Monday, March 29, 2010

Fellow Travelers and a Flash Tea Party Suggestion

I was fortunate to get a grant for writing from the Phillips Foundation over a decade ago, and I’m pleased to see one of my fellow Fellows, Paul Crespo, running for Congress in Florida.  As a well-educated Catholic ex-military man who’s done hostage retrieval and talk radio and loves free markets, I think he should have the conservative vote safely sewn up.

Meanwhile, our fellow Fellow Kathleen Monaghan reports from Georgia that she’s working on the congressional campaign of Tom Graves but is also trying to draw attention to a bill in the state legislature that does many of the things free-marketeers want, all in one fell swoop: the Jobs, Opportunity, and Business Success Act of 2010 (JOBS 2010).  Not quite the “omnibus repeal act” abolishing government that libertarians sometimes dream of, but a step in the right direction.

But just to show I can think outside the conventional electoral/legislative box, two suggestions for the bourgeoning conservative protest movement:

•If you wanna make the Tea Parties even bigger, don’t let any more people get the impression that anger is the events’ only underlying emotion; the leftists do fun (even when rioting), and they get big turnouts in the process — not that I didn’t have fun at the Tea Parties I went to.  Puppets?

•And: instead of flashmobs, flash-Tea-Parties.  You heard it here first.

Also thinking outside the box is New York State Libertarian Party activist James Ostrowski (the poor guy whose gubernatorial campaign was derailed when Howard Stern temporarily took over the party to run for governor, though I admit I was cheering Stern at the time, mainly because of the publicity potential).  Ostrowski has a new handbook for Tea Party organizers and activists out, so check that out, if only to see how it compares to my suggestions.


Clay Waters said...

Unfortunately (for the Tea Party movement anyway) right-leaning types tend to have have jobs and lives and don’t have the time or inclination to construct papier-mache Obama puppets. Where do all the lefties get these giant inflatable rats, anyway? Is there some warehouse they’re kept, does every group have their own, or do they just have one they rent out for the weekend?

Todd Seavey said...

I suspect we are often seeing the _same_ union-owned inflatable rat, deployed to different union protest sites around town as need be.

Perhaps they sometimes argue over who gets the rat.

Ali T. Kokmen said...

“Unfortunately (for the Tea Party movement anyway) right-leaning types tend to have have jobs and lives…”

Not that there’s anything conclusively insightful to be drawn from this typical trend piece story, but it’s clearly not the case that all right-leaning Tea Partiers are fulfillingly employed and with right lives apart from their activism:

Jim Ostrowski said...

Todd, thanks for the plug, but don’t feel bad for me. I’m doing fine. It’s the NYLP that screwed itself and fell on many, many years of “bad luck” after that.

One huge problem in the libertarian movement is lack of loyalty and esprit d’corp.

Most likely, the Stern thing was a dirty trick to help Pataki that year.

missbhavens said...

“If you wanna make the Tea Parties even bigger, don’t let any more people get the impression that anger is the events’ only underlying emotion;”

SO true! Teabagging ain’t my thing, but Lordy, folks need to turn down the anger because it’s all us crazy lefties see.

Todd Seavey said...

And I should make clear that I am not saying anger _is_ the sole emotion at Tea Parties — nor, to be sure, that such anger as there is is irrational or bad. We should be furious at ever-expanding government both here and around the world, especially as we reach the sorry end of room for its expansion before inevitable economic collapse follows.

But in many people’s eyes, puppets (for example) are good PR. (And I should also note that the antiglobalization nuts certainly prove puppets and anger can coexist.) It’s the media that wants to and chooses to paint Tea Parties as especially nasty and angry, and I’m just suggesting we not give them ammo. (By contrast, the media are happy to paint positive portraits of left-wing protests even when shop windows get broken and traffic blocked and many people arrested, all things that tend never to happen at the orderly, peaceful Tea Parties. I just want rep to start matching the very positive reality.)

Fellow Travelers and a Flash Tea Party Suggestion said...

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