Billed as an antidote for the Tea Party, Saturday’s “One Nation” rally in Washington demonstrated just how far out of step the Left is with America. The event provided further evidence of how progressives continue to struggle with what the Tea Party movement represents and where it came from. In the beginning, the Left dismissed Tea Partiers as a few fringe nuts shilling for the Republican Party. Once they figured out that the Tea Party wasn’t going away, the narrative changed rapidly. According to the Left, Tea Partiers were supposedly violent, then they were racist and then they were anarchists. Now they have hit on their latest and greatest scheme to neutralize this spontaneous grass roots uprising: they’re telling America that Tea Partiers are corporate shills. To anyone who has spent any time at a Tea Party or spoken to Tea Partiers, that’s a ludicrous, laughable assertion, but such is the desperation on the Left these days. On Saturday, this new strategy was on full display at the National Mall.
“This march is about the power to the people. It is about the people standing up to the corporations,” MSNBC’s “Red Ed” Schultz told an approving crowd of admirers. “The conservative voices of America, they are holding you down. They don’t believe in your freedom. They want the concentration of wealth. They’ve shipped your job overseas.”
“Corporations are preying on our fears and using this moment to expand their profit margins,” Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union told USA Today. “This is the first recession where corporate margins are growing while wages are going down. We’re saying, ‘No more.‘”
The amazing thing, the almost surreal thing, is that the over-riding message at the “One Nation” rally was that the government hasn’t done nearly enough to fix America’s problems. The notion that government is the problem and that more government just exacerbates the problem doesn’t occur to them for a millisecond. Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House. They’ve gotten their bailout, they’ve passed health care and they’ve raised taxes. Outside of passing a cap and trade bill, which some members of their own party opposed, progressives have been enormously successful at pushing forward their domestic agenda. Yet, the economic recovery and job creation that they predicted hasn’t happened. According to the administration’s own data, we’re worse off now than we would have been without the hundreds of billions in bailouts. A logical person might look at that evidence and conclude that this whole big government intervention thing might not be the right way to go. But, for an ultra-leftist like Ed Schultz, the failure of Democrats has to be the Republican party’s fault.
“For the last two years President Obama has had to put up with the word no,” Schultz said. “40 people, 40 people in the United States Senate have held down the working man of America. 40 Republicans have decided to say no. While you suffer, while your jobs go overseas, while they strangle the money. They don’t want to give it to the small businesses. They want to keep it at the top.”
In today’s political and economic climate, expressing such socialist ideals is tantamount to political suicide. Either guys like Schultz don’t care about going down in flames, which is unlikely, or they truly believe that this kind of rhetoric will find some traction among the electorate. It’s 2010, not 2008, but the contact high that the Barack Obama’s election generated throughout the Left has yet to wear off.
Tea Partiers are hardly in love with big corporations. Americans instinctively distrust corporate America. They understand that businesses large and small must be held accountable for their actions and that government should do its best to maintain a level playing field. The Left’s wild assertion that conservatives – and it should be noted that twice as many Americans associate themselves with the right than they do the Left – favor unchecked corporate greed over their own well-being is patently ridiculous. Those same Americans are stockholders in corporations, their retirement accounts depend on the continued profitability of those corporations and their jobs, to a large extent, depend on maintaining a free market economy that allows corporations large and small to thrive.
The millions of Americans who have embraced the Tea Party movement didn’t do so because they yearn to protect some CEO’s million dollar salary. They have stood up because they know that the balance between government and private enterprise has been thrown far out of kilter in the last two years. They understand that sacrificing our children’s future to pay for today’s government largesse is morally wrong. They’re not against government, but they are irreconcilably opposed to a ruling class that strangles, degrades and denounces an economic system that is based on freedom of opportunity and, as importantly, the freedom to fail.
Ed Schultz left his adoring masses with these words of wisdom: ”We as one nation, we as one nation must stand together, must fight the forces of evil, the conservatives in this country across the board want it for them. They don’t want it for the people. They talk about the Constitution but they don’t want to live by it. They talk about our forefathers but they want discrimination. They want to change this country.”
And this was a rally that was supposed to unite America. How one is supposed to unite the nation by calling the forty per cent of Americans who identify themselves as conservative evil, unwilling to live by the Constitution and in favor of discrimination is beyond comprehension. Contrast those words, if you will, with the non-partisan, conciliatory, inspiring and universally-embracing message that Glenn Beck delivered at the mall just a couple of weeks ago. But, at least Ed Schultz got one thing right. He said that we conservatives “…want to change this country.” There’s no doubt that is true and the Left’s “One Nation” rally is all the proof we need that the country desperately needs that change of direction.