Friday, August 06, 2010

What the tea party gets right

Financial Times:

“‘Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Healthcare is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.’”

If the people who believe this stuff can get sufficiently organized to push their representatives to the right of corporate America, what's our excuse?

You can't congratulate yourself merely for having a rational view of the world: the point is to change it.


fwoan said...

I think the media's infatuation with the movement has given it the impetus to organize to the extent that it has. If the media had ignored it, as any organization of the left is (unless it is denounced), then its organization would never have materialized, I believe.

fwoan said...

I reflected on this hypothesis last night while at a friend's house and I'd like to amend my first comment. I'm not even sure that the media attention they receive caused them to organize but that a certain level of organization has been forced onto them by their donors. With money from large corporate funded organizations like Freedom Works, their organization depends on being able to push a certain narrative and so a level of organization is demanded. It just so happens that the same companies who run Freedom Works have assets in media outlets (like Fox News) to make sure of maximum exposure.

These Tea Party people are so confused and misinformed that managing something of this size and maintaining the same world-view isn't within their abilities - if not for a level of control from outside. We see their inability to command their organizations with the stories out of Maine and California.

fledermaus said...

Fwo makes a good point. Also precisely because their ideas are incoherent that they need middlemen like fox news and its minions to explain it all to the courtiers in dc

but in the end it won't amount to much. They stand around waiving copys of the constitution ranting about socialism like an annoying 3rd grade little leager who just discovered the infield fly rule

JRB said...

I reflected on fwoan's first comment a good deal myself. It hits on media significance in an intuitive way.

And I agree with fwoan's follow-up conclusions: portions of corporate media act structurally to push politics to the right of capital (while other portions react by saying "these people are nuts"). I think it comes from the need for capital to appeal to the very communities it destroys, drawing them into a shared fear of "overreaching government" as an alternative to people finding a villain in overreaching capital.

I still like to pose the question of What's our excuse? to all the rationally-minded and otherwise capable individuals -- even well-funded lies are vulnerable to a little truth! But we have to be able to talk to people in a civil way if we want to deliver it effectively.

fwoan said...

JRB, you're right. The Left is so splintered that it seems disheartening sometimes.

Anonymous said...

The likelihood that our American social threats come from teabaggers, Palinophiles or Coulter-hanger-onners ... less than 5%

The likelihood that America's fascism will be delivered by Meritocratic meliorist Democrats who apologize for offending Herrn Gibbs and Der Oberfuhrer Obama ... more like 95%

The threat alive now is from the putative "left", not the "right."

This is seen by tracking Obama's campaign, his promises, and his reversals of those promises as policy and practice.

Everyone knows what the GOP does, we all just lived through 8 years of it.

The trick is to get the Dem-faithful to realize their "boys" are just like the GOP.

So, focusing fear hatred disapproval disgust antipathy toward and on the GOP ... counter-productive.

As I see things, anyway.

JRB said...

Refreshing as usual, Charles F.

DPirate said...

Left may be left and right may be right but people are a continuum. To talk of the right being focused and the left being splintered is only true insomuch as the left values tolerance where the right values conformity.

JRB said...

I can dig it, DP.