creators.com opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
David Harsanyi
David Harsanyi
26 Sep 2014
Obama Goes Rogue

Of the countless lessons we've learned from liberals over the past few years, none is more critical than this:… Read More.

19 Sep 2014
Biden Gets Another Free Pass

Remember when the media freaked out for three days over Sarah Palin's completely innocuous use of the term "… Read More.

12 Sep 2014
Actually, Senators, You're the Ones Who Threaten the Country

We are, as it always seems, "at a pivotal moment in American history." At least that's what Sens. Tom Udall … Read More.

24-Hour Party People

Comment

Yesterday I waded into a mass of tea party protesters gathered at the front of Colorado's Capitol and completely forgot to brace myself for a "small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht" (as New York Times columnist Frank Rich once characterized these events).

As it turns out, earlier I happened to peruse a new CBS/New York Times poll detailing the attitudes of tea party activists, who, it turns out, are more educated than the average American, more reflective of mainstream anxieties than any populist movement in memory and more closely aligned philosophically with the wider electorate than any big-city newsroom in America.

What seemed to be the biggest news derived from the poll nationally? A plurality of tea party activists do not deem Sarah Palin qualified for the presidency — proving, I suppose, that some people have the ability to be exceptionally fond of a political celebrity without elevating her to sainthood.

More significantly, the polling showed that most tea party activists believe the taxes they pay are "fair." The largest number of them want their movement to work to reduce the size of government rather than focus on cutting budget deficits or lowering taxes. Whether you concur or not with this viewpoint, it exhibits more economic sophistication than we often hear from pandering senatorial candidates.

It was news that tea party activists — unlike our president or most senators — send their children to public schools. (With a public monopoly in place, where else are they expected to send their children?) The majority of them also deem Social Security and Medicare worthy taxpayer burdens, putting a crimp in the left-wing mythology that the anarchist mob is about to explode.

And though tea party supporters are more conservative than the average voter on social issues, as well — particularly abortion, according to a separate Gallup Poll — The New York Times reports that 8 in 10 tea party activists believe the movement should focus on economic issues rather than cultural ones.

How long have we been hearing from moderate, sensible, worldly Republican types that if only — if only — the right found God on economic issues and lost God on the social ones, there would be an expansion of appeal and support? Apparently, they were right.

Now, I won't allege to have observed any sweeping displays of multiculturalism at the tea party shindig I attended (though without question, it featured more diversity than my own cloistered rock-ribbed lefty neighborhood).

According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, tea party "supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large."

More specifically, the economic strata in which the tea party movement resides will bear the brunt of Washington's economic reorganization, namely the middle class. The majority of Americans are middle-class, and their concerns (the economy, job creation, etc.) more closely mirror the tea party than Washington's progressive agenda (the environment, entitlements, etc.).

Naturally, the hyperventilating and demonization of these crackpots who carry around copies of the Constitution and babble about the 10th Amendment will continue unabated. It is, perhaps, as much a matter of a cultural divergence as it is an ideological disagreement. Yet, once again, the evidence demonstrates that by the very definition of the word, the tea party is less "radical" than are the elected officials busy transforming the nation.

Or, as one sign succinctly put it: "There are no crazies here. They are all in Washington, D.C."

Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say there were "no crazies" there, but I can tell you every word on the sign was spelled correctly.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of "Nanny State." Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com. To find out more about David Harsanyi and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 THE DENVER POST

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM



Comments

0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
David Harsanyi
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Susan EstrichUpdated 1 Oct 2014
Jim Hightower
Jim HightowerUpdated 1 Oct 2014
John Stossel
John StosselUpdated 1 Oct 2014

28 Feb 2014 Rand Paul Is Right. Social Conservatives Should Embrace Libertarianism

24 Feb 2010 The Ron Paul Delusion

6 Jun 2012 The Democrats' 'Fairness' Canard