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

Business • Views: 27,508

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
‘Silent Coup’: Limbaugh Says ?!?! In an impassioned commentary, Rush Limbaugh said he believes the Washington establishment - both Democrats and Republicans - are involved in a "silent coup" against President Trump. Silent coup? Wrong and wrong. As silent as Rachael Maddow, Keith Olberman ...
Unshaken Defiance
3 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 442 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Immigration: Focus LocallyIn these days of Trump and the Republicans attacking everything decent about America, it's too easy to focus on the immediate threat. Trump's Muslim band is back, but everyone is paying attention to the Republicans trying to steal our healthcare. ...
jhncsy
3 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 334 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told to Endure Domestic Violence in the Name of God (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) The culprits were obvious: it was the menopause or the devil. Who else could be blamed, Peter screamed at his wife in nightly tirades, for her alleged insubordination, for her stupidity, her lack of sexual pliability, her refusal to ...
Birth Control Works
4 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 617 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
West Virginia Families, Just Learning About Health-Care Access, Fear It Will Be Taken Away - Rewire In Vienna, West Virginia—just north of Parkersburg, along the Ohio River separating the two states—the only Planned Parenthood health center in the state sits among a scattering of gray and tan buildings beside the main road. A few days ...
Birth Control Works
5 days ago
Views: 669 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Trump Election Commissioner Used Dubious Data to Allege an “Alien Invasion” - Mother Jones Election officials and experts say there’s plenty of reason to doubt those claims.But they could still provide a blueprint for Trump’s commission, which has so far hinted at tighter restrictions on voting in the name of cracking down on ...
Thanos
5 days, 7 hours ago
Views: 609 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Inside the Middle East’s First Rape & Domestic Violence Crisis Program For the last year and a half, there’s been a new sight in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Lodged into stacks of newspapers, stuck to mirrors in restaurant bathrooms, and pinned to grocery store notice boards are small, blue-and-white fliers ...
Birth Control Works
6 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 648 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
First Aid Kit - My Silver LiningFirst Aid Kit perform My Silver Lining at Glastonbury 2017
Thanos
6 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 578 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Jangada - Claudia Villela Quartet at Kuumbwa Jazz Jangada written by Claudia Villela, performed by the Claudia Villela Quartet at Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA, April 15, 2013 Claudia Villela - vocals, piano, percussionCelso Alberti - drums/percussionJeff Buenz - guitarsGary Brown - bass videography by John Mountaudio ...
Thanos
6 days, 22 hours ago
Views: 435 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Should NYPD Lawyers Step in to Prosecute? Protestors Say No. NEW YORK (AP) -- Arminta Jeffryes was arrested while protesting police brutality. Then the police department played an unusual role in her court case. A New York Police Department lawyer stepped in to prosecute the jaywalking charge against her, ...
Thanos
6 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 471 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Saturday Tiny Water Drop Macro Last week I had a little success with a similar image. I thought I'd take another one and see about perhaps a bit more refined finished look. I hope you enjoy this humble peek into the small and large ...
Unshaken Defiance
1 week ago
Views: 614 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 9
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0