The Tea Party, the debt ceiling, and white Southern extremism
The goal, methods and passions of the Tea Party in the House are all characteristic of the radical Southern right
BY MICHAEL LIND

The Tea Party movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American patriots dumped British tea into Boston Harbor to protest British imperial power. But while New England was the center of resistance to the British empire, there are few New Englanders to be found in today’s Tea Party movement. It should be called the Fort Sumter movement, after the Southern attack on the federal garrison in Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12-13, 1861, that began the Civil War. Today’s Tea Party movement is merely the latest of a series of attacks on American democracy by the white Southern minority, which for more than two centuries has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage or, in the case of the Civil War, destroy American democracy in order to get their way.


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2 Comments to “The South DID rise again – and it’s called (misleadingly) the “Tea Party””

  • Unfortunately many individual agendas come out of a newish movement. I joined the Tea Party in Wa. st. for 2 reasons: lower taxes, smaller government. I hear stories about the party all over the US both good and bad. How is that different than any other party. I know that the two BIG parties are indeed threatened by the Tea Party. When children are threatened and can’t be mature then they start to sling mud. Yes there are bad apples in all the parties. Some of us just want to get rid of the establishment that is selling us out for the good of the globalist elites. I would love to see the American citizens band together and topple those globalists and stop bickering with ourselves over individual ideals. That’s including everyone in all parties. There is a much bigger problem before us.

  • Agreed, “there is a much bigger problem before us,” and every day we fail to address that bigger problem, we lose.

    America is pluralistic and a hopefully free society that welcomes new ideas and commitments as with the Tea Party. The debate over the size of government and lower taxes is a good one to always have.

    Yet, many perceive the tea party to be corporate supported, i.e. Americans for Prosperity or Freedom Works and worse, Koch.

    There are unappealing national political figures who seemed to have co-opted some part of the Tea Party, the leader of the tea party caucus comes to mind.

    Ideology – economics – most on the left believe jobs to be the biggest issue undermining american prosperity. How to get to full employment is one of the most polarizing issues being debated. In short, if consumers do not have the $ to spend, lack of demand is keeping businesses from spending, who (temporarily) primes the economy? or Friedman v. Keynes.

    Ideology – government – no one on the left likes “big intrusive government,” the War on Drugs is a classic example. Yet, the idea of business self regulating for the benefit of profit and trickle down, is highly disturbing in particular when it comes to jobs, the environment, health and public safety.

    Legislation – to many on the left, the recent debt ceiling crisis showed the tea party in its true colors: inspired by anti-government and unwilling to compromise.

    Ideology – spending, those on the left may not necessarily agree with no new taxes and spending but at least the battle lines are clearly drawn here. Nevertheless, defense spending is never on the table. Many on the left are not convinced that the current defense budget equates with safety and are appalled by our current foreign policy.

    The Tea Party offers great potential for debate when it comes to a working, successful policy for the US. With debate comes compromise which leads to majority rule (not tyranny by majority). If, in the coming months, there is good, positive debate where both sides are working towards the interest of the majority (not the charade just put on by Obama and Boehner and others), then there will be mutual respect and progress.

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