Friday, November 26, 2010

About That Tea Party Longevity...

Think It's Got Legs?
Is the Tea Party movement dead, or dying? Some have said as much, but thus far there has been no evidence to back up such claims. There was a lot of bluster by terminal politicians leading up to the mid-term elections to that effect, but such false bravado was akin to a bludgeoning victim screaming, "That didn't hurt", as each blow drains a bit more of his life.

After the Democrats suffered their own figurative bludgeoning in the elections, Rep, Boyd Brown (D-S.C.) told an audience of high schoolers that the Tea Party was a "fad", and that he thought it would "go away". Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York City also labelled the movement a fad. And leading up to the mid-terms a year out, soon-to-be-former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi audaciously condemned the Tea Party as an "AstroTurf" movement.

It was a curious statement at the time, but one that recently has me pondering a few questions regarding its validity. Does AstroTurf have roots? After all, Madam Pelosi's comment was designed to cut into the credibility of the movement, suggesting that it was not of the revered family of "grass roots" efforts, but rather more of a machine of wealthy Conservative zealots, controlling the stupid masses through talk radio.

 Is it ever necessary to mow AstroTurf? Any sports fan would know that the very idea of AstroTurf was borne of maintenance needs. Stadiums that hosted multiple home teams, for example, were spending vast amounts of money on seeds and labor to keep up the pristine appearances in heavy traffic. Yet, the Left  has been on a continuous crusade to cut down the Tea Party, "fake grass" movement. Odd.

Finally, does AstroTurf have spores that can be spread aloft in the trade winds, carrying them to germinate and grow in distant lands? From what we already know about the product, the obvious answer would be "no". And yet, we learn now that the Tea Party movement is not restrained to the shores of the United States, at least not any longer.

Anyone who has been a regular reader of mine is well acquainted with my affinity for the ironic, and this latest development fits the bill quite nicely. While the Left has been urgently trying to declare a time of death for the Tea Party movement, it must be noted that it never really died in the first place; it merely lay in a dormant state for a few centuries. It was started originally as a protest against King George of England over his crippling taxes and finally spilled over (pardon the pun) into Boston Harbor in the eighteenth century. Here's where the irony comes into play.

FOX News is reporting that the Tea Party movement has taken (root?) in...England! While we certainly harbor (apologies again) no ill will over the original motivation for the Tea Party idea, it is still rather delicious that the people from our former reason to protest have now joined the band. On a more serious note, what this says about the entire notion is telling.

The Tea Party ideals have been with us for as long as we've drawn breath, embedded in our souls and always with us. We've just neglected them as we've progressed, feeling secure in our various degrees of personal success and concentrating our efforts on our own improvement. It wasn't until our own government began to actively impede that progress that we finally pulled them out of storage. Those on the Left, opposed to personal liberty and responsibility, might refer to this as having opened Pandora's Box. I prefer to think that the Beast has been released.

How big and how bad is this beast? Well, so far it has demonstrated a powerful yet peaceful method, and that is good. What's important to realize, however, is that this is no longer an anomaly here in the U.S., but something based on a principle that knows no boundaries, and one that Ronald Reagan articulated quite well. Freedom is the natural state of Man, and something which cannot be bestowed by other men.

We know it, and now so do the Brits. Anyone else want some? Hey, let's do tea!

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