I am responding to Professor Jacobson’s recent post, The Tea Party tsunami at the gates.
As the Media Director of SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition (SCTRC), San Diego’s original Tea Party group, I wanted to share my analysis that it won’t be a tsunami — it will be more like a Tidal Surge (a slow, steady rise in the water levels associated with a storm that can have a huge impact on an area).
That is to say, what citizen activists do now and into the future will bear little resemblance to the heady days of rallies and town halls. Though there will be special events (e.g., the Nashville Rally against the Tennessee Obamacare Exchange) and actions to strengthen the Republican resolve against Obama’s strong-arm tactics, longer-term approaches are being implemented to go around the elite media and establishment organizations that thwarted citizen efforts this November.
Sarah B., one of the SCTRC co-founders, says the key will be to take over media and popular culture. “We can whine all we want about the bias of the elite media and Hollywood, but that is something that really won’t change. At this point, we need to really focus on getting our message out in different ways that appeal to the young ..other demographics..everyone. Using new media resources like Blogtalkradio.com and Conservative Search Engine to enable new voices to be heard, promote non-establishment pundits, and share progressive-commentary free messages are two tools that we now have and should use to the best, possible extent.”
Sarah B. also points out that promoting young conservative music groups such as Madison Rising and innovative television shows and movies (such as Courage, New Hampshire — a project that she was involved with) is an approach that must be adopted. “We also need to have the conservative equivalent of The Daily Show and Chelsea Lately,” she said.
How to fund the message will be changing, as well. In a PJ Lifestyles article, Tread Upon: What’s Next for the Tea Party?, Walter Hudson agrees that adopting successful progressive tactics is a good idea:
You may recall Glenn Beck’s rants against the Tides Foundation. Discover the Networks describes their remarkable role:
Through this legal loophole, nonprofit entities can also create for-profit organizations and then funnel money to them through Tides — thereby circumventing the laws that bar nonprofits from directly funding their own for-profit enterprises…. While the Foundation’s activities focus on fundraising and grant-making, the Center — in its role as fiscal sponsor — offers newly created organizations the shelter of Tides’ own charitable tax-exempt status, as well as the benefits of Tides’ health and liability insurance coverage.
We can’t beat this. Instead, we must clone it.
Finally, the message will be changing, too. California political activist Eric Eisenhammer notes that he will be spearheading efforts in the state to counter faith based “social justice” with “economic justice”.
“We are going to want to highlight the point that it is more just to let individuals voluntarily distribute their wealth to causes they view as important,” said Eisenhammer. “Churches will benefit, because it is often the churches and not the big state government programs that work within communities, and people recognize this fact and respond.”
Add to these efforts the fact that citizens have been elected into local school boards, are now participating more often in activities like zoning districts, and are making inroads into the committees of political parties. This steady surge of conservatism will turn the tide.