Thursday, September 16, 2010

That's Threat with a Tea

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
--The Who

Months back we posited that, if the Tea Party movement got legs, then it would increasingly be viewed as a threat by both the Left and Right. This appears to be playing out.

As victories in primary elections by TP centric candidates pile up, not only has the Left escalated its propaganda campaign against the movement, but the Right has been distancing itself from some candidates, and is now publicly fretting about party in-fighting and dilution of voting power.

Both sides (correctly) sense poor fit between Tea Party philosophy and political machine custom. The Tea Party's core values of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government align with neither the Left or Right. TP tenets challenge the existence of the political Establishment.

To the Establishment, TP candidates appear awkward and unorthodox, which often leaves them open to ridicule by elitists. Most have not been trained as professional politicians. Many hail from Main Street backgrounds. They appear driven more by reluctant "if I don't do something, then we may not make it" motives rather than by political ambition.

As we observed months back, the Tea Party movement is a social movement. It surely has political consequences, but the basis for the TP movement is social power rather than political power. Social power is the network of voluntary interactions that produce relative abundance from nature's condition of relative scarcity. People freely engaging in exchange to improve their standards of living.

Political power, on the other hand, seeks to acquire wealth via non-economic means. The mechanism for political power is the State, which is constantly seeking to repress social power--cripple it, tax it, loot it, etc. Rather than free and voluntary exchange, political power enlists the State's as its agent to appropriate resources by coercive force.

The Tea Party movement seeks to dismantle the State, which threatens all who amass wealth by political means. It should be no wonder, then, why this movement is opposed by all of those who benefit from operations of the Establishment.


dgeorge12358 said...

Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
~Ronald Reagan

fordmw said...

nice one...

Katie said...

Matt, I have to say that your ideologically pure Tea Party is in actuality a SIG with lots of corn.

Katie said...

I don't think they really want to dismantle the state, Matt. It's the same old political activists who want to grab the power and they have crafted a message that resonates with voters right now.

I think the worst thing that can happen to the tea party is for any of them to be elected, because then they become a part of the system that they purport to rail against.

Look at Scott Brown, supposedly the first Tea Party success. He's probably more liberal than our Ohio Democrats and he voted for the increased government oversight that will come with the financial reform bill.

It's like that Reagan quote... he might have said something popular here, but look at who he was! Known as one of the greatest politicians of all time. Do you really believe that he never engaged in anything impure to become the leader of the free world?

Katie said...

The Tea Party Express claims to be the largest group -- they are the ones who travel the country and have Sarah Palin and others as their speaker. They are the ones who sponsored the Cinti event with the Hannity snafu. They were a project started by a PAC - not a grass roots movement.

I'm sure you'll argue that they are capitalizing or co-opting something grass roots, but I contend that this is the face of the tea party. Not because of the media, but because of the thousands of people who turn out for their rallies and support their causes.

fordmw said...

Nice observation. Sad to ponder freedom necessitating a special interest group.

Not sure how far $1m goes on K Street...

Katie said...

Really Matt, you'll have to end up a cynic like me, knowing that nothing is really pure once it comes into contact with power. Depressing maybe, but once you accept it it's liberating. :)

fordmw said...

Power structure of the state needs to come down or it will likely be the end of us.

Political power vs social power.