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Hoover Institution’s Peter Berkowitz in the WSJ: On ‘Liberals’ and the Tea Phenomenon: Home Run, Sir!


Peter Berkowitz in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal:

Highly educated people say the [darnedest] things, these days particularly about the tea party movement. Vast numbers of other highly educated people read and hear these dubious pronouncements, smile knowingly, and nod their heads in agreement. University educations and advanced degrees notwithstanding, they lack a basic understanding of the contours of American constitutional government.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman got the ball rolling in April 2009, just ahead of the first major tea party rallies on April 15, by falsely asserting that “the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass-roots) events.”

This is one of the few accurate accounts of the Tea phenomenon to be found in the traditional press. Kudos to Dow Jones!  While many of their competitors are bemoaning lost opportunity, the Wall Street Journal appears to understand the marketplace of ideas and is responding.

. . .

There is more to the story of the Tea Party and it’s massive Libertarian push within the Republican Party… and it begins with the new media. A quick summary looks roughly like this:

Talk radio, Fox News on cable and the Internet – primarily independent weblogs – became the media of choice for a huge swath of a news and information consuming public that felt the old media were offering inferior products.  Libertarians such as John Stossel and Glenn Reynolds, web sites such as Reason have been able to reach vast new audiences.  Conservative publications such as The American Spectator and Human Events found common cause with individualists and expanded reach to libertarian-minded conservatives everywhere.

The Republican Party, caught-out as a “center”-left machine, is at odds with a “center”-right base.  Stepping up to the challenge are people such as Eric Dondero and Clifford Thies at Libertarian-Republican, with an agenda of promoting Liberty-oriented Republican candidates and issues.

The Fabian-Progressive and statist-revolutionary lock on the old media and academia is being busted by competition.  The statist ideas of Karl Marx, George Bernard Shaw, Woodrow Wilson, Carroll Quigley, Bill Ayers, Cloward and Piven, Saul Alinsky and their modern fellow travelers are now common currency.  This, as European exemplars of their social models are coming apart at the seams.

With that rejection and shift of attention comes economic failure… the New York Times and the Washington Post are money-pits.  Newsweek sold for a buck.

They are being rejected – with reason, guided by experience – in favor of individualist ideas thinkers such as John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Friedrich Hayek and George Orwell, and Milton Friedman. Even Ayn Rand’s uber-rationalist ideas are being discussed. The ideas of leaders such as Churchill, Goldwater, Reagan and Thatcher are being examined and adapted.

This is end-game.  No-one can tell for sure the final outcome, whether the Tea phenomenon will be sufficient to ablate much of the progressive cancer of statist regulation and taxation, but it must if the Republic is to survive.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, 40th president of U.S. (1911 – 2004)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010/10/17 18:10

    Ran: Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to go read the whole Berkowitz piece. Nothing to interrupt me as I’m lolling about with a NASTY cold.

  2. 2010/10/20 21:23

    This is wonderful, and especially coming from the WSJ. Ran, the success of conservative blogsites will be an even more intensely hated target for the Left when this election is over. I believe they will try to do something to silence us, and do it quickly. They have many avenues, including charging bloggers, suing us and about anything else your imagination can dream up.

    Thanks Ran!

  3. 2010/10/21 00:58

    Yeah – then the WSJ publishes that lame ditty by Noonan on “Viva Chilé!” Seriously thinking of ditching ’em for Investors Business Daily.

    Yeah – about blogs… That wouldn’t be wise in an end-game where huge swaths of the “middle” are suspicious of massive corruption. Demos could kiss their Party good-bye. It would trigger a massive revolt in the “wrong” direction. I’m thinking the best and brightest on their side hope to ride-out the Republican storm for a few more years before they start with those sorts of shenanigans.

    I’m thinking that they are already lost – it’s just a matter of playing to the end. Progressives have tried, and their marvelous ideology has produced not even one example on the planet to call a success. Cultural suicide and death in every European country, South and Central America stuck in perma-malaise, and Africa getting poorer by the decade.


  1. Hoover Institution’s Peter Berkowitz in the WSJ: On ‘Liberals’ and the Tea Phenomenon: Home Run, Sir! (via Si Vis Pacem) « Thatmrgguy's Blog
  2. Blogger Quote of the Day 10-24-10: Ran at Si Vis Pacem | Maggie's Notebook

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