Montana has been a hotbed of some of the most extreme Tea Party activity in America, from calls to keep Census workers at bay to efforts to go "off the grid" when it comes to gun regulations. That's why it's refreshing to see this perspective from a small local paper in the Bitterroot Mountains, understanding the anger and also the misdirection that's taking place.
There is, of course, plenty to be angry about. With real unemployment rates pushing 20%, jobs permanently gone to other countries, massive oil spills, house prices collapsing, financial turmoil, and perpetual war bleeding us dry, who wouldn’t be mad? To someone like me who has spent years trying to raise awareness of these problems, the right wing anger is, in a way, encouraging. What is disturbing and rather bizarre, however, are the targets of this anger. The scapegoats of right wing anger – environmentalists, immigrants, “regulations,” and government itself – are easy targets, but going after them is the rough equivalent of going after your pond beaver after the fox has raided your chicken coop - not only pointless, but cruel.
The foxes that have raided our chicken coop are the most powerful corporations in the world – financial and industrial titans that dominate the economic life of our planet. For giants like Goldman-Sachs, Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum, General Electric, Monsanto, and ADM, theft and plunder are easy, because they have made them legal through control of what should be our government.
The whole piece deserves to be read. For what it's worth, I've weighed in today with a new op-ed for CNN.com -- arguing that the roots of the Tea Party movement need to be understood largely as a cultural revolution, and less as a political one. You can read it here.
Blogger's note: I'm not sure why the comments weren't working yesterday -- I wasn't consulted. Probably they assumed someone would offer me "not get well" wishes, even though that would be the least of my worries. My apologies to anyone unable to comment.