Liberty Commentary

Tea Party Co-Founder: Concept Has Been Hijacked By False Left/Right Paradigm

by Steve Watson

ChadPeaceThe co-founder of the modern day Tea Party political protests has slammed imitators of the concept, referring to them as “partisan political perverts”.

Constitutionalist grass roots activist Chad Peace was part of the original team of people who organised Boston Tea Party re-enactment protests in 50 different cities in late 2007, in support of Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential campaign.

The protests became extremely popular, and continued throughout 2008 and into 2009, prompting thousands of people to engage in peaceful political protest.

Tea Party protests earlier this year prompted the FBI to initiate a comprehensive surveillance program, and in some cases the National Guard was even readied as a response.

Chad Peace says he was proud to be a part of a movement calling for government accountability, honesty, respect, and sincerity, but he now reveals his disgust at what he sees as a hijacking of the Tea Party concept by “golden idols”.

“I was convinced that the average American was beginning to see through the veil of scripted partisan sermons, designed to coddle fears and perpetuate the superficial battle between a “left” and “right”.” Peace writes in a commentary article.

However, Peace states that over the course of the last year, the Tea Party movement has been co-opted.

“In short time, desperate partisans were soiling the sheets.” Peace writes.

“At some point, reality began piercing my passion. The tea party boat started becoming a wagon of whiners. Propelled by the moving mouths on TV and the talking heads of such ironically named organizations such as the “American Family Association”… the movement lost its focus.” he continues.

“A movement founded on the principles of independent analysis, it has become a yelling fest for punch-drunk cynics armed with incoherent talking points.”

Revelations of staged Tea Party protests organised by Fox News and Glenn Beck have served to frame the concept within a strictly mainline conservative political focus. Not only that but they have provided the left leaning media mouthpieces with ammunition to attack and ridicule what started out as a legitimate grassroots activist success story.

The common conception of the Tea Party protest now languishes a far cry from it’s Libertarian begininngs.

“What I see is a bunch of people reciting partisan political sermons, coddling fears, and perpetuating a superficial battle between “left” and “right”; drowning the well intentioned idealists that remain.” Chad Peace writes.

However, Peace does believe that the movement can be taken back and still act as a force for political change.

“As the battle rages, I have more faith than ever that an independent revolution will come. When the absurdity of our political process rises to the point where tea bags become a right wing rally cry and the left still manages to drop in the polls, there is a growing opportunity for the increasingly disenchanted to drive a stake right down the middle.”

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Militant Libertarian

Site owner, philosopher, certified genius, and general pain in the establishment's ass.

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[…] Tea Party Co-Founder: Concept Has Been Hijacked By False Left/Right Paradigm Posted: November 30th, 2009 by Militant Libertarian by Steve Watson The co-founder of the modern day Tea Party political protests has slammed imitators of the concept, referring to them as “partisan political perverts”. Constitutionalist grass roots activist Chad Peace was part of the original team of people who organised Boston Tea Party re-enactment protests in 50 different cities in late 2007, in support of Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. The protests became extremely popular, and continued throughout 2008 and into 2009, prompting thousands of people to engage in peaceful political protest. Tea Party protests earlier this year prompted the FBI to initiate a comprehensive surveillance program, and in some cases the National Guard was even readied as a response. Chad Peace says he was proud to be a part of a movement calling for government accountability, honesty, respect, and sincerity, but he now reveals his disgust at what he sees as a hijacking of the Tea Party concept by “golden idols”. “I was convinced that the average American was beginning to see through the veil of scripted partisan sermons, designed to coddle fears and perpetuate the superficial battle between a “left” and “right”.” Peace writes in a commentary article. However, Peace states that over the course of the last year, the Tea Party movement has been co-opted. “In short time, desperate partisans Their soiling the sheets.” Peace writes. “At some point, reality began piercing my passion. The tea party boat started becoming a wagon of whiners. Propelled by the moving mouths on TV and the talking heads of such ironically named organizations such as the “American Family Association”… the movement lost its focus.” he continues. “A movement founded on the principles of independent analysis, it has become a yelling fest for punch-drunk cynics armed with incoherent talking points.” Revelations of staged Tea Party protests organised by Fox News and Glenn Beck have served to frame the concept within a strictly mainline conservative political focus. Not only that but they have provided the left leaning media mouthpieces with ammunition to attack and ridicule what started out as a legitimate grassroots activist success story. The common conception of the Tea Party protest now languishes a far cry from it’s Libertarian begininngs. “What I see is a bunch of people reciting partisan political sermons, coddling fears, and perpetuating a superficial battle between “left” and “right”; drowning the well intentioned idealists that remain.” Chad Peace writes. However, Peace does believe that the movement can be taken back and still act as a force for political change. “As the battle rages, I have more faith than ever that an independent revolution will come. When the absurdity of our political process rises to the point where tea bags become a right wing rally cry and the left still manages to drop in the polls, there is a growing opportunity for the increasingly disenchanted to drive a stake right down the middle.” Link & Entire: Militant Libertarian Tea Party Co-Founder: Concept Has Been Hijacked By False Left/Right Paradigm […]

