Friday, September 03, 2010

The Revolt Of The Bourgeois

by Rich Lowry - September 3rd, 2010 - National Review

The much-analyzed speeches at the Glenn Beck Lincoln Memorial rally weren’t as notable as what the estimated 300,000 attendees did: follow instructions, listen quietly to hours of speeches, and throw out their trash.

Just as stunning as the tableaux of the massive throngs lining the reflecting pool were the images of the spotless grounds afterward. If someone had told attendees they were expected to mow the grass before they left, surely some of them would have hitched flatbed trailers to their vehicles for the trip to Washington and gladly brought mowers along with them.

This was the revolt of the bourgeois, of the responsible, of the orderly, of people profoundly at peace with the traditional mores of American society. The spark that lit the tea-party movement was the rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who inveighed in early 2009 against an Obama-administration program to subsidize “the losers’ mortgages.” He was speaking for people who hadn’t borrowed beyond their means or tried to get rich quick by flipping houses, for the people who, in their thrift and enterprise, “carry the water instead of drink the water.”

The tea party’s detractors want to paint it as radical, when at bottom it represents the self-reliant, industrious heart of American life.

Sometimes you read an article that finally gets to the truth after repeated attempts by others have left you doubting their sanity. This is such an article. By the second paragraph I was smiling. This is a real description of who comes to the Tea Party events. This is what I saw last year at the Edenton Tea Party. A crowd of polite, hard working, family oriented and concerned citizens who are angry because they see a bunch of radical neo-communists trying to fundamentally reform their nation into something that they neither agree with or will tolerate. The only thing I saw wrong with the article is the crowd estimate. It was twice the size Lowry was willing to claim.

That error aside, the Tea Party movement is angry as Lowry noted. However not in the "lets tear down the fences and storm the centers of government as a mob mode" of the left wing radicals in the 60s. Not yet anyway. Instead they are politely organizing to follow the rules of our society and vote out the people with whom they are displeased. The biggest concern they have is that the people who currently control government are breaking all the rules. They do not trust that their efforts are going to carry the day even if they are in the majority. We have actually reached a point where the hardest working members of society do not trust their own government. Yet they are ready to follow the rules until it is clear that the other side is cheating. At that point the rage will go up to another level and this nation will find out just how determined they are.

Even if it reaches that point, I think that you will find one thing to be true. They will still pick up their own trash. The Tea Party movement is composed of the responsible citizens that have always made this nation great. This is the most civilized mob that has ever raged against its government. Maybe bourgeois is the right term for them, as Lowry argues. I would think that patriots would be more appropriate if not more accurate.


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