18 September 2010

Venting Anger vs. Fixing What's Broken

At Slate, Jacob Weisberg posts an article musing on how the Tea Party is analogous to the New Left of the 1960s. In "The Right's New Left," he suggests that the major similarity rests in the party's "streak of anarchism—its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns." On the other hand, the Party also exhibits such tendencies as resentment, nostalgia (for an undefined past), and reinvention of reality. These characteristics, Weisberg asserts, underscore the Party's concerns with personal identity--the possible loss of status, of a secure social, cultural, and economic position--in a changing environment. The question is, how does the party reconcile its anarchic qualities and identity focus and move forward as a coherent political movement--if it can?

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