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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tea Party and Social Justice

I am blaming this on Instaundit

This link is to a long discussion of the Tea Party Movement and the concept of Social Justice.  I am posting this especially for my middle brother, Lance.

The author, Timothy Dalrymple, talks about traveling from Harvard Square to the Tea Party on the Boston Common and thinking about a number of issues.  This is a long posting, and it gets into arcane facts about the idea of Social Justice.  It talks about Father Charles Coughlin (who I never knew) and the Reverend Jim Wallis (who I have met).

The question Mr Dalrymple raises is, does the Tea Party Movement represent a form of the Social Justice Movement.  He claims to not know the answer, but in thinking about it he helps us all to better think about Social Justice and about the Tea Party Movement.

I think I come down on the side that says that the Tea Party Movement, in its concerns for where the government is going, is a movement concerned about the poor and the oppressed and about whether the present direction of the Federal Government will not lead away from an ever increasing pie for all and toward greater government regulation of the lives of all, thus limiting the freedom of all to capture for themselves a new deal.  The Tea Party Movement tends toward Rerum Novarum and eschews The Communist Manifesto, and probably knows almost nothing of the former and probably hasn't read the latter, but is against it.

Mr Dalrymple finishes up this first part of a promised three part series thusly:
First:  the great majority of those who participate in the Tea Party movement do so because they believe it represents ideals, principles, and policies that would serve the greater good of the American people, and not only their own pocketbooks. What separates religious progressives from the religious conservatives that participate in Tea Party rallies is not compassion but ideology.

Second:  my trust in the moral intuitions and pragmatic instincts of the thousands who attended the rally that morning is just as strong, if not stronger, than my trust in the insight and expertise of the two thousand intellectuals who sit atop the academic food chain at Harvard University.

And third:  I am less concerned with the anger and bigotry I had been warned to expect in the Tea Partiers than I am with the anger and bigotry I have seen directed against them.  The former, to my eyes, appeared the stronger by far.
But, as I say, it is a long post and only the first of three.

Regards  —  Cliff

  A reference to a William F Buckley quip that "he would rather be governed by the first two thousand people listed in the Boston phone directory than the two thousand who comprise the faculty at Harvard University."


lance said...

It would seem to me that the Tea Party would fit well with Liberation Theology and Social Justice movements if what it is doing is railing against the rich and established with the goal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all." The blogger has somehow drawn a line between his "general" and "specific" theories of social justice that is hard to understand: how can one be personally committed to something but not want to see it institutionalized. It is like a Bishop taking a stand against a parishoner whose public advocacy is not deemed consistent with the Church's views: can he be against it personnally and not institutionally? So if the Tea Party is in favor of pulling down the establishment that prevents a living wage and a place for immigrants and the things that support vast parts of the population being denied their "pursuit" of life as we would all like, then I am a Tea Party supporter. If they want to rein in on Big Business, Government, regressive taxation, exclusion, etc., then I am a Tea Party supporter. We know something about what the Tea Party is against, but do we know very much about what they are for? I will view subsequent posts with interest, though I am not exactly sure of whether the blogger is totally fair and honest in some of his attacks.

C R Krieger said...

Responding to Lance, I am not sure the combination is the "rich and established" as much as the "satisfied and established".  Rich is not the same as bad, nor is it the same as conservative.  Look at George Soros.♠ 

Further, I am not sure I am a Liberation Theology kind of person, although I am a Social Justice person.

As for the Tea Party being for something, I am not sure that is possible.  It seems to me the Tea Party is a protest movement.  Once it starts being "for" things its total character changes and it starts running people for office and becomes a political party.  At this point, I like it the way it is.

Regards  —  Cliff

♠  Although he is going to make money off the Gulf Oil Spill.

lance said...

Still looking for how the Tea Party is going to help establish social justice based on individualism?