Day By Day

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Relatively Sane Look At the Tea Parties

John Judis, writing in the New Republic, identifies four "myths" being promulgated in the MSM about the Tea Parties.

1. The Tea Party is not, as many MSM commentators would argue, a coherent movement. To call it such is to impose [and this is an important insight into elite thinking] "continental European" categories onto what is a quintessentially American phenomenon.

2. The Tea Party is not, as the Left claims, "fascist" in any way. Fascists seek to deny civil liberties, the Tea Party promotes them. Fascists are violent, the Tea Party is not. Etc. Again Judis makes the important observation that elite comment reveals a continental European mindset that is inappropriately applied to America. Moreover, he makes another pertinent point -- to the extent that it looks toward the past it is an American past, which was relatively respectful of individual freedom, rather than toward a European past which was repressive. I don't agree with his view that the Tea Party is reactionary -- progressives always identify their critics as being reactionary -- but his point about the American past is spot on.

3. The Tea Party is not, as Leftists charge, racist. It stands for solid middle-class values and resents those who ostentatiously spurn them. That includes many non-whites, but also  Wall Street moneymen, academics, Hollywood celebrities, etc. The resentments are class-based, not racist.

4, The Tea Party is not, as some Democrat hacks have claimed, a creation of the Republican Party or of Big Business. The Republicans and business interests are likely to benefit from the Tea Party's emergence, but they certainly did not create it nor do they control it.

A provocative and interesting take -- one of the best I have seen from a progressive writer. Check it out here.

No comments: