It has been interesting to listen to the usual talking heads, leftist commentators, and misinformed bloggers critique and condemn the Tea Party movement. As I've noted before, I've never attended a TP meeting, nor am I a "member", though I do subscribe to many of their philosophical principles. Those criticizing and condemning the movement generally fall into one of two categories:
- They are embarrassingly ignorant of the movement's genesis and true make up. (Without excuse, I might add.)
- They are political hacks who are intentionally misleading others for political gain.
I believe most informed Americans understand this and, due to the fact that the mainstream media no longer controls the flow of information, most of us don't open wide and swallow when the predictable, rehearsed conformity of propaganda begins to flow. Much of the credit for a more informed American public goes to the explosion of new media outlets - the internet and alternate news/information outlets like talk radio and Fox. Talking heads like Glenn Beck - a frequent target of criticism from those on the left - who are actually learning and teaching American history are passing on what they learn to a huge audience. And this is having a huge impact. Yes, I know, Beck doesn't always get some of the finer details of history correct. But, as I've pointed out before, even the pros in academia and publishing make mistakes. Attempting to totally discredit Beck for his mistakes is an obvious red herring.
The real root of much of the criticism of the Tea Party and their philosophical soulmates was revealed recently in an opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal's website. The piece was written by Daniel Henninger, the WSJ's deputy editorial page director.
The divide between this strain of the American left and its conservative opponents is about more than politics and policy. It goes back a long way, it is deep, and it will never be bridged. It is cultural, and it explains more than anything the "intensity" that exists now between these two competing camps. (The independent laments: "Can't we all just get along?" Answer: No.)
Henninger's piece is specifically about the left's ridiculous and intellectually dishonest attempt to tie the Tuscon tragedy to the Tea Party. You can read the full piece here.