Monday, May 16, 2011

My theory on the future of Tea Party

This is my theory, or more accurately, educated guess about the future of the Tea Party and the antiwar left. First, we must assume an obvious fact--There are only two possible scenarios in the election. Either Obama wins reelection or a Republican candidate taking over the presidency.

Scenario 2 will mean the end of the Tea Party. They will be absorbed into the Republican party, as the Populists in the late 19th century/ early 20th century were ultimately preempted by William Jennings and the Democratic Party . In 2013 there will be no (supposed) anti-American leftist Democrat in the White House. Without Obama's presence, there is no longer much motivation for the Tea Party to continue to organize and protest. So, ironically, a Republican victory will end the movement as we know it.

A political pundit more sympathetic to their cause than me might argue that they would continue as a protest movement under a big spending Republican. The history of American politics in the 21st century says otherwise--there were no protests of No Child Left Behind, the Medicare prescription bill, or any other of the many big-government legislation passed during the Bush administration. The national debt did not bother them until January 2009. It is unlikely they will be much of a force in American politics after a Republican President takes over in 2013.

In Scenario 1, the Tea Party still has a reason to keep protesting, with a Democrat in office. So, ironically, the continued existence of the Tea Party is dependent on the reelection of a President they despise.

So, yes, the Tea Party is guilty of partisan bias. But, to be fair, there is just as much hypocrisy on the left. The antiwar left faces the exact opposite position. They've been fairly quiet during the wars and militarism of the Obama administration, not wanting to criticize a "progressive" (as they see it) Democrat. Obama's reelection will keep them on the sidelines for another 4 years. Their continued relevance is now dependent on the victory of the Republican candidate, a party that they despise.

I've quoted the brilliant scientist Neil Tyson before and will do so again: "There's hot air on both ends of the spectrum." That statment is basically all a novice needs to know about politics. The rest is a footnote.

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