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

Business • Views: 31,129

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
Trump Praises Criminal Violent Assault of the Presshuffingtonpost.com Q: What is wrong with this guy? A: He is Evil. And so are his many followers including some of our own loved ones. Hitler is on video petting little German kids on the head and smiling. Hitler is ...
Rocky-in-Connecticut
15 hours, 15 minutes ago
Views: 83 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
E-Cig Co. Put Viagra, Cialis in Vape Liquids—the FDA Is Throbbing Mad The US Food and Drug Administration made clear on Thursday, October 11 that it has a major bone to pick with an electronic-cigarette vendor that illegally pumped prescription erectile dysfunction drugs into unapproved e-liquid products intended for vaping. The ...
Thanos
4 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 239 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Answering Voter Guide Questions as a Candidate So, my county newspaper, the Bridgeport, NE News-Blade sent me a questionnaire to create a voter guide for village voters asking my positions on issues in my town. I suppose I could expound on those for many pages, but ...
Anymouse 🌹
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 700 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 3 - Meet BullsEye See the origin story of Bullseye in Marvel's Daredevil Season 3, premiering exclusively on Netflix October 19, 2018. Watch Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix: netflix.com #Netflix #MarvelsDaredevil #CharlieCoxSUBSCRIBE: bit.ly About Netflix:Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 130 ...
Thanos
1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 795 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
St. Vincent - Slow Slow Disco (Audio)Songs are living things. They grow, they evolve, they change their moods and personalities over time. The latest version of 'Slow Disco' originally found on MASSEDUCTION. Upcoming Live Shows: ilovestvincent.com Connect with St. Vincent:instagram.com@st_vincentfacebook.com
Thanos
2 weeks, 3 days ago
Views: 917 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Sarah Palin’s Son Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track Palin, was arrested Friday on domestic violence charges, Alaska State Troopers said. Troopers responded to his home in Wasilla at 10:37 p.m. after a report of a disturbance. Palin allegedly assaulted an acquaintance, then ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 5 days ago
Views: 915 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Elvis Costello & the Imposters - Suspect My Tears (Audio) "Suspect My Tears" from the forthcoming album Look NowPre-order the new album Look Now:Official Store (signed + exclusive merch): found.eeAmazon (CD + vinyl): found.eeiTunes (digital download): found.eeSpotify (pre-save): found.eeApple Music (pre-add): found.ee Listen to “Suspect My Tears”:iTunes: found.eeSpotify: found.eeApple ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 886 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0