Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just Want to be Free

best, most comprehensive article I've read yet on the Tea Partiers.

University of Chicago professor Mark Lilla, writing in the New York Review of Books, argues that the Tea Party movement fuses the anarchic impulses of the Sixties counterculture with the economic individualism of the Reagan Eighties. "[The Tea Party movement] is estranged, aimless, and as juvenile as our new century," he writes. "It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that."

Fundamentally, Lilla concludes, the Tea Partiers just want to be free: "free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don’t talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn’t). They want to say what they have to say without fear of contradiction, and then hear someone on television tell them they’re right. They don’t want the rule of the people, though that’s what they say. They want to be people without rules—and, who knows, they may succeed. This is America, where wishes come true. And where no one remembers the adage 'Beware what you wish for.'"

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