Trigger warning:

This site may, in fact always will contain images and information likely to cause consternation, conniptions, distress, along with moderate to severe bedwetting among statists, wimps, wusses, politicians, lefties, green fascists, and creatures of the state who can't bear the thought of anything that disagrees with their jaded view of the world.

Apr 18, 2009

Creatures of the state vs. tea parties.

Tea party rally.

Rasmussen has noted he current outrage over corporate welfare and financial bailouts and have decided to measure the difference between the views of what it calls the Political Class and those of Mainstream America.

They state; “The mainstream, or populist, view sees big government and big business as political allies rather than political opponents.” The assessment is done on the answers to three questions:
Preliminary results indicate that 55% of Americans can be classified on the populist or Mainstream side of the divide. Only seven percent (7%) side with the Political Class. When leaners are included, 75% lean in the Mainstream direction and 14% lean the other way. 
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of those on the populist side of the debate are Republicans, 36% are Democrats, and 27% are not affiliated with either major party.

Twenty-two percent (22%) of government employees are aligned with the Political Class along with just four percent (4%) of private sector workers.

The biggest surprise so far is that a plurality of the Political Class believes the economy is getting better while 66% of those in the Mainstream say it’s getting worse.
My guess is that a fairly disproportionately high percentage of that 4% of private sector workers who are ‘political class’ are from the media, who seem to believe they are included in government or are as important as it if not more so. Whatever it is the majority of them seem to slavishly follow the big government line. Perhaps narcissism draws its own alliances. Currently most of the media with the exception of Fox seem to be chasing their tails to paint the latest spate of “tea party” rallies as a tool of the Republicans, rather than a genuine grass-roots movement.

As a libertarian I am delighted at the thought of large numbers of US citizens protesting about the excesses of the state, my only regret being that it is not Australians as well. Placards bearing the Gadsden flag or wording such as “Liberty is the only stimulus we need,” are something I find stimulating. Some of the harder line libertarians however were rather suspicious of the possibility that it might just be big government Republicans blowing off froth.

A post in Libertarian Republican, reprinted from ‘Knappster’ was encouraging. Tom Knapp is about as hard line as it comes in the realm of anti-war libertarians, and not a man to be taken in by a Republican front. The gist was his views on the St. Louis Tea Party event, (astroturfing is the term used for fake grassroots activity organized from the top down normally by political parties.):
There's been a lot of rumor mill stuff about GOP "astro-turfing" of the Tea Party movement, but I saw nothing to indicate that the St. Louis event had been co-opted by any party machine. Most of the signs I saw were handmade and there were a diversity of agendas in evidence. "Fair" Taxers. Campaign For Liberty folks. Freelance "End the Fed" activists. Anti-cigarette-tax activists. Some Know-Nothings. Some "Bikers for Freedom." Various Libertarian Party and non-party libertarians.

Can't say I agreed with every message I saw being offered, but that's the thing -- this event was eclectic. There was no ideological uniformity to it, other than that the general mood was anti-tax, anti-big-spending, anti-bailout. If it was a GOP "astro-turf" attempt, it failed miserably. And I don't think it was ... the "official" event flier included a reading list recommending a book by Murray N. Rothbard. Not exactly Newt Gingrich/Sean Hannity material. I only saw one sign favorably mentioning Fox "News." I saw several that pointedly laid the blame for the economic implosion as much at Republican feet as at Democrat feet.

The only counter-protester I saw on site (I ran into a few more -- poseur-punk-commie types, you know the kind I'm talking about, probably suburban upper middle class kids trying to expiate their angst by acting poor and oppressed -- coming as I was going) was a guy wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt and a facemask and carrying a sign that read "Tax the Rich -- Quit Whining and Pay Up." He was one of only two masked demonstrators I saw. The other one was wearing an Obama mask and smoking a cigarette ... I didn't catch his message.

The crowd was too big and too loud for me to hear much from the stage except during a facsimile of respectful silence during an opening prayer and the singing of the national anthem. The only significant snippet I caught was more anti-"astro-turfing" evidence -- something about liberty not being the possession of any party.

The event struck me as much more genuinely grass-roots than the mostly carefully orchestrated lefty events I've been to in St. Louis over the last nine years. If this at least semi-spontaneous uprising coalesces around a non-partisan (or at least non-"major"-party) populist agenda, it could mark a major shift in American politics. I'm not holding my breath, but I am holding out hope.
His later post “Long Dark Teatime of the State,” is also a great read.


  1. thought you might enjoy this twitter feed

    it's from the point of view of the state

    give it a follow if you like it

  2. Good one.

    Tea Parties:

    The GRIEVANCE is chronic fiscal irresponsibility, now become acute fiscal extremism.

    The TARGET is an inbred, self-serving, self-perpetuating and bipartisan political class that no longer represents the will of the people.

    The GOAL is to send that political class packing and restore genuine representative government, with whatever policy implications that entails.

    Here's what I saw at the Lansing, Michigan event (5,000 participated): Middle class citizens, mostly in their 40s, 50s, 60s. People who have worked all their lives, followed the rules, tried to build a nest egg. The fiscal extremism is scaring them.

  3. Have you heard Garafalo's sliming of the tea parties? It makes me think that they have really ticked the left off. Good.

  4. The State; Thanks for the visit, I really haven't been able to get the hang of twitter, its something I'll have to work on.

    Jack, nicely said. I love your description of the TARGET. I had a look at your site and would be interested in reprinting the post, "Government Bubble" at Thoughts on Freedom, so that some of our guys can chew it over.

    There was a post there last October on bubbles, and I posted one on herd instinct and crowds which was a review of the book by Ron Kitching.

    Alex, its good to see you back. I doubt that she or Olbermann should be talking about brain defects in others when the only reason they can see for anyone to criticize the current administration is racism, no matter what the criticism.

    These people are the snobs of society writ large to the point where they have nothing but sneering contempt for the 'common people' as they see mainstream Americans.

    I hope the Tea Party people have an agenda for after the day and can continue to grow and influence events. I believe that to do that they must avoid allowing it to become a political plaything which the left is trying to paint it as.

    Bush had a pretty bad record on spending and the left is attempting to use that as an excuse to claim that the movement is partisan, but the excessive spending of Bush in eight years has been surpassed in a couple of months by Obama. This is what has really rung the alarm bells, as well as what the spending is targeted at.