Today, while I had absolutely nothing else to do, I turned the tv on to watch the news shows and flipped to MSNBC and caught Chris Matthews and his panel of three discussing the Tea Party movement. They were saying exactly what I have recently repudiated -- that the little people in south and midwest are angry at the big people in the NE or on the west coast. Matthews said something to the effect that they were angry and envious of the big shots getting all the money. The African-American panel member used the angle of Obama being the first black president and how this erupted pent-up racial tension. The others said something equally inane. None of them seemed to have a clue.
It's amazing how Washington D.C. insiders are insulated from the rest of the world. They circulate their ideas among one another and stay in this ignorant loop of prejudice and misunderstanding. Let's drop the name "Tea Party" and begin looking at this movement as opposition to our present government.
Some of the displeasure started with Bush, and it exploded under the current Democrat controlled government. It has to do with government over-reach and misuse of our money. You can pick out any small faction of a large movement like this and conflate that faction to represent the whole movement, but if you do you develope a misunderstanding of its causes and its eventual effects. It's not a racist movement -- it's not a populist movement fueled by class envy -- it's not a redneck movement of bible-thumping zealots. It's a movement that is dissatisfied with both parties and wants representation that's trustworthy and responsive -- people simply don't want this much government in their lives and they don't want a government that controls the economy through power relationships with big corporations -- companies like Goldman Sachs.
I think Matthews knows better -- so I have to conclude, even though it's possible that Matthews is this dense, that the Washington D.C. explanations of the opposition are deliberate. They are attempting to marginalize the movement and dismiss it as angry, ignorant and irrelevant. This is a mistake -- it's wider and deeper and more diverse than they want to admit -- this threatens them.