Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Permanent Campaign

Richard Fernandez answers the question, "Where are the Tea Parties on the Left?" The Armies of the Right
To the question, “Where are the Tea Parties of the Left?” the simple answer is: they were led from the top. The crucial question which every man of the left must wrestle with is whether Tea Parties of the Left will ever be led from the bottom. George Orwell always assumed the answer to be “yes” until he learned differently in Catalonia. Most people on the Left think that rebellion is a permanent condition of “their” side. When out of power maybe. When in power things are different. Conservatives operate on a different model from that of the Left. They band together at need but tend to form no permanent organizations. By contrast, the Left is a standing political army. It never sleeps. It never disbands. It is always on the march, in season and out of season. And even when it isn’t doing anything — it is doing something. And when it is in power, it must do even more.
What many on the Left do not understand is that the "Right" does not view political activism through the same prism. For the Left, activism is everything; it is church, state, family, and friends. Where the "Right" goes to Fourth of July barbecues, the Left goes to an anti-war rally. Even the concept of the Right is different from that of the Left. The Right lacks the political infrastructure of the Left. Where the Left goes to rallies with pre-printed signs, giant George Bush puppets, and carefully timed chants, the Right is pure amateur hour because most of the people at the Tea Parties are just that...amateurs. In fact, it is clear that the vast majority have never taken it to the streets before. For the Left that's all they do.

In the midst of the Duke Lacrosse hysteria, KC Johnson - accused of being "right wing" - said his concern that justice and truth prevail was hardly a right-wing position, especially for someone who was an early supporter of Barack Obama. As Johnson put it, "If I'm right wing, then 90% of the country is right wing." Words of wisdom the Left would be wise to heed. There is no safety in numbers on the Left.

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