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The Tea Party May Be Rising Up Like President Obama Two Years Ago


Anyone who has seen the images from the turnout for Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally can't deny the numbers were significant, no matter what the final totals were. glenn beck restoring honor rallyNow defining significant might be like defining the definition of is, but that was a few presidencies ago. This rally appears to represent a growing movement that may very well impact the country politically. That is what is creating a reaction.

Most people don't have the urge to go to Washington, DC for any rally. It appears as though the comments about the numbers at the rally indicate a fear that there is a growing political movement in the country. An interesting comparison might be to review the comments of Republican Presidential candidate supporters, circa 2007-2008, as they witnessed the throngs of people turning out to see then Senator Obama. There was a reactionary denial of the numbers, followed by begrudging recognition that a movement was growing.

There is no logical denial that the Beck-inspired rally had an impact. The emotionally charged responses to what he accomplished that day have been telling. It seems as though the crowd size and it's peaceful behavior caught everyone off guard. Let's look at those people at the rally on 8/28/10. They were quiet and orderly. What was their purpose in being there? It seems as though they want to be involved in their government.

We are clearly in a period where Democrats and Republicans see each other in exaggerated terms. Politics, like life, is most effective when we balance logic and emotion. This lofty goal is an ongoing pursuit. It is one that we can consistently strive towards, if not actually always achieve.

It seems as though conservatives are sometimes too coldly logical and don't seem to consider the emotion of people's real lives. For example, not everything in life revolves around consumerism and the hallowed “free market.” But there was a Republican who believed in people more than money. His first name was Abraham and he was a Republican. “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves the much higher compensation.” Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union message, 1861.

President Lincoln later choose a Democrat as his Vice Presidential running mate in the election of 1864! He did that as part of an effort to reunite the country after the Civil War.

Is it conceivable that any current political leader would choose someone from the opposition to run with in today's political world?

On the other hand, liberals sometimes come across overly emotional when defending their beliefs. They self-label ideas they have as “progressive”, as opposed to those who have contrary views and are apparently regressive. President Kennedy was a Democrat, but hardly a liberal, when you look at his record. Among many surprising policy points is that he cut the capital gains tax.

President Kennedy also retains another unique distinction. He remains the one and only Catholic elected as President. President Obama is the only African-American elected to the highest office in the land. Clearly these two men were not the only such qualified candidates, of their distinctions, in the history of the United States. Obviously people vote on race and religion. Let's not pretend we have moved beyond these matters.

Bias will seemingly always exist. The key is to be aware of who it is being directed towards. One of the ways to do this is to claim that other people are racists, bigots, intolerant, etc. Those attempts to silence others are born in the philosophy that labels stick. Once labeled, through consistent name calling, someone's standing is diminished, or eliminated. An adversary, or a group, removed from the political discourse.

This “Freedom Rally” was populated by many who call themselves The Tea Party. There can be no doubt that this like-minded group is growing and is having a political impact. It can also be assumed that those who oppose them aren't taking them lightly. They seem to be afraid of them by calling them “Tea Baggers” and claiming that they are mindlessly following charlatans. That implies that these people are easily manipulated.

That is where Sarah Palin comes in. She is a liberal's nightmare because she is the most current example that there is more than one feminist ideology. She is a conservative feminist. This has clearly struck a nerve with liberal women who don't seem to be showing any of the open-mindedness they claim to have. Palin embodies three attributes that are logically undeniable. She is physically attractive, has more than an average number of children, and has had a successful career. (Yes, we know she left the Governor's office early.) Uncharitable people try to attack those who they think they can't compete with in order to try to pretend their success isn't legitimate. Palin's presence may have revealed that those who have labeled themselves as progressive aren't actually for all women, they are for women who hold liberal ideologies. That is not progressive, it's self-serving.

In terms of claimed manipulation, didn't some claim that racial slurs were made to members of Congress during the heated health care debate? In the face of countless rolling television cameras and in this age of citizen journalism, wouldn't at least one person have recorded such remarks? The fact that nothing has been produced in this regard does not necessarily mean those allegations were false, but they are unsubstantiated. Weren't the media members who reported these allegations manipulated by those who claimed such incidents occurred?

“They have a right to rally. But what they don't have a right to do is distort what Dr. King's dream was about,” Al Sharpton.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who held a rally of his own, made a key point in his response to the Freedom rally. He noted that Glenn Beck did not actually do what he said he was going to do, in terms of reclaiming the civil rights movement. Sharpton is right. Beck's link between MLK's civil rights marches and his “Freedom Rally” is a tenuous one at best. Beck's stated belief that he is part of some divine plan is unprovable and allows for easy targeting of people who hold religious beliefs of any type.

Come on Glenn, you know your own ego was front and center at that rally. You didn't have someone else lead the event on August 28th now did you? You're kooky, that's why you're in the media. You have to attract interest by knowing where interest is. Beck has seen a conservative market segment and is playing into it, even if he is being honest about his intentions. But, liberal-leaning media types, like Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann, use the same approach. Different ideological audiences, same basic shtick.

The advancing prominence of the political movement forming in places like the “Freedom Rally” may be less tied to famous personalities, than to economic conditions.

Now, all political movements eventually have leaders emerge. It will probably take a unique candidate to try and harness the political needs of this particular one by the time we get to Iowa. But, along the way, if President Obama decides to dump Joe and take Hillary to the 2012 prom we will see rallies like never before.

You can contact Sean O'Brien at seanboru68@yahoo.com