CFR: Tea Party Dangerous, Obstructive

By Mead, Walter Russell | The New American, April 4, 2011 | Go to article overview

CFR: Tea Party Dangerous, Obstructive


Mead, Walter Russell, The New American


When the internationalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) decided it was time to take a hard look at the growing influence of the Tea Party movement in America, it selected "one of the country's leading students of American foreign policy," Walter Russell Mead, to do the study. His article in the March/April 2011 issue of Foreign Affairs is entitled "The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy: What Populism Means for Globalism."

He gets the first part right: "The rise of the Tea Party movement has been the most controversial and dramatic development in U.S. politics for many years. Supporters have hailed it as a return to core American values; opponents have seen it as a racist, reactionary, and ultimately futile protest against the emerging reality of a multicultural, multiracial United States and a new era of government activism."

He then complains that this battle of ideologies is going to be impossible to resolve, especially since the Tea Party has no leadership, and includes "affluent suburban libertarians, rural fundamentalists, ambitious pundits, unreconstructed racists, and fiscally conservative housewives." He was distressed to learn that about 115 million of them exist (or at least sympathize with the movement) according to a recent poll.

Mead recognizes the danger represented by the Tea Party to the socialist/internationalist agenda. If resistance to the schemes and plans of the insiders to turn the United States into just another European socialist country in a new world order continues to grow, there could be real trouble for the elites. Writes Mead:

  Sometimes those elites are right, and sometimes they are wrong, but
  their ability to win voter approval for policies that seem
  counterintuitive is a critical factor in the American political
  system. In times like the present, when a surge of populist
  political energy coincides with a significant loss of popular
  confidence in establishment institutions--ranging from the
  mainstream media and the foreign policy and intellectual
  establishments to the financial and corporate leadership and the
  government itself--Jacksonian sentiment [Tea Party sentiment]
  diminishes the ability of elite institutions and their members to
  shape national debates and policy. [Emphasis added.] The rejection
  of the scientific consensus on climate change is [just] one of many
  examples of populist revolt against expert consensus in the United
  States.

Let's unpack what Mead has just said here. The elites have an agenda, right or wrong. But under what is left of the Constitution, voter approval is still necessary to obtain approval and funding for their agenda. But with their increasing loss of credibility, and the awakening of members and supporters of the Tea Party to the decades-long scam, the elitists are finding it increasingly difficult to accomplish their objectives. And the mainstream media, losing credibility daily as it continues to reflect the elites' positions that are no longer tenable, are having less and less influence in the real conversation about freedom.

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