There’s no doubt that liberals, unhappy with the election of Donald Trump as the nation’s president, are up in arms and taking to the streets in significant numbers. Something (or someone) is clearly driving them (if not funding them) to activism in broad strokes. They’ve been showing up at town hall meetings and disrupting the normal order of business, quite similar to what was seen in 2008 through 2010. This has led the media to attempt to draw tempting parallels to the genesis of the Tea Party.
The incentive for left-leaning reporters to try to make these comparisons is obvious and in some ways understandable. What is not being reported, either intentionally or through oversight, is the fact that there are also significant differences between the ground game being seen in 2017 and what took place at the end of George W. Bush’s term in office.
Having been around for that raucous era, I can well remember much of the chaos that engulfed the “movement.” When the Tea Party formed, it was quite the hot mess. It began in fits and starts in different parts of the nation, frequently with less than glowing results. In the upstate New York area where I live, two different tea party groups formed with headquarters less than an hour apart. The two organizations almost immediately went to war with each other while at the same time fighting internal battles with competing leaders attempting to set the agenda. When money was required, it was donated by willing and well-intended members, but all too often, in the normal fashion of such things, bad actors would arrive and attempt to pocket the cash for themselves. All in all, the fact the tea party managed to survive was something of a miracle in and of itself.
What we’re seeing today is almost entirely different. I do not doubt the sincerity of many of the liberal activists expressing their outrage, but the mechanisms being used to engage and coordinate their efforts are both obvious and very different from the early days of the Tea Party. Social media chains erupt on a moment’s notice directing protesters to show up at town halls, airports, municipal centers or wherever else they may be needed. These “grassroots activists” seem to arrive in large groups, frequently with buses provided, carrying pre-printed professional signage and well orchestrated chants which they read off of their mobile devices like an army of Stepford wives whose programming has run into a critical error loop.
Another key difference is the fact that the Tea Party groups generally had a specific agenda of items in matters of governance that they wished to see changed. They were seeking to throw out the old guard regardless of party affiliation before even beginning a discussion of what the new agenda might be. Conversely, today’s liberal activists seem to have only one thought in mind: finding a way to end the Trump presidency before it even begins. Rather than fighting for change, they are heeding a call from someone – we don’t know who yet – to forcibly roll back the clock and replay the last eight years of the Obama administration.
These activities are certainly newsworthy and I don’t begrudge the media for covering them. But let’s not make a mistake here… this is not the Tea Party. It’s not even remotely similar. This is a finely tuned protest machine, bitter about the recent defeat and seeking to harness friendly forces in the mainstream media to reinforce a daily narrative that the winner of the election has failed before he’s even begun. If there’s any good news on the horizon, it’s the fact that much of the public doesn’t seem to be paying attention, or at least not blindly accepting everything they see on cable news. – Submitted by Jazz Shaw