Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tea Party: Populism without Principle

One cannot help but stand and cheer the efforts of the Tea Party crowd.  In fact, the title above is likely wrong, there are principles at work behind the movement.  It is the common sense of "old men and simple preachers" that I recently wrote about. We must however admit that the Tea Party Movement is a populist movement and we must be honest about what they means, in terms of past populist movements and in terms of the potential of such endeavors.

I find it particularly distressing that this movement got off the ground without any apparent philosophical underpinnings.  Without such an anchor what is a movement to stand for and how is it to defend against charlatans and demagogues? 

Having accepted that I am an elitist, meaning I have little faith in the masses to stay the course even when they know the correct general direction, I worry that at the end of the day this will ultimately be much to do about nothing.

And why on earth would three Tea Party candidates stand to run against Ron Paul and the seat he holds.  It seems that an ideal two party system would consist of Tea Party type conservatives on one ticket and Ron Paul type libertarians on another but that would be an idealized line-up for some distant future.  Not now, now seems the time to stand together against something of greater evil.  It seems not the time to split-hairs.

The Tea Party is currently drawing on the mass inertia power of the ordinary man and his keen common-sense.  The regular Americans know something is not right.  I would rather see leaders with a philosophical backing standing before them instead of what I fear in many cases as opportunist politicians.

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