Showing You This, While Taking From You That

This year is supposed to be different from others. This election year the people are supposed to have risen up and demanded something new from their government. This election year the people are supposed to have said they will take no more, and are supposed to have selected candidates who represent a closer approximation of themselves. This year the tenor is supposed to have been set by the grass roots.

For some reason, though, the people behind the uprising seem to be familiar ones. For some reason, the people doing the interviews, coming up with the talking points for candidates and explaining the new movement and the voter frustration are people we’ve known for quite some time. We’ve seen them for years, many from as far back as the Reagan years. If this was so new, how can this be exactly?

It seems certain people have gone around the country latching onto a movement which grew out of genuine anger and frustration to put forward their own political agenda and rescue a hobbled big tent party. In some ways it bodes well as, whether you agree with the tenets of the movement or not, it is an example of the political elite scrambling to catch up with a desire on the part of voters to see something new from Washington. It is a desire which has manifested as something other than the typical easy to subdue, docile and apathetic voter sentiment.

This time the desire for change which first reared its head on the left and independent center has also shown up on the right, and those who were hoping for something to come their way, for a few hopeful drops of rain to land in the desert they found themselves in, got more than they could have hoped for. Soon the spin followed. It was the fault of this one and that one, and as the people at the top of the heap, at the moment were from the left, they had an easy target to point to and say, “see them? It’s their faults!”

But, so far the direction the movement is taking does not bode well for real political change. This is a democracy represented by more than one side, and in Washington little gets accomplished through bitter partisan divides. An unwillingness to move means either one side is forced to do everything themselves with no input from the other side with things still moving as slow as molasses, or nothing gets done at all. For a year, an unwillingness to move is really all we’ve seen, and standing firm past the point of stubbornness has not been conducive to productive non-partisan legislation.

To blame where we are on the current administration alone is like blaming an out of control blaze on the firemen who showed up after it was already an emergency for the 5 alarm fire. There were people who were there from both sides previously who contributed to the mess, but the current administration has had less than two years to fix a problem which started nine to ten years before they ever took office. That’s not to excuse their mistakes because there are no excuses for them, but a miracle in less than a year could not have been accomplished by anyone, no matter what lines they’re selling up in Washington these days.

The people behind the new faces of this supposedly new movement for change are not new, fresh faces at all. They are not Jane and Joe from the neighborhood who rose up out of frustration and went door to door until a movement was sparked. Unfortunately they are political operatives who have been in the game years. In fact groups like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, which were once the same group, are training, strategizing for, marketing, organizing for, funding and developing talking points for the Tea Party.

Both groups are listed on the Tea Party web site and have been strong forces behind the movement since its inception. In the media most of the “experts” interviewed about the movement are not your average Jane or Joe at all, but are usually longtime Republican Party members of one stripe or another.

Everywhere you turn, on every major channel when the news program host turns to someone to say, “tell us more about this,” “explain to us this movement” or “tell us about the Tea Party” it isn’t some fresh new face most of the time. In fact most of those faces are the same faces who were giving us the Republican perspective in the 2008 elections and for the most part the 2006 elections. And those fresh faces? The same operatives who have ranted about a lack of transparency in Washington have told them not to talk to the media. So how are we supposed to know who they are besides the occasional talking point rhetoric?

The two wealthy brothers behind the movement, Charles and David Koch, are true conservatives in name only, who fund the Tea Party and have pushed talking points about wasteful government spending, out of control government expansion and pork barrel projects, have raked in $100 million dollars from lucrative government contracts since 2000. They have been fined for dumping toxic waste onto community lands and into water supplies. They have been fined for stealing oil from taxpayer owned land.

These are not salt of the earth wholesome all-American types. These are men who have the money, power and resources to peddle one thing, so that they can take another. There was a saying in the seventies which went, “the revolution will not be televised.” To all those who believe this to be a revolution, take a close look at what’s really going on. There will be time to see whether we will have real change or not soon enough, and whether it is the type of change the average American really feels is benefitting them or not.

As long as it’s the same old rich guys who keep getting richer, even during the recession, calling the shots, what are the chances we will see any truly lasting meaningful change for ourselves? What would it benefit men who have built their lives on accumulating wealth to suddenly start doing those things which benefit us instead? They don’t need any more money, they want more power, and only we, the voters, can give it to them, and we will bow, and we will surrender it to them this year.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to