Tea Party Principles — Populist?

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When friends of mine started up the “tea party” protests last year, I wondered: Could large numbers of American take the common-sense, freedom point of view and really run with it?
I had hopes.

But for Democrat congressional leaders, and some in the media, there was mostly fear and loathing — along with red-herring charges of racism against Tea Partyers.


Now, David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, focuses on something a bit different. Noticing that 41 percent of Americans have a favorable attitude towards the Tea Party movement — far higher levels of support than for either major party — Brooks interprets that tendency in terms of what we oppose: “The concentrated power of the educated class.”
Brooks insists that “Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.” And he’s not cheering.

Michael Barone, in The Washington Examiner, clarifies this new class divide, writing, “The Obama enthusiasts who dominated so much of the 2008 campaign cycle were motivated by style. The tea party protesters who dominated so much of 2009 were motivated by substance.”

There is an ancient truth: Being smart doesn’t make you wise. In fact, flaunting your schooling and lording over others with your cleverness makes you a de facto fool.
And wrapping up fantasies and hopes in stylish, we’re-smarter-than-you packaging doesn’t make them any more intellectually defensible.

‘Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge and the Citizens in Charge Foundation, which sponsors both Common Sense and Paul’s weekly Townhall Column. The opinions expressed in Common Sense are Paul Jacob’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Citizens in Charge or the Citizens in Charge Foundation.’