The Grand Old Tea Party vs. Oboccupy Wall StreetSubmitted by compromise on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 17:47
In the December of 2007, a group of libertarians and paleo-conservatives supporting Ron Paul's 2008 presidential bid decided to hold a fundraiser event. They called it the "Boston TeaParty07". It was one of the most successful money bombs of the 2008 presidential race.
In January 2009, Young Americans for Liberty, the youth wing of Campaign for Liberty, started the first "Tea Party" protest.
In early February of the same year, mainstream conservatives started their own Tea Party-style protests (although under a different name) and also started attending those legitimate ones hosted by libertarians.
In late February and March, Republicans again began their own protests, but this time using the Tea Party name. These were attended by libertarians, and likewise, libertarian Tea Party protests were attended by Republicans.
By late 2009 and early 2010, the Tea Party had gained the support of political commentator Glenn Beck and Alaska governor and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The mainstream media, as an attempt to smear the Tea Party because of Palin's unpopularity with the American people, "mistakenly" credited Palin with creating the Tea Party, and doing so back in 2007. Republican political organisations, such as the Tea Party Patriots and not long after, the PAC known as the Tea Party Express were formed around this time.
With 2010 came new congressional elections. Hundreds of candidates ran under the Tea Party banner to important state and federal positions. These included libertarians like Rand Paul and Justin Amash, and fiscal conservatives like Scott Brown and Nikki Haley. Some conservative incumbents, like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn, also embraced the Tea Party.
By late 2011 and 2012, the Tea Party had declined, both in support and in popularity. Candidates who had previously not been fiscal conservatives at all, such as famously moderate Newt Gingrich, former liberal Democrat Rick Perry and pro-Bush Rick Santorum, all claimed to be Tea Party candidates.
The Tea Party and the Republican Party had become synonyms.
Occupy started in September 2011, largely supported by social liberals, Greens, socialists, social democrats and other left wing groups, along with a handful of Ron Paul supporters, including many of the "Blue Republicans".
As of today, numerous PACs and political organisations have been set up. Occupy Politics, OWS PAC and Occupy Congress to name a few.
Could we see Occupy suffer the same fate, except at the hands of the Democrats?
I do not agree with a lot of Occupy's leftist rhetoric. However, they are a grassroots movement, with ties to people like Nader and Chomsky who have much in common with us when it comes to civil liberties, bringing the troops home and government transparency. It is within our interests the grassroots survives, both on the left and the right.