When a country finds that a huge chunk of its middle class citizens have organized themselves through social networking systems outside of party lines to grumble and protest, its established leaders and elites would do very well to start listening closely. So far in the United States, this is not happening, and the results should be interesting… very, very interesting. The denigration and disregard shown for the Tea Party movement in the United States is unwise and there will be consequences later.
In any event, if one is trying to understand the phenomenon, one of the first useful books is Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (Harper Collins, New York, 2010). The book is written by Dick Armey and Matt Kibble, two of the principals in Freedom Works, one of the many roots from which this new Liberty Tree is sprung. If one is looking for a manifesto along the lines of the one produced by Karl Marx and any number of aspiring revolutionaries, get ready for disappointment. This manifesto is part recollection, part political action guide and only part of a declaration of intent and principles. This is confusing in some ways, as is the movement itself.
The two authors themselves are old-line Republicans (not a little disgusted with their old party too), favour the tactics of Saul Akinsky and are very firm in some basic tenets: Individual liberty, fiscal responsibility and limitations on the power of government. The movement is still recruiting and still training its members. It is a potent re-revolutionary force. It remains to be seen how long it can maintain its momentum, but America needs to remember what it was supposed to be about.