Barry Kendall's blog
Topic: Ask Kate
Visitors to this website are encouraged to send us their thoughts, ideas and questions through our feedback form. This morning, we received a message that is typical of much of the rhetoric coming out of the "Tea Party" camp.
What gives you people the idea you have the right to control the American People by passing laws that go against the Constitution. We the people control our own lives and the Federal Goverment dosen't have the power to control what we eat or what car we drive or where we live. Get off you high minded self or we the people will vote everyone you support out of elected office and restore our rights. We Tea Party Patriot's will take back our country by peaceful means. I love my country.
Sometimes these messages are a little mysterious -- I have no idea what laws this gentleman was talking about, nor what rights he feels have been stripped away. Still, we respond to everyone who writes in, so I took a few minutes and wrote this message:
In any social movement, public opinion has to be won – not once, not twice, but three separate times. First, the public must be convinced that there is a problem. Second, they need to recognize that the current powerholders and their policies are part of the problem, and reject them. Finally, the public has to buy in to the alternative vision and solutions offered by the movement. Each of these steps requires its own process of awareness raising and grassroots organizing, and each of them is punctuated by a trigger event, a watershed moment that seizes public attention and sympathy – the Montgomery bus boycott, for example, or Three Mile Island.
The never-ending progressive identity crisis rages on, this time in an interesting conversation happening at OpenLeft.
Yesterday, Commonweal Institute Fellow Chris Bowers sounded off on the tendency within the left-leaning community to question one another's ideological purity, using phrases like "So-Called Progressives":