"Dear Mr. Ted Rall:
In response to your column on the rise of the "Tea Party", or Through the Looking Glass and What Ted Saw There:
We are pleased to see you announce that the "Tea Party" matters. I presume we may proceed now.
I don't know who appointed you the thought police, but as a libertarian I saw RonPaulForums.com the day it was decided to call that regional get-together (I think it was in Montana) The Tea Party. The people who did it did indeed want to take America back from white C.E.O.s, and from C.E.O.s of various other colors too. Along with this they had a burning desire to take back America from the arms merchants of death, including the ones who infested the White House at that time (and were lily-white), and from the media moguls who had already developed the habit of libeling us with false charges of racism because we dared to be vocal antiwar conservatives. Who is it, again, that you work for, Mr. Rall?
The "Tea Party" movement is indeed something we have seen before in this nation. It's a populist movement. The last one was in the early years of the Twentieth Century, was liberal in nature, and led to the rise of labor unions for both better and worse. This current populist movement is simply a long overdue swing of the pendulum.
Robert O. Paxton said fascism blah blah blah "...abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." Libertarians in 2008 disdained to vote for the awful McCain/Palin ticket because we wanted to preserve, protect and defend democratic liberties and limit the preliminary effort at internal cleansing the neocons were engaged in. We also dared to speculate aloud as to why the neocons didn't stop the unethical "redemptive violence" (what an oxymoron!) of September 11, 2001, which led to imperialistic wars.
And all the way the elites of business, government and the media ignored us as they were able and smeared us unremittingly as we tried to run the only honest conservative in all of Congress at the time for president (don't get smug, Mr. Rall. There's only one honest liberal, too--Rep. Kucinich of Ohio--and he fared no better). Now, of course, we are attracting several "conservative" has-beens from the "elites". What do you expect? That all opportunists will suddenly retire from politics?
The vast majority of "Tea Partiers" do indeed support our troops. No libertarian supports wars for pipeline territory or against oil producing nations who abandon the petrodollar.
If "The Right" seems to suffer from ideological imprecision at the moment, one logical explanation is that the libertarians are trying to teach our rank and file friends what it really means to be conservative. It isn't easy to compete with oddballs like Glen Beck. But rest assured, libertarians can be, and have been, specific to a fault. And are famous for "turning off" neocons.
You said, "Tea Partiers deserve praise for having gotten 'off the couch.' They've shown up. That's what matters! never mind that they're stupid. Never mind that many--[I]those who get quoted in the media, anyway[/I] (a telling phrase)--are painfully ignorant and uneducated." And I agree. If libertarians can't rub elbows with them, we can't educate them on just what the Constitution means. And if we don't, who will? So, we leave it to the arrogant liberals to chase the stupid liberals back home to the couch. No wonder you got us ex-Monsanto C.E.O. Tom Vilsack for a Secretary of Agriculture and four more years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, as a libertarian of long standing and a "Tea Party" attendee, I reject your blanket and gross mischaracterization of me. I do, however, welcome the opportunity to warn my fellow crumpeteers against the evils of following neocons and other false prophets.
And I would advise you, Mr. Rall, to stop lobbing stones until you get your own glass house bricked in. Because, as Will Rogers (gone seventy-five years this August 15th) once said, "The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal--they have to live off each other, while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats." And if conservatives learn how to listen to their constituents before the Democrats do, lunch will be served.
And no, lying your ass off about me is no substitute for listening to the American people.
Anthony Platt of Tulsa"