Folk Politics and Tea Party Activism

At Mirror on America and Folk Politics, Liberal Arts Dude has recently been delving into the internal politics of tea party activism and providing an open-minded liberal, progressive take on the movement, aimed at locating commonalities between left and right wing populism in the interests of opposition to the Democratic-Republican duopoly system of government. Today at Folk Politics he writes in part:
Absent a strong third party movement, the best thing voters who are fed up with the status quo can do is to take the reins and be active and engaged participants in the civic arena and to make their voices heard so they cannot be ignored. In short, be active, engaged constituents . . . the Left does not have a monopoly on civic engagement. Conservatives and Libertarians have as much right as I do to take the reins of asserting their fundamental rights and to make their case by being active in the public sphere. Thus, despite my disagreements with them on ideological and policy grounds, I can’t help but notice how effective the Tea Party movement has been at getting the attention of the Establishment and the nation at large . . .

Anyone who feels disenfranchised in the political arena dominated by the two major parties should be paying attention to the Tea Party movement. Because the Tea Parties are the first, high-profile and successful organizing effort that has successfully tapped into the wide dissatisfaction that most Americans have towards the two major parties, government and the direction of the country in general . . . Many of them even assert that they are against third parties as a political strategy against the major parties. But if they are not for forming a third party, how do they plan on opposing the two major parties?

1 comment:

Liberal Arts Dude said...


Many thanks for the write up! I have been feeling a bit uneasy the past few weeks as I delved into these topics and were showing my (mostly) liberal friends and family the results of my research. Most have been skeptical but respectful in their responses -- a relief to me for such a highly charged topic.

The topic of social movements -- especially this one which is happening in real time and which has an abundance of free material for study available to anyone with an Internet connection and the patience to read and sift through it all -- is something that has interested me for a long time. It is interesting to see events and the internal debates within the movement unfold and observe potentially which direction the most active and politically savvy of the Tea Party folks will take.

Especially if that direction ends up turning them into a force to be reckoned with in the electoral arena and the implications of that for the future of the Republican Party and two-party system in general.