Tag Archive for ‘Tea Party’
Before the Tea Party philosophy is ever even tested in America, it will have succeeded, or it will have failed, in Great Britain. For in David Cameron the Brits have a prime minister who can fairly be described as a Tea Party Tory.
To the Republican establishment, tea party people are field hands. Their labors are to be recognized and rewarded, but they are to stay off the porch and not presume to sit at the master’s table.
Tea Party candidates–or at least candidates with support from Sarah Palin and/or Jim Demint–continue to knock off “establishment” Republicans. Party hacks are disturbed: These aspiring populist leaders are unseasoned and will go down in defeat against the Democrats. Why can’t we all just get along?
Last Saturday, Glenn Beck packed the Mall with a crowd that could have filled Yankee Stadium to overflowing five times over. As it stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, the estimates of its size ran to half a million.
Over the last year, many of the grassroots protesters from a decade ago have once again pinned tea bags to their shirts. Their anger is still aimed at a federal leviathan that holds far too much control over the lives and livelihood of the citizens of the Forest City. But today, there are no taxes they can legally protest, and no local politicians they can support in an attempt to rein in federal power.
The Tea Party, whatever its influence at present and no matter what its future may be, probably has less importance as a political agent than as a sign of the times, and perhaps even a bellwether. Something in America has changed since the election and inauguration of President Barack Obama, and the Tea Party is a symptom of that change.
Authentic conservatives and their libertarian allies have long been a small minority in a larger movement that, for the most part, rejected their radical critique of the managerial state. The “paleos” were singled out for attack by the neoconservatives, that exotic sect of ex-leftists prophetically described by Russell Kirk as “this little Sacred Band—which had made itself exclusive, and now finds itself excluded.”
The July 2010 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Thomas Fleming on populism, then and now; W. James Antle III on the good and bad of the Tea Party movement; and Chilton Williamson, Jr., on the Great American Mob. Plus, R. Cort Kirkwood on Islamic donations to Democratic coffers.
Rand Paul is the epitome of the Tea Party movement. By all accounts he is a good man who believes what he is saying. Unfortunately, he does not know what he is saying. His knee-jerk repetition of libertarian platitudes, while it does not constitute anything like a coherent or principled political philosophy or ideology, will get him into trouble repeatedly.
Sam Francis has been dead these five years, almost to the day as I write, and so it is possible that his newspaper columns, essays, and books—perhaps even his name—are unknown to the latest generation of American conservatives, including those who have followed the rise of the Tea Party movement over the past year and witnessed the unprecedented descent of the late Edward Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate to a hitherto unknown Republican state senator named Scott Brown.