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Toward A Progressive Tea Party Movement

02.12.10

Toward A Progressive Tea Party Movement

Most progressives have little respect for the Fox News generated “Tea Party” movement. However, it has tapped into a very real populist anger with the direction the country is headed in at this point in our history.

Progressives should see a real opportunity in the emergence of the “Tea Party” movement to educate the public and re-direct the anger to the real villains whose actions and policies created the many problems faced by the citizens of the United States of America. Our government has failed the American public by serving corporate interests and private profit instead of the public good.

The Republican Right has been somewhat successful in twisting this legitimate anger and aiming it against those who have been fighting this corporate takeover and corruption instead of themselves. They do this by lying to the public and twisting reality.

Of course, Fox News has been the leading force in this evil propaganda campaign. However, a few corporatist Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson, independents like Joe Lieberman and almost every elected Republican in the nation have helped advance the corporatist agenda by deceiving the reformist elements in the Tea Party movement.

Tea Party activists should realize that Fox News was formed by corporatists to advance the corporatist agenda. The corporatists have captured the “conservative” movement. They are playing their followers for suckers. A few Tea Party leaders know they are being used as a tool of the Republican Right and corporatists but most do not.

The American government is not the enemy if it is actually controlled by the American public instead of by the rich and powerful elite who make up the corporatists power structure. The American government needs to provide a check and balance against corporate power. We must recapture our government from corporate interests. This will never be done by Republicans. It will never be done by the small corporatist faction of the Democratic Party. It can be done with an alliance of progressives, real Tea Party reformers, economic populists and grassroots Democrats.

The Scott Browns and Sarah Palins of the nation only play at being populists. They act in support of the corporatist agenda while talking like reformers. Scott Brown was financed by corporatist forces. He was heavily financed by the debt collection industry, banking interests, health insurance companies and the like just like Sarah Palin. Brown opposes Wall Street reforms and regulation. He wants corporate power to go unchecked. These ideas are clearly enemies of the American public and real functional democracy. Folksy talk is just more hot air. It is actions that count.

Fox News seems designed to act as a financial and political backer of Republican Right corporatist politicians. They spin everything to defeat real reforms and undermine real reformers.

Labor unions act as a check and balance on corporate power. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists demonize them at every opportunity. Union leaders are always elected by the membership. They are the only truly democratically-elected populist element in our economic system. The Fox News crowd calls these elected leaders “union bosses.” You do not get to elect your “boss.” Try suggesting free elections for all the management positions at your place of employment and you will probably be joining the ranks of the unemployed. Corporations are basically organized in a top down dictatorial manner. It is their nature and mindset to be dictatorial with very, very few exceptions.

Suing corporations act as a check and balance to corporate power. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists are trying to eliminate the effectiveness of this check and balance under the disguise of “tort reform.”

Campaign finance laws slightly reduced the ability of corporations to buy elections, smear reformers and defeat reforms. While in power, the Republican Right corporatists packed all our federal courts with corporatists. This is why the Republican Right corporatists on the Supreme Court have recently overturned over 60 years of established law to give corporations unlimited power to spend shareholders’ money to advance their corporatist political goals.

Most corporations are not loyal American citizens like the recent Supreme Court ruling implies. Almost all the large corporations operating in America are international in nature. International corporations should not be controlling the American economy, the American political system or the American government. American citizens should be. No matter what the Supreme Court says, international corporations are neither people nor American citizens.

The percentage of the American economy going toward debt is growing rapidly. Why? The answer is corporate power and corporatist government policy. So-called “free trade” has failed the American public while enriching the corporatists. Tax revenue has gone in the toilet because we do not tax imports and tens of millions of former taxpayers have lost their jobs. Without good-paying jobs, these workers/taxpayers are not paying nearly as much in taxes.

Tax cuts for over 30 years have been focused on enriching the corporatists and screwing the middle classes. The Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists want you to place the blame on the poor for government debt. This is pure nonsense. Unfair tax cuts are the real villains along with corporatist “free trade” policies. Additionally, the corporatists start unnecessary wars financed by public debt that enrich the international corporations while killing and maiming American soldiers.

So-called “free trade” is undermining our national security by crushing our industrial manufacturing base and crippling our national finances.

Government spending as a percentage of our economy is excessively large mostly because our economy has not really grown the way it should because of so-called “free trade.” Free trade has not been free for American citizens. Our public and personal debts have exploded. Our wages have not grown as quickly as our cost of living. Our jobs are disappearing or have already disappeared.

Government debt to enrich international corporations instead of improving the lives of American citizens is nearly criminal. Why does Medicare money get paid to drug companies without bargaining down the price of drugs? Corporate power is the only answer.

Why do Americans pay twice as much for medical care than any industrialized nation but have worse results? Why are medical costs exploding here at the same time as millions of citizens are being kicked out of their health insurance plans? Why are our companies paying the cost of health insurance while all our foreign competitors get subsidized by government payment of healthcare costs? The answers are corporate power.

The real reformers of the Tea Party movement need to look at corporate power instead of government as the villains threatening the future of America. The Republican Right, corporatists and Fox News are threatening your civil liberties and Constitutional Right not the ACLU, Obama or the Democratic Party. Republican Right, corporatists and Fox News are those who support the “national security state”, torture, jailing citizens without trial, wiretapping without court orders, etc.

International corporate interests have much more control over the lives of the average American citizen than our government does. When the government gets captured by these corporations, like it did under George W. Bush and his allies who are still in office, the American public gets hammered!

You are not ignorant or out of touch with reality just because you watch Fox News or listen to right wing talk radio but prolonged exposure will eventually get you there. Watching only Fox News will likely stop reform supporters of the Tea Party movement from realizing that they have much more in common with progressives than they ever realized. The real reformers in the Tea Party movement and progressives should unite in a Progressive Tea Party movement. Fox News and the Republican Right corporatists should not control or define the Tea Party. Both progressives and the real reform elements in Tea Party movement should reach out to each other and make common cause on many issues.

It is time for a Progressive Tea Party movement.

Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com).

2 comments so far

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Dear Steven:

I agree with your analysis and your strategy of forming a Progressive Tea Party Movement. The problem of our country is not taxes or government spending. The problem is corporate greed controlling our government and our media. No one likes to pay taxes. But, if you pass a law, enact a regulation, you have to pay someone to monitor and enforce that law and regulation. And that is the job of government. And if you want good government, you have to pay for it. So it really angers me that the same people who pay lobbyists, tax accountants and lawyers get away with not paying their fair share of taxes, complain about tax rates, regulations and government spending, yet get awarded no-bid, cost plus contracts at the rest of us taxpayers expense. They are hypocrites. If you want good government, you have to pay for it. Like President Obama says, “the American people don’t care about whether or no the government is too big or too small, they want a government that works for them.” Since the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have rights like a human being, we have to organize and pass a Constitutional Amendment to “check and balance” the power of corporations and the Judicial Branch of Government.



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