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#10 Ron Paul is NOT the TEA PARTY and neither is… The Tea Party

September 16, 2012

Ron Paul is not affiliated with the Tea Party. That’s a media trick. He speaks to them and tries to educate them, but he is not a part of the Tea Party organization or “The Tea Party Candidate,” as they CONSTANTLY refer to him on all of the news channels. But the Tea Party isn’t what you think it is either. I’ve never been a fan of the Tea Party, mostly because sensationalist use of the word socialism that I frequently hear from their leaders, which always makes it harder for me to take people seriously. But I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t know there are also democratic members of the Tea Party, or that the proposed Tea Party budget for 2012 was actually Bill Clinton’s last budget plan, or that none of the leaders are against social safety nets, as one of them made clear on an NPR interview (which I haven’ been able to locate unfortunately).

As Ralph Nader has pointed out on numerous occasions, the Tea Party began as a movement for supporting the constitution and protecting civil liberties. The “authentic Tea Partiers,” as Nader refers to them, hated the bush administration as much as we did, and are adamantly against domestic spying, central banking, wars of aggression and the fraudulent tax code, so it would make sense for them to be attracted to Paul. Nader has made the case that this group would make useful allies to the anti-war left, but that possibility has been largely derailed as the Tea Party became co-opted by the establishment. In other words their momentum was recognized, so the people in power made it their own and used the media to transform it as they saw to favor their own agenda. The movement became infiltrated by those who are more fixated on gun rights, anti-immigration, and some who are just plain racist and anti-Obama. Of course the media focused only on them.

Once this image was set, the political establishment could use the Tea Party label as a way to undermine people like Paul. This basically worked, except that the movement continued to grow on a grass roots level, and then some pro-war republicans tried to get smart and align themselves with the Tea Party, such as Sarah Palin. Of course it’s laughable to think that Palin shares even one of the original values of the Tea Party, and Ron Paul has repeatedly called out those Tea Party members who think they can “oppose big government at home, but support it overseas.” He has commented that some of the tea party has fallen into the more mainstream right-wing category, and he was also booed at the Tea Party Debates in 2011 when he talked about why they hate us in the middle east: this annoying little truth that we’ve bombing people for decades and stealing their oil.

Ron Paul is not the Tea party and neither is the Tea Party, so we should ignore any of those associations and not allow the media to manipulate our thoughts. I remember chatting with a couple of young women at a bar one evening, with whom I shared some strong liberal values, but I went on a bit of a tangent (believe it or not) about why the party system doesn’t matter. When I brought up the issue of civil liberties, one said, “Oh great… You’re not a Tea Bagger, are you?” I said, no, definitely not, but then I tried to explain that the Tea Party wasn’t exactly what we’ve been told it is, and we shouldn’t become fixated on arbitrary, media contrived labels, but her eyes had already glazed over by that point.

The establishment had had done its work on her and she couldn’t comprehend anything that wasn’t just comically negative about the Tea Party. Her entire point of view and political philosophy was based purely on MSNBC sarcasm and The Daily Show with John Stewart. Don’t get me wrong, I love John Stewart, and I know how much fun it is to make fun of “Tea Baggers” and the lunatics of the far right. But the Tea Party is a perfect example of media distortion and public manipulation; proof that we cannot allow mainstream media culture to act as our primary vessel of information or influence.

This limited mentality is shared by so many liberals who don’t even understand the REAL reasons to fear and despise people like Cheney, Bush or Romney. It usually has little to do with the hilarious on Comedy Central digs and wise cracks on MSNBC. There are real reasons why these figures are so dangerous, and we have to look beyond television to fully understand the magnitude of the threats they pose to our entire civilization, and I dare someone to try and call that an exaggeration.

Paul Nader Kucinich Alliance/Occupy:

Nader on Paul:

Progressive Libertarian Alliance:

Nader on Tea Party:

Nader’s Grand Alliance:


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