of the willing” in defense of the Empire.

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI*

    “Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well” – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

    Lest we forget.

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