If fascism is coming to America, it’s the Tea Party that’s bringing it. Some would have us believe that the Tea Party is anti-government. They’re just anti-this-government. Whenever the Republicans are out of power, these folks start in on a free market spiel. Government this, government that. What we see however is that, once they are in power again, the GOP grows government. See, for example, Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes. These hypocrites cover their big governmentism with free market talk. The Tea Party is simply a convenient marketing campaign.
The Tea Party is not a libertarian movement. It co-opted a libertarian message, but in reality it is a rightist movement. It’s pro-war, intolerant, ultra-patriotic, pro-torture, into corporate apologism and ready to scapegoat paperless immigrants. As soon as the GOP recaptures the gun that is government, I expect these people will go back to sleep.
Libertarianism, on the other hand, is a consistently peaceful position. We’re against war, we don’t care much about those imaginary dotted lines on the map called borders and we recognize that the evils of corporatism are borne of the state. We don’t oppose government only when people we dislike are in power. We seek to solve the problems liberals worry about with more peaceful means than state mandates. We’re not like those Tea Party folks. And you can see this in the above video where a libertarian is violently removed from a Tea Party event!
If the economy continues downhill, people will seek a strong man, someone with a plan who will get us out this mess. This person will right the wrongs and restore America to its former greatness – or so he’ll promise. The Tea Party is well positioned to ride this sentiment into power in 2010 and 2012. With their neo-con lust for global domination, their blindness to the unfettered power of state-backed corporations and their failure to accept the impracticality of the state, they are more likely than any other movement to bring fascism to these shores.
Libertarians are wise to forge alliances with the left. With them we have a little more tolerance, respect for civil liberties and the very important repulsion to war. Together we can find market-based solutions to the social problems they are concerned about. These Tea Party people only distort our message and erode our momentum. We need to make clear that Tea Party does not equal libertarian.
UPDATE: If this post intrigued you, you will want to check out Is the Tea Party Corporate Astroturfing?.