Just returned from running a whole bunch of errands and had one brainstorm and a number of interesting experiences. It seemed wherever I went I got excellent customer service. And it also seemed that wherever I drove, I got stuck behind inconsiderate drivers, an inordinate number of whom decided they needed to stop in the middle of the street to deposit passengers.
An interesting contrast. Great customer service (helping me find exactly what I was looking for in two stores) and lousy drivers (stopping, one cast, so a passenger could exit in the middle of a garage ramp).
So, perhaps it was that contrast which caused my brainstorm. It fascinates me how the tea party narrative peddled by some of our critics — as well as many in the MSM and in Barney Frank’s caucus — is at odds with the reality of the resurgence of this grassroots movement for limited government. I say, “resurgence,” because we’re seeing once again the rise of a cadre of conservatives concerned about the increasing size of the state.
The contrast: we have a grassroots movement committed to what’s best with conservatism, the unifying “Reaganite” ideas, responsible for the rise of the right in the 1980s and 1990s. And all too many on the left see the worst of conservatism, racism and exclusionary rhetoric, a “right wing” that has been in decline at least since the Reagan ascendancy.
With the Tea Parties, we see a conservatism where ideas not animosity define the right. But, all too many prejudiced people on the left have only one template to respond to ascendant conservatism. A template forged in the past and useless as a tool to understand present circumstances.