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Are the Tea Parties just the last generational hurrah? May 18, 2010

Posted by fetzthechemist in Uncategorized.
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While pondering the election dynamics and attitudes, I have been making parallelisms to other periods in US history. The current dichotomy of Obama hope and change versus the tea partiers and other conservatives seems to boil down to the latest generational upheaval. Every twenty or thirty years, the old-school of conservatism, keeping things as they have been, gets pushed aside (for a variety of reasons) by a new coalition of groups bent on changing to something new. In different eras there were even repeated dynamics of states rights versus federalism or globalism versus isolationism.

Much of the current conservative movement is 45 years old or older. The hope-and-change is predominamtly 18 to 40. One yearns for the Eisenhower era America they grew up with – Dick and Jane suburbia or small-town America of blue-collar and middle-class whites. They hate that America is more dicerse. They want a white Protestant America that only tokenly allows diversity. By and large they do not differentiate legalk immigrants from illegal immigrants, thinking that any deviation from their past vision of America is bad.

They are angry over big government because it now does not aim for their continued vision. They think taxes are too high because it is not spent for them, forgetting that their generation got cheap college educations from that same big government and their system of Interstate highways grew from the same Federal monies.

I read from generations past. Sinclair Lewis wrote of many of these same themes in the 1920s, when established, successful businessmen wanted to reyain all economic control. They created the Depression and guaranteed more changes, not less. A generation before, the US went from an insular nation focused only on the 48 contiguous states to a global power. More clashes and power changes. A generation before saw the expansion into the West and its development as an integral part of the nation. A generation before saw states’ rights and slavery lose out to strong Federalism.

Is this nothing new under the Sun?

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