Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Tea Party: Politics and Class Interests (Jon Kofas, Greece)

Posted on November 3rd, 2010

Does it make any sense for American millionaires to vehemently oppose Obama when the NASDAQ index has almost doubled since he took office? The irrational in human nature is confirmed in every aspect of endeavors from daily routines at work and home to political convictions. Rich or poor, people support political parties or movements that are close to their ideological (and in many cases mixed with religious) convictions, but contrary to their personal economic interests in some cases. This is true not only with wealthy leftists who support political parties that would raise taxes on upper income groups, but also on millionaires who oppose governments whose economic and fiscal policies have resulted in raising their incomes, as is true of Obama’s administration and the American wealthy class. Considering that Obama’s policies have helped to sustain an otherwise crippled financial system, that his administration’s policies have resulted in a dramatic rise of stock market averages combined with optimism about a more stable future, and a relatively stable dollar whose real value would be very low if it were not a reserve currency and Obama administration fiscal and monetary policies, it is difficult to explain multimillionaires and billionaires currently funding Tea Party candidates and gearing up for the next election. One explanation is that the very wealthy recognize that the Tea Party has become an effective instrument of energizing the popular classes that would otherwise be staying home or supporting the Democrats. The ultimate goal of big money behind Tea Party candidates is to co-opt the Tea Party into the Republican establishment and project the image to the general population that indeed the Tea Party is a genuine grass-roots movement. After the midterm election results, some political observers are optimistic that the Democrats have a chance to win in 2012, especially if Tea Party leader Sarah Palin runs for president. Palin has more negatives than positives among American voters, according to public opinion polls. Nevertheless, she believes that the mid-term election “refudiates” Democrats (her expression not mine), thus these current conditions pave the way for her to run for President in 2012.
But was the election result of November 2010 against Obama Democrats, or against the “political establishment”? Was it a vote for Tea Party or against Democrats who do not differ on substantive bread and butter issues from the Republicans? The American people have been conditioned to swing from one party to the other every election, except in cases where the economy and in some cases other significant issues such as national security has convinced them to keep the status quo. Although we may witness the Tea Party version of “Dumb & Dumber” (Palin) for president and (some cloned Tea Party version of Palin) as her running mate, it is very early to predict an Obama victory, especially if he does not lower unemployment and does not improve living standards. On numerous occasions I have written that Obama and the Democrats will move more center-right in order to win the presidential race of 2012. The Tea Party has now gained legitimacy and it will force the entire political arena to move to the right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is not an authentic Tea Party leader. Ron Paul is the authentic grassroots candidate whose votes in congress reflect sound mindedness especially in economic and fiscal matters. (He) was not sleeping while sitting at the back of the bus.