Thursday, August 5, 2010

Populism and Protest

A commenter on my August 1 entry noted sarcastically that some of the Tea Party protesters are inconsistent in their defense of property rights and oppose letting a mosque be built at Ground Zero.  The Tea Party folk I’ve dealt with have been pretty consistent, but I think most people recognize it’s a coalition, with the healthy thing merely being that its unifying focus is opposing government spending.  It’s not synonymous with libertarianism but is more libertarian a phenomenon than either major political party or much else of significance going on in American politics.

Coincidentally, though, the Tea Party-attending illegal immigration foe being targeted for sarcasm has just posted a piece on American-Rattlesnake explaining why he thinks even protests themselves are something the defenders of illegal immigration can’t get right.

In a way, I’m more interested in populist protest itself than in immigration, and I am well aware that populism can sometimes go too far, as this campaign ad from Tennessee may demonstrate (it was pointed out to me by a lawyer friend from the Hill, the heart of empire, who is visiting New York in a couple weeks but clearly is keeping on top of the important political developments during the August recess).


Gerard said...

It’s not so much the act of protesting itself that offends me as the underlying concept behind these protests, i.e. demanding that law enforcement agencies, jurists, the chief executives of various states and cities, and the federal immigration bureaucracy stop enforcing the law. What’s more, that they create a protected class of individuals that are not subject to civil or criminal law.

Granted, even that is a form of Constitutionally protected speech. Presumably, you could stage a march in favor of jury nullification based upon sex, or stage a protest demanding that certain races be excluded from the internal revenue code, but I doubt either would garner the plaudits mainstream media organs and most public officials confer upon these particular activists.

For the record, I’m not suggesting that the government prevent anyone from staging a pro-amnesty, pro-illegal alien rally in the city of his or her choosing. I’m merely pointing out that the reason these rallies are taking place is because we have a dreadful immigration that allows these people to remain in this country unlawfully for an indefinite period of time.

The alternative to the status quo is starting to deport the illegal aliens who fill these rallies and ending the chain migration that allows their friends and family to add numbers to them, thereby bolstering the public perception of widespread support for their position which does not exist. If this were the case, elected officials would not feel compelled to craft legislation that catered specifically to foreign nationals, who should not exercise any influence on our nation’s domestic policy.

Gerard said...

For what it’s worth, I have no particular problem with loud, provocative, but peaceful protests, even those that espouse causes to which I don’t subscribe. That aside, it should be noted that Tea Party protests, union rallies, anti or pro-Proposition 8 demonstrations, etc., are all organized and conducted by American citizens within that murky, messy cauldron known as representative government.

On the other hand, the pro-amnesty and anti-SB 1070 demonstrations are held by people who are not American citizens, and they are staged on behalf of a foreign government’s interests, not for Americans seeking redress from their government. While imposing the draconian restrictions that Mexico does upon foreigners who immigrate to that country is perhaps too much, I do think a distinction needs to be made between the two sets of political activists.

PuffoPadrino said...

“this campaign ad from Tennessee may demonstrate”

Are you sure it’s not a Tim and Eric sketch?

Gerard said...

Unfortunately-or fortunately, if you’re a comedy sketch appears to be the real deal.

William O. B'Livion said...

While I do see a philosophical tension in Tea-Party types both being opposed to over-broad exercises imminent domain, AND being opposed to the construction of a mosque almost in the sunlight left by the destruction of the Twin Towers, the tension is that the Tea Party is NOT a cohesive group organized around a developed ideology like Liberalism, Progressivism or Libertarianism.

The Tea Party is dis-organized around an idea that can likely be best described as “Fuck you, I ain’t giving you any more money. Get off my lawn”. It is far more anarchist than Libertarian (in that it has no leaders, no spokespeople, no connected hierarchy (local hierarchies, spokespeople and organizations may exist, and even connections between different local groups, but they are not a unified whole).

The reaction to the Mosque is a gut reaction, it is based on anger both at Islam–the religion of war and destruction, and at our idiot and inept leaders who seem to be REPEATEDLY siding with our enemies (The Mosque, The Obama regime siding with Mexican drug cartels and suing AZ over it’s enforcement of Federal laws etc..

And let’s not be stupid, that shithead of a religious leader picked this spot for the mosque as a way of planting the flag on a hill he believes is taken. He didn’t just find a good spot for a church, he went LOOKING in that area.

Rationally he should be able to build his church wherever he wants.

Emotionally? BURN IT DOWN.