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The Tea-Sucker Manifesto

By       Message Jacob Freeze     Permalink
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The Wall Street Journal is currently displaying "A Tea Party Manifesto" at the top of its website, and this thing includes a declaration of war on the Republican Party.

The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.

After that relatively bold war-whoop, most of the rest of it is just about the sort of anti-government hate-speak that you might expect.

By definition, government is the means by which citizens are forced to do that which they would not do voluntarily. Like pay high taxes. Or redistribute tax dollars to bail out the broken, bloated pension systems of state government employees. Or purchase, by federal mandate, a government-defined health-insurance plan that is unaffordable, unnecessary or unwanted.

By definition! It couldn't be more obvious! Only a fool would dispute these self-evident truths!

All of this is already familiar, and none of it differs much from the Republican platform in every election for the last 30 years.

What's more or less original about teabaggers in general and the Wall Street Journal "manifesto" in particular is a fantastic claim that all of it arose spontaneously out of the legitimate indignation of honest citizens, united from the ground up by their adherence to the American values of "individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and limited government."

The many branches of the tea party movement have created a virtual marketplace for new ideas, effective innovations and creative tactics. Best practices come from the ground up, around kitchen tables, from Facebook friends, at weekly book clubs, or on Twitter feeds.

Decentralization, not top-down hierarchy, is the best way to maximize the contributions of people and their personal knowledge.

Let the leaders be the activists who have the best knowledge of local personalities and issues.

In the real world, this is common sense. In Washington, D.C., this is considered radical.

Activists! From the ground up! Common sense! Only a fool would dispute these self-evident truths!

But unfortunately this beautiful and apparently spontaneous harmony of all honest citizens is immediately discombobulated by a screeching dissonance!

The rebellion's name derives from the glorious rant of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who in February 2009 called for a new "tea party" from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

What?

I thought it all began "around kitchen tables" and "at weekly book clubs!"

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I'm a painter and photographer living in Malibu, California. My work is visble online, including some of the celebrity photography that pays my rent, and more biographical information can be gleaned or deduced from my livejournal.

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