Deo Vindice has an interesting post on the Tea Party movement (here). James Atticus Bowden wonders if the Tea Party movement will accomplish anything.
Ideas are inexorably grounded in social conditions and circumstances.
Individuals are key actors based on the power of networks and the new institutions that they create.
Cultures ultimately shape and direct the lives of individuals. (My pet phrase – Culture Commands).
These 3 findings hold meaning for the political storms brewing. I’ve had a sense of the currents of frustration for some time. Since 2005. I’ve looked for tipping points – like election fever or post-election renewals. The Tea Parties are the first sign of something real finally happening - in my judgment. But, unless the emotion produces candidates for Federal office in 2010 – then its merely a big wind that blows itself out.
Several factors make the current Liberal hegemony difficult to assail. The first is our elites. Small government does not figure well into the plans of too many of our leaders. When one craves power, then one loves big, and socialism makes for big bureaucracies. That includes big corporations, big unions, and especially big government. Yet none of these things necessarily functions well when big. Big bureaucracies create complex management problems. If there is little economy of scale to be realized, then large size easily creates more problems than it can possibly solve.
The second factor is the corporate mass media. So long as too many invest a blind trust in the corporate mass media, mass media elites will smear the reputations of any who oppose their all to obvious Liberal bent. Worse, the mass media elites will also continue to persuade people to take the most inane ideas seriously. Why, for example, do so many take same-sex marriage seriously? The answer is that mass media elites have manufactured an interest in what they consider a juicy issue.
The third factor is our government-run education system. Liberals dominate this system. Given the high degree Liberal dominance in our education system, it is remarkable our nation still has the will to resist socialism. How do we? I suspect that has much to do with the sheer ineptitude any such socialist system. Nonetheless, large sectors of our population no longer understand civics or value our Christian heritage. Unfortunately, socialist educators can do a particularly good job of keeping children from learning anything useful.
So what can the Tea Party movement do? The primary lack in our population is a good civics education. Too many of us know too little about either our history or how our government works. Because of that, it has become nearly impossible to start a third party movement. Thus, when neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party responds our concerns, even a solid majority finds itself stymied.
The last time our nation confronted such a problem occurred just before the Civil War. The Whigs, now almost forgotten, refused to take a stand on slavery. So the Democrats, using the Supreme Court, slyly threatened to spread slavery both into the territories and into the Northern states. The public responded by dumping the Whigs and creating the Republican Party. However, this process took years.
There is no easy fix. Government is a constant problem. For the sake of our children, we must commit ourselves to a long and difficult battle (Slavery lasted how long?).
We have an election in Virginia this year. We can begin working on our local and state office holders. Our congressional representatives, senators, and presidents often get their start in local and state government. To encourage good people to run, we must start replacing those local and state officials who advocate Utopian, socialist policies. We can promote candidates who think their neighbors should be allowed to run their own affairs.