Tea Party is a very informative, beautifully crafted, and often inspirational and funny documentary about a growing right-wing political movement that now enjoys more public approval than Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
Tea Party tells the overall story of the Tea Party movement, but it is not just a bloodless recitation of facts. It also seeks to build personal relationships between its audience and the Tea Party movement by focusing on particular activists, most of whom seem to be from the Atlanta area, where the director and producers are also located.
According to the film, the first stirrings of the Tea Party movement were near the end of the Bush administration in the waves of right-wing discontent with the massive bailouts of banks and other large, powerful, well-connected companies that were deemed “too big to fail.”
All of these companies were fierce advocates of private enterprise when they were making profits. But when they were losing money, they were only too eager adopt a kind of negative socialism in which the public only shares the losses, never the profits.
The bailouts just kept getting bigger after the election of Barack Obama, and with the signing of the profligate and corrupt “stimulus” bill on February 17, 2009, protests broke out around the nation.
The first specifically “Tea Party” protests took place on February 27, 2009. Almost 30,000 people participated in 50 events all over the country. These numbers are particularly impressive, given that the events were organized in only five days.
On April 15, 500,000 participated in 850 Tea Party events around the country.
After that, sporadic Tea Parties took place all over the country to protest various big government initiatives, from taxes to bailouts, Cap and Trade, and health care reform.
More large scale Tea Parties took place July 4 and July 17.
The July 17 protests were focused on Obama’s health care reform initiative. My favorite segment of the documentary follows a group of doctors who went to Washington to lobby Congress against Obamacare.
At one point, they entered a hearing on health care reform chaired by black Democrat John Conyers. We get a glimpse of the snake oil being peddled as reform. An unidentified speaker lauds a single payer system as the “magic solution” for the nation’s health-care needs in the condescending tone of someone addressing school-children.
Conyers, in a truly classy gesture, invited the Tea Party doctors to participate, even giving one of them—a very impressive Armenian named Vahan Kasