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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/15/10

What to Do With the Anti-War Faction of the Tea Party?

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Chomsky asked people to consider why those voices are being mobilized by the "extreme Right" in this country.

Perhaps, Chomsky's logic is what CODEPINK and other liberals or progressives are responding to. CODEPINK has made plans to "extend an olive branch" to the Tea Party at the Tax Day protests.

The group stated:

"Liberal anti-war group CODEPINK will be attending the Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, D.C. to "extend an olive branch" to talk about war and the Administration's bloated military budget. Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Cofounder, will be surveying conservative Tea Party attendees on their feelings around small government vs. obese military budget. A list of Medea's questions can be seen here in her piece recently published on Alternet ( As Tea Partiers express their anger at out-of-control government spending and soaring deficits, CODEPINK will ask them to take a hard look at what is, by far, the biggest sinkhole of our tax dollars: Pentagon spending. With the Obama administration proposing the largest military budget ever, topping $700 billion not including war supplementals, the U.S. government is now spending almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined."

Naomi Wolf who wrote The End of America: Letters to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty when Bush was in power thinks the Tea Party is helping America fight fascism. I'm not quite sure that is true especially when considering the media and government structures that bear down upon the people of this nation but I do think this quote from a recent interview is valuable:

JS: Why do you think the sides don't understand each other?

NW: Frankly, liberals are out of the habit of communicating with anyone outside their own in cohort. We have a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism. Liberals roll their eyes about going on "Oprah" to reach a mass audience by using language that anyone can understand even if you majored in semiotics at Yale. We look down on people we don't agree with. It doesn't serve us well.

There is also a deliberate building up of two camps that benefits from whipping up home team spirit and demonizing the opposition. With the Internet there is even more fractioning since we are in echo chambers. With so much propaganda it is hard to calm down enough to listen.

I don't actually know if I believe anyone who counts themselves as a progressive, liberal or leftist is willing to get into conversation because of how vehemently opposed many are. I am just as opposed and disgusted myself. But, at the same time, these people aren't going to go away.

The Tea Party is growing in power and to just tell people that the Tea Party should be opposed because we liberals, progressives or leftists have better stances or a better platform on the issues that is much better for the people of this nation will do little to build the coalition of people needed to take on the structures which we are hoping to radically reshape or reform.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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