Setting the Record Straight
I’d be a bit remiss if I didn’t link to this interview between Rachel Maddow and Stephen Gordon on the Tea Party protests and the conservative/libertarian divide thereon. Much as I stand by everything I wrote the other day on this issue, Gordon has been doing yeoman’s work trying to both set the record straight and keep the protests focused on the topic at hand. I haven’t had the chance to see yet whether those efforts had any effect (my suspicion is no).
The unapologetically liberal Maddow deserves a lot of credit for being far more respectful of the Tea Party protests (well at least the libertarian argument for the Tea Party protests) than just about any conservative commentator was of the Iraq War protests in 2003.
Were I not dealing with a sick 11-month old the last 48 hours, I would have highlighted this sage advice Stephen gave to the protesters; just change the issues around, and it’s sage advice for the protest of any issue, I think. I just suspect it’s advice that really can’t be followed as a practical matter in any large protest:
The successful Tea Party in Alabama was the rallying point which turned into a major defeat of the largest tax hike (proposed by a Republican, no less) in our state’s history. Some organizers tried to hold similar events in later years. However, the rallying cries became more about issues like abortion and especially immigration. Not surprisingly, the movement fell apart.
If you are an event organizer or speaker, keep in mind that pretty much everyone will agree with your fiscally conservative message. The Second Amendment is probably pretty safe turf, but not necessary for the purpose of this coalition. Conservatives or libertarians wandering off into territory such as abortion, gay rights, immigration, medical marijuana, and the Iraq War will be creating unnecessarily divisive issues.
(My emphasis). I’d love to hear feedback on how well and whether this advice was followed.