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Joshua Simeon Narins

Does he think Glenn Beck/Fox News is going to let it go, and let him have it back? Hardly.

Does he think he’s going to be able to get a bigger megaphone than Glenn Beck/Fox News, and so redirect them? Hardly.

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Militant Libertarian

You’re probably right. The core reason behind the Tea Parties, however, can be continued. One of my earliest complaints about the Tea Parties was their general lack of focus. Every group in the nation showed up to promote their ideals from the Birchers to the anti-abortion fanatics to the Gorebots.

This kind of lack of focus is detrimental and does nothing to promote the focus-takers or the originators of the protest in question.

Counter-protesting is a different story, of course.

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Rob

@ Militant Libertarian: I agree with you, but we also have to recognize that one of the reasons the Tea Parties were so attractive was because they were open to so many ideologies. The message that ‘liberty brings people togeather’ was a powerful one.

Militant Libertarian

Yes, the idea is to bring together normally disparate ideologies into a common cause. The problem is when others attempt to usurp that cause to make it theirs. It’s blatant thievery, really.

As an example, in 2002 I attended a USA PATRIOT Act protest. The “We the People” tax protest group showed up in numbers, carrying large banners and signs. They didn’t just insinuate themselves through the crowd, but went behind the podium and held up large banners making it appear they were the instigators of the event. Who was helped by them doing that? Many of us at the event decided to stop supporting the local WtP group thanks to that. The news seized on it and made it appear the protest was a tax thing and had nothing to do with the USAPA.

A few months later, we held another anti-USAPA rally. This time, I was involved in the process and one of our primary concerns was to keep people away from the backdrop to the event. Another was outreach. I brought in groups as diverse as the Libertarian Party, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the Unitarian Church, the Pink Pistols (a gay gun rights group), the ACLU, and more. We managed to hold a huge rally with people from every walk and every political philosophy sans the neo-cons. No one took over the event.

The same could be done with Tea Parties if some of these groups would wake up and realize that it’s not all about gun rights, anti-abortion, the GOP, or whatever. It’s about L I B E R T Y and only that.

THOMAS DYCHES

I agree with the overall conclusion. Did you see that last anti-health care protest at the capitol? What a stinker! A bunch of terrible speeches and partisan, “Conservative” platitudes. Just plain awful.

“…they have provided the left leaning media mouthpieces with ammunition to attack and ridicule…”

Well, you won’t avoid that no matter what you do. And the media is always going to try to push every group into the red or blue tribe. That’s not really the problem. The real problem is the contradictions that lie within the so-called “Conservative” movement. Example: standing against Obamacare but supporting Johnsoncare. Both are socialized medicine but they want it both ways. This type of contradiction robs the Conservatives+Republicans+Family Values+God fearing crowd of the moral ammunition necessary to destroy the Progressive arguments from a moral basis not just a technical, economic one. Until these blind spots are addressed and these sacred cows killed, the “right” will continue to struggle to gain God’s support to help them overcome the spiritual darkness upon the earth

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Militant Libertarian

Not exactly as I would have put it, but basically correct. The so-called “conservatives” in the GOP who seem to have the idea that it’s all about God can’t stop for one second to realize that they are not promoting God or the ideals of Christianity when they also push for war, punishing the “wicked” (as they see them, which includes a lot of people who’ve done no harm to others), and otherwise being generally, well, unChristian.

In fact, most of those who scream “Constitution” in my experience have no clue what the words on that document really mean. They are clueless as to what liberty really is. Most so-called Constitutionalists and Conservatives are nothing more than “freedom my way” controllers.

This is why I always say that the real price of freedom is tolerance. If you can’t tolerate your neighbor who stands on his front lawn in January wearing a toga and chanting to Mumblegy Ooodla for an hour, then why should he tolerate you putting a giant, lit up manger scene on yours in December?

If one is outlawed, so should the other be, then both will see that neither should have been.

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