Tea Partiers are progressive, liberal, and populist. Those on the Left are conservative, reactionary, and elitist.
No, I haven't lost my mind. This post is going to examine some real definitions in the political world.
In the face of an expected conservative electoral tsunami, many Democrats already threw down their arms and surrendered without a fight, and those who intend to stick it out are grasping for any cover they can get their hands on. And one time-tested way of hiding is to call yourself something that you're not.
Like the hermit crab, the Democrat changes his shell when it no longer suits its purpose, which is usually when the public finally figures out what the liberals/socialists/progressives/(insert nice-sounding word here) are implementing.
Of course, those on the Left are masters of euphemisms, so playing with definitions is almost second nature to the inventors of political correctness. Remember "handy capable" and "differently abled"? Crackheads have a "disease." Charlie Rangel is "ethically challenged," and so on and so forth.
In 2010,the buzzword is "populist." It's got the focus-group appeal--it sounds like "people," it's vague, and it doesn't carry around a lot of baggage, like "liberal." You'll hear "progressive" bandied about, the reflexive term the statists resort to when they've been outed--but this year, in light of all the Tea Party rage--"progressive" is the new word to co-opt.
And, because this article is about the accuracy of terms, co-opt is exactly what I mean. Take the original meaning of "liberal." Prior to the New Deal, it was used to refer to the Founding Fathers. That's right, those dead, white slave owners that modern liberals hate.
Why would they name themselves after something they marginalize? Simple--because people liked the sound of it, and the Left at the time had already worn out the "Progressive" moniker. Nevermind that "liberalism" is almost the polar opposite of the nanny state that modern "liberals" seek to impose on the American people.
Don't worry--all good lefties recycle. While they wore out "progressive" pretty fast at the beginning of the 20th century (Prohibition), the memory ain't so great of those few that were alive when those disastrous policies were in full bloom, and so the Left finds that it's effective to trot that term out whenever they get into trouble. Here's an example of a post on the Ventura County Democratic Party websites that mingles terms:
Ever wonder why it seems that Democrats are especially disorganized and divided, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory? It may not be as simple as a lack of will among our leaders. Legal structures and political culture both work to make the job of building and sustaining political parties, particularly progressive parties, very difficult. Nonetheless, I would argue that party building, while hard and sometimes thankless, is necessary for achieving progressive goals in the United States, and that parties are an important and crucial part of a healthy democratic system.
Interestingly, I read that progressivism was borne out of a response to "changes brought by modernization." That sounds reactionary to me.
Of course, "reactionary" is an inaccurate term the Left applies to conservatives, a term which itself is inaccurate. The Left has been so good at confusing all of us that we even use their flawed labels.
The French Revolution gave the English language two politically descriptive words denoting anti-progressive politics: reactionary and conservative. Reactionary derives from the French word réactionnaire (an early nineteenth-century coinage), and conservative from conservateur, identifying monarchist parliamentarians opposed to the revolution.
Do modern conservatives--those of laissez faire economics and minimal government--sound like people who would support an absolute government in control of everything? Remind me which party's president has been given more power than anyone since FDR?
Feel like the world is upside down yet? Can we even safely rely on calling the Left "progressives?" Here's Wikipedia's first sentence in that article: "Progressivism is a political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform."
Phew, that sounds familiar. President Obama calls himself a Progressive, and he's Mr. Change. But wait a minute, although he SAID "change" a lot, he didn't close Guantanamo, he's still practicing rendition, he's still wiretapping people, he's bailing out big businesses, and is pretty much acting like nobody told him that he doesn't have to continue Bush's policies. He's the Bush third term that he warned us about when he talked about McCain.
Wouldn't the Tea Party fit nicely in the definition of "progressivism" two paragraphs above? It's always called conservative, but they don't really fit the original definition of conservative. Here's some more info on progressivism:
Progressivism in the United States is a broadly-based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century and is generally considered to be middle class and reformist in nature. It arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations and railroads, and fears of corruption in American politics.
Alright--now the world is spinning out of control again--does that say that progressivism is middle class, reformist, anti-large corporation, and anti-political establishment?
I know you lefties are shouting that "conservatives" LOVE big corporations. Maybe Country Club Republicans do, but your average Tea Partier HATES fat cat corporate executives and the bailouts they get. He also is middle-class, wants to reform everything, and is on the verge of throwing all the bums out of Washington.
Now that we know everything is the opposite of what we've been told, let's examine "populism," the latest phrase that's tossed at us. Hopefully by now you have a healthy dose of skepticism. But let's give the Democrats the benefit of the doubt, and maybe they got this one right. After all, President Obama was hailed for his populist tone during his State of the Union address. Again, we begin with the Wikipedia definition:
Populism ...is a type of political-social thought which juxtaposes "the people" against "the elites", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style deployed by members of political or social movements. It is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as "political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people's needs and wishes"
OK, so Obama is the exact opposite of populism. He IS the elite--he's rich, Ivy-League educated, and is the most powerful man in the world. You don't get more elite than that. The Left loves elites--the elite media, college professors, climate "scientists", Hollywood celebrities, "experts" of all stripes. Who is the darling of the Left? John F. Kennedy, a man born into privilege. Who does the Right connect with? Ronald Reagan, who had humble origins and seemed like he was a homespun cowboy--a man who spoke in clear, stark language. Naturally, the elites said he was dumb--after all, he doesn't have the "nuanced" speech of President Obama.
Read that definition of populism again and tell me if it sounds like those Tea Parties.
Yes THOSE Tea Parties. The ones you
"populists" call "racist", "fascist," and "Astroturf." While we're having
fun with definitions, let's see what "racism" REALLY means:
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
Have you seen any Tea Partiers, even the 10 percent that is present in any organization that is insane, advocate a right to rule others based on their race? Yet they are called this every day. And Fascism was a big government political ideology--not exactly Tea Party fare. As for Astroturf--did you catch how a prominent local Republican was politely asked to leave a Tea Party protest over the weekend?
That's because the Left muddied those waters as well, just like they did with everything else they wanted to hide. To summarize, according to the true definitions of the terms:
Tea Partiers are progressive, liberal, and populist.
Those on the Left are conservative, reactionary, and elitist.
How did they get away with that?