April 15, 2009

ABC NEWS ON THE TEA PARTY PROTESTS: “The movement is leaderless and only aligns indirectly with party politics. While many participants will be Republicans, the anti-spending message is more closely aligned with libertarian themes of small government, with many people angry at both Democrats and Republicans.” Indeed.

UPDATE: A warning to Republicans about the Tea Parties. “Practice what you preach when it matters. Not after the fact.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Gary Robinson writes: “That’s the big problem for the movement, and why the administration isn’t terribly worried about it right now. Very soon, there will need to be some form of leadership to give the tea parties direction and focus – to actually turn the multiple independent protests into an effective movement. It will need a few simple, uniform slogans, for example. It’s also badly in need of a media spokesman to give the movement a voice in the major media.” Is he right, or is that old-style thinking that’s obsolete in a new age of dispersed media? I’m guessing he’s right.

MORE: Reader Dusty Raftery writes:

That the tea party protests are leaderless is only partly true. True in that there is no national leader or group of them that either began or carried the movement to where it is right now.

But it is not true that the movement is leaderless. What we will see today is the work of thousands of leaders and at the gathering, thousands more. And as the movement gathers more steam, many of these leaders will become prominent ones, if and as they wish, in their communities, which, I think, is the the great issue undercurrent of these demonstrations — devolving national government power back to the states and localities. In other words, returning power to the people.

Where all politics becomes local, the need for national leaders is less important and issues of great importance do not become a personification of them.

I might add that the success of the movement in returning power to local communities and states might save more than few local newspapers.

Good point.

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