Liberals: Hey, Let's Form Our Own Tea Party To Fight Trump

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jan 25, 2017 5:15 PM
Liberals: Hey, Let's Form Our Own Tea Party To Fight Trump

So, how will the Left respond to President Trump in a serious way? Well, they appear to be yearning for a grassroots army of their own, a left wing version of the Tea Party. Many are still licking their wounds from Hillary Clinton’s upset defeat, while others remain completely immobile that the billionaire real estate magnate occupies the Oval Office. And therein lies the problem. There’s a reason why Trump was elected and Clinton was not. There’s a reason why the Tea Party energized the Republican Party. So, I guess I can see why the Left wants something like this for their side. Yet, even The New York Times said this was a tall order since the party has been devastated under Obama’s presidency (via NYT):

Eight years after Republicans united after a stinging electoral defeat to oppose President Barack Obama, Democrats are channeling an even deeper anxiety over President Trump — and a far shallower defeat — into a newfound burst of organizing.

Party leaders, eyeing the huge protests last weekend and growing worries over the promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, are hoping to recreate the mass movement that sprang up in 2009 and swept Republicans to power in the House and in governor’s races across the country — a Tea Party equivalent from the left.

And they are turning to the same playbook that guided their conservative counterparts in the aftermath of Mr. Obama’s election: creating or expanding a number of groups outside the formal architecture of the party, focusing on often-overlooked state legislative and redistricting campaigns, and bringing together frightened fund-raisers to underwrite it all.

Recreating the conditions for a second lightning strike will be difficult. The kind of soaring unemployment that followed the worst recession since the Depression is not likely anytime soon, and with many House districts gerrymandered by Republicans and few Republican-held Senate seats open in 2018, the political terrain is more forbidding for Democrats now. Only two Republican Senate seats — in Nevada and Arizona — are plausibly available to Democrats at the moment, while Democrats must defend 10 seats in states won by Mr. Trump. The most hard-fought campaigns may be the 38 governor’s races that will take place over the next two years.

The article also noted two things that should stand out. One is that success will depend on the Democratic Party getting serious about state and local elections, in which the GOP has eviscerated them since 2009. Second, top Clinton ally David Brock held a three-day conference in Palm Beach, Florida over the inauguration weekend with 150 top liberal donors and operatives to map a course to create their own Tea Party—and reportedly to defeat Trump by finding ways to impeach him.

The Democrats have no standing in rural America, which is where you’ll find the die-hard supporters and the credibility to say this is actually a movement. Having marches consisting of the same privileged and overly educated progressive elites that engage in the typical self-righteous antics that blinded them from the rising neo-populist wave isn’t necessarily the recipe for a movement with longevity. Also, the GOP owns the heartland. If you drove from D.C. to California, you’d be hard pressed to drive through a county where Clinton won. California is also the only reason why Clinton receive three million more popular votes than Trump, which isn't really an indicator of much other than Democrats voted for a Democrat in a state that already goes Democrat. It does serve as another reason why the Electoral College is necessary to prevent the liberal coasts from suffocating us in their politically correct, hyper-progressive, and intolerant ethos, but I digress.

Given that Middle America is Republican, Democrats are left with the coasts and the cities to rebuild a movement that a) doesn’t seem all that interested in reaching out to white working class Americans; and b) doesn’t seem to be willing to move away from transgender bathroom advocacy and towards job creation, the former being a hallmark of how the progressive urban elites. President Trump is probably the most pro-gay rights Republican ever elected, so once the Left finds out that he isn’t all that interested in curbing LGBT rights—that’s one wing that has no reason to get energized. Given that the GOP is now dominant in rural America, the Democratic Party has mostly let their political organizations in these areas wither and die. They have to start from scratch since the party has been virtually destroyed in Appalachia. Out of 490 counties that dot this region of America, which was once a Democratic bastion, Clinton only won 21 of them. So, before liberals can even begin talking about things that continue to alienate normal Americans, they have to rebuild the party apparatus. It’s not impossible, but hard with the PC-minded ethos of the Left.

The point is that the Tea Party was organic. It wasn’t organized by professional operatives, like what appears to be happening in Florida, and the message of lower taxes, smaller government, less spending, and less regulation resonates. Trigger warnings, safe spaces, bathrooms, cultural appropriation, only reigns in the echo chambers of the cities. It’s for people who can afford to dabble in this nonsensical drivel; it’s not meant for someone who is voting or supporting someone out of survival. The sparks of the Tea Party could be seen with President George W. Bush’s Troubled Asses Relief Program, which grew into a brushfire with Obama’s health care law and stimulus program. In its initial stages, the Tea Party’s t strength and weakness was that it was decentralized. There was no leader. There were no qualms about challenging and cannibalizing moderate Republicans seen as too establishment and not conservative enough in primaries.

With their bastions of power restricted to the cities and the coasts, their extreme progressive disposition, and the condescension they have for people who are not like them, I doubt Democrats will be successful in this venture. In fact, it could devolve into a total disaster. There is no way this Democratic Tea Party would accept anyone who isn’t adherent to the ravings of a college-aged liberal, which seems to be the norm within Democratic circles. And this has happened before. Occupy Wall Street was the Left’s counter to the Tea Party. It wasn’t organic. Professional activists organized it, it wasn’t authentic (or organic)—and it fell apart. This idea of a Democratic Tea Party, like OWS, will begin and die in the cities.