Tea Partying: When Protest Movements Defend the Interests of the Ultra-Rich

Business • Views: 30,257

Four years ago, the modern tea party seemed to emerge from nowhere, leaving journalists bewildered and the public with few reference points to understand seemingly spontaneous rallies by middle-class people seeking lower tax rates. A search for the phrase “tea party” in connection with “politics” in major newspapers yielded fewer than 100 mentions in 2008 — and when the words did appear linked together, they suggested studied formality and decorum. The next year, they appeared more than 1,500 times, often connected to “protest demonstration.”

But little was spontaneous about the new party. “Social movements that explicitly defend the interests of the rich and the almost-rich have been a recurring feature of American politics,” Isaac William Martin, a sociologist at the University of California, San Diego, reminds us in his new book, Rich People’s Movements: Grassroots Campaigns to Untax the One Percent. “Such movements shook the American polity before the Obama era, before the Reagan era and before Barry Goldwater ran for president — before, even, the New Deal.”

With meticulous research, Martin shows how the modern tea party grew from decades of efforts by American oligarchs to de-tax themselves. They relied on cranks, rogues and a few scholars to polish the most effective ideological marketing pitches. Their goal was selling the notion that if the rich bear less of the burden of government, all of us will somehow end up better off. These pitches have worked best when some newly proposed government initiative — like President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — arrives to pose the threat of major policy change. They have depended on diverting attention from obvious questions, such as just how does a smaller tax bill for the Koch brothers benefit us?

Spanning decades, the residue of relationships, movement-building skills and organizations from past enlistments of the affluent many to agitate for the interests of the super-elite few could be seen merely as an example of what Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab called “cultural baggage” in their 1971 book The Politics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism in America, 1790-1970. Instead, Martin says, these movements bequeathed to us “not just a suitcase we drag along behind us” but “a toolkit” to remake American public policy. Martin also concurs with historian Richard Hofstadter, who pointed out a half-century ago how many practitioners of his famous theory — the paranoid style in American politics — found their roots in the arrival, in 1913, of the 16th Amendment. That amendment, ratified on the eve of World War I, resolved disputes over the meaning of the phrase “direct taxes shall be apportioned,” and in doing so ushered in the modern income tax.

More: Tea Partying: When Protest Movements Defend the Interests of the Ultra-Rich

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Pathetic Loser Seb Gorka Clumsily Photoshops a Fox News Biz Card OK, I know this week's theme seems to be how Trump hires mental defects, shitheels, liars, thieves, perverts & mouth-breathing racists. Here comes a guy who checks a lot of those boxes: President Donald Trump’s former aide Sebastian Gorka ...
Khal Wimpo (the extinguisher of tiki torches)
10 hours, 31 minutes ago
Views: 84 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Abolish ICE — and the DEA Too Kathleen Frydl, Vox: Abolish ICE — and the DEA too Left unchecked, the egregious harms imposed by ICE — deportations that do more to disrupt than protect American communities; the ill-conceived preference for immigration detention executed via a system ...
Big Beautiful Door
17 hours, 45 minutes ago
Views: 210 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
Daily Beast - Flat Earthers Call Trump’s Space Force Idea ‘Impossible’ Not surprisingly, just about the only people who shouldn't be criticizing Trump's "Space Force" idea are doing so. "Of course" we all "know" full well every single government on Earth is involved in a massive cover up to hide ...
CriticalDragon1177
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 183 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Calexico - End of the World With You (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents Calexico performing "End Of The World With You" live in the KEXP studio. Recorded June 19, 2018. Host: MorganAudio Engineers: Martin H. Gonzalez & Julian MartlewCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro, Scott Holpainen & Justin WilmoreEditor: Jim Beckmann ...
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 106 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Ft. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth Labrinth, Sia & Diplo present LSD - Thunderclouds (Official Audio) Stream "Thunderclouds" now: smarturl.itSpotify: smarturl.itiTunes: smarturl.itApple Music: smarturl.itAmazon Music: smarturl.it Learn more about LSD and sign up for the official mailing list: droppinglsd.com Lyrics: All I need is oneOne ...
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 146 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Half•alive - Still Feel. [Music VIDEO] half•alive’s music video for ‘still feel.’ Save on Spotify : spoti.fi Apple Music : apple.coSoundcloud : SoundCloud find half•alive on… Instagram: instagr.amTwitter: @halfalivecoSpotify: spoti.fiSoundcloud: SoundCloudSite: halfalive.co Directed / Edited / Colored by : Josh TaylorDirector of Photography : Ryan ...
Thanos
1 day, 15 hours ago
Views: 135 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Bands and Artists I LoveSuperorganism. Your text to link...
The Artist Formerly Known as Irenicum
3 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 145 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Dave Grohl - Play (Official Video) PLAY more at play.roswellfilms.com Pre-order limited edition vinyl bundles and stream the song: smarturl.it “PLAY” by Dave Grohl celebrates the rewards and challenges of dedicating one’s life to playing and mastering a musical instrument. Part one opens with narrated ...
Thanos
4 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 145 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Seshen - Distant Heart (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents The Seshen performing "Distant Heart" live at The Little London Plane during Upstream Music Fest. Recorded June 1, 2018. Host: Kevin ColeAudio Engineer: Kevin SuggsCameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro & Justin WilmoreDirector: Scott HolpainenEditor: Alaia D'Alessandro kexp.orgtheseshen.comupstreammusicfest.com ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 599 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Retrograde PresidentProfit at any cost. American dream. President Trump. Blind destruction. BBC News: The Trump administration has overturned bans on the use of pesticides linked to declining bee populations and the cultivation of genetically modified crops in US national wildlife refuges. ...
Dom
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 525 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0