Dear Readers: Continuing with a review of Tea Party (past, present, and future), I offer the next installment of my Operation Steadfast series. Before I begin – a big thanks to Mark Meckler for his kind mention of one of my earlier series entries (Thinking about Tea Party Progress)!
As a reminder, the basis of this series is a discussion I had with Shrine friend, Patriot76. Inspired by KT of the Scratching Post, I offer this as my theme graphic of today:
Patriot76: So the Tea Party organizers became the leaders because they organized the event?
It was a combination of factors: The experience organizing, the time they volunteered, their natural charisma, their ability to do media well. The more they could organize, the more of a leadership role they played.
However, there is only one true Tea Party Leader.
I kid. The real answer resides in “The Starfish and the Spider”: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. There is none, if a group is honest and fully non-partisan. Essentially, a tea party group naturally coalesces around issues that are important to them and candidates who express their values. There do not need to be issued policy statements.
Patriot76: And then local TP organizations gravitated toward one another to form larger TP groups?
Yes and no. I think the first year, people were inspired to go big, like the Washington DC Tea Party. But, over time, I think individual Tea Party groups are returning to state and local focus – and I personally think this is better and more sustainable.
But I fear a lot of Americans are returning to the pre-Tea Party days: Donate a few dollars to a national group, write a few comments on a favorite blog site, and be done. If we want working Constitutional Republic, we all have to pitch in and become more involved.
Interestingly, Newt Gingrich’s win in South Carolina has alleviated some of my concerns. With the conclusion of 3 primaries with 3 different victors, I sense each state and local region is vetting and assessing each candidate based on their concerns — and they are not heeding the top-down policy dictates of the Washington DC crowd.
I also like the fact that the primary season will be extended, so that Team Obama can’t target one specific person for the full media Monty. As a former Obama campaign staffer is currently under arrest for the identity theft of a Republican Secretary of State, hoping to undermine the GOP’s hold in this office, there is no level too low for Team Obama to stoop. For a walk down memory lane for further proof, check HillBuzz and Hillary is 44.
As I said: I have no dog in this GOP primary fight. I also think that whoever is nominated by the GOP will have a real battle ahead, and that Tea Party members will often be more jazzed when supporting House and Senate candidates during Operation Counterweight. It is because all of the candidates from both sides suffer from an elite perspective. A great essay I came across explains this further: The New American Divide by Charles Murray.
People are starting to notice the great divide. The tea party sees the aloofness in a political elite that thinks it knows best and orders the rest of America to fall in line. The Occupy movement sees it in an economic elite that lives in mansions and flies on private jets. Each is right about an aspect of the problem, but that problem is more pervasive than either political or economic inequality. What we now face is a problem of cultural inequality.
One last thing to note: Local Democrat Congressman Bob Filner has been busy killing American energy independence. How? He is part of a team of Democrats proposing ‘Reasonable Profits Board’ to control oil company profits. Considering that a gallon of beer costs more than a gallon of gas, the fact that there are many more kinds of businesses (e.g., film industry) that have higher levels of profits, and the outcry of the public regarding the killing of the Keystone project, I am wondering exactly what level of profits will be deemed reasonable and how this policy would be implemented.
I must admit, I am open to changing my mind. If Filner proposes this Windfall Profits punishment for Hollywood, the music business, and the fashion industry, I could get in board with this scheme.
Perhaps Filner and his buddies should get back to working on their primary task: Creating a budget for this country.