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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Tea Parties Vs the Minuteman

I've been struggling to explain this political conundrum. The Minutemen were a group of largely conservative activists that rebeled against a government policy. The Minutemen were effectively marginalized by their opponents and turned into extremists and racists.

The Tea Parties were largely started for the same purpose. They were also demonized by their opponents with similar invectives.

Yet, the Minutemen were marginalized whereas the Tea Parties used the mockery of their opponents to their advantage. I'm still not exactly sure what the difference is in the dynamics of the two. My cohort, the Soccer Dad, had an interesting take. The Minutemen were largely rebeling against the Republican party they weren't seen as outsiders.

I also believe that in fact it turns out that fiscal conservatism is much less polarizing than illegal immigration. At the root of the Tea Party movement is fiscal conservatism. All other stances, strict constitutional adherence, government restraint, etc., are rooted in fiscal conservatism. Fiscal conservatism is a concept that crosses ideologies and demographics. The Tea Parties have found their issue.

In that way, they're very much in the mold of Saul Alinsky. Alinsky organized around concepts that would attract the maximum number of people: judicial reform, access to health care, equal access to education, access to housing, and access to healthy food. Those are concepts everyone would get behind. In the same way, the Tea Parties have gotten behind a broad message, fiscal conservatism, that everyone can get behind. That's why they've thrived whereas the Minutemen, pushing anti illegal immigration (a devisive message) did not.


AG said...

Oregon voters today approved increases in the corporate tax rate and top income tax rate.

Three cheers for fiscal conservatism!

tulasi said...

I am not convinced that the root of the so called "tea party movement" is the concern over fiscal conservatism. Our national debt has been ballooning for the past decade. Was there a tea party movement in the streets when a white guy was wracking up debt? Why NOW and how does the tea party movement propose to fix the problems at hand. They do not give off the impression that they are a bunch of level headed, thoughtful political activists, but a group of inflamed reactionaries whose goal is to destroy the foundations of our government. It takes more than an angry mob and offensive signs to bring about progress!

mike volpe said...

The same tired and dumb argument. Critical mass isn't reached until things get out of control. There's a massive difference between Bush's deficits and Obama's and that's why a movement was formed after Obama's spending and not Bush's.

tulasi said...

Yes, there is a difference- in numbers- 8 trillion vs. 2 trillion- what are the other differences? Notice the interrogative cues. It's a question, not an argument- Perhaps people are tired of having to answer it? Well, that's no excuse. "Why NOW???" People must have the courage to be frank and state their principles...assuming they have them. Fiscal conservatism is a fine goal, but ignoring our history as a nation and where we have come to since the Boston Tea party is NOT the way to fix our national debt. Nor is demonizing the President. Racism is our albatross and its mighty embarrassing.

mike volpe said...

I'm not sure your point. I'm really not. Again, when spending goes out of control, the party is voted out. That's what happened to Republicans in 2006-2008.

Then, Obama pushed the deficit above $1 trillion and it reached critical mass. To reach critical mass things don't need to be bad but totally out of control. That's what happened. Yet, you continue to insinuate that this is all just racists. Nonsense.

tulasi said...

OK, so people are angry because of Deficit spending and NOT the 10 trillion plus national debt...doesn't sound like fiscal conservatism. Let's presume that racism has nothing to do with the tea party movement.

Lack of understanding is neither excusable or reasonable. It's a cop-out.

The United States and the world have evolved into a far more complex system than what was in place in the 18th century. Increasing deficit spending was not invented by this administration. Since the advent of the Keynesian economics, the welfare state has prevailed, and it has brought about prosperity to the commonwealth. Indeed, spending has gotten out of hand, however, one MUST recognize that this is a multifaceted problem with many roots. Lack of investment in infrastructure and technology development, unbridled tax cuts coupled with unbridled spending and lack of investment in social welfare- all of these have contributed to the financial crisis we are in now.
Are you to propose that deficit spending on war is good, but on social welfare is wrong? If so, why?
Having read through the Tea Party website, where there is a curious and nonsensical combination of bible quotes with the Constitution of the United States. This is counterproductive and it alienates reasonable people. I bought Ron Paul's latest book End the Fed and the facts and opinions he presents in his level headed fashion do not resemble the so called "tea party" movement.

If the movement does not want to be regarded as racist, than it should take great pains to change this image- out of respect for its own alleged cause.

mike volpe said...

I think people are upset about both. I don't think anyone has said that he invented deficit spending. Like I said, the deficits under Obama are extraordinary. The tea parties see this as a massive government expansion. You are basically sayhing that tens of millions are secretly racist and using the extraordinary deficit as an excuse and you have no evidence of that.

This was a spontaneous movement started by Santelli's rant. Are you saying millions of racists jumped on the bandwagon of that rant? So, you seem to not have many facts beyond a lot of conjecture.