Some are already predicting that Tea Parties are a fad, like the Atkins Diet and cuddle parties, and they will soon be swept aside in the Glorious Era of Hope and Change. Maybe, but let me suggest a different possibility, the Tea Parties are the first clumsy, tentative steps toward a new Conservative Activism.
This is all new to us, and I expect there will be many stumbles along the way, but I would hope that the Tea Parties are just the beginning of a new activist Conservatism. Protesting isn’t something conservatives are much accustomed to and, unlike the left, we don’t have have professional “community organizers” who’s full-time “job” it is to protest and make a fuss.
The Right has a lot to learn, including learning a style of activism that fits our character and culture. It’s likely we won’t be having tea parties two years from now, but we can hope that they give way to a new form of activism. The Tea Parties are just the first step, and there will be mistakes and mis-steps along the way, but having an organization to counter the left is a good thing; even if the eventual shape of Conservative activism looks nothing like them. People may have given up on Atkins, but they still want to lose weight.
BTW, I note the Reston, VA Tea Party doesn’t kick off until 6:00 pm. Too late to make the local news, but it does give working folk a chance to finish their work first.
I think it likely that the left is less scared of the Tea Parties themselves, and more afraid of what they portend in the way of future, better, more effective conservative activism. The left has been able to force its agenda on a center-right country largely on the strength of a very loud, very forceful minority. The majority in this country, who largely oppose the radical agenda of the left, has been too quiet, and too otherwise occupied to provide much resistance. If the sleeping giant awakens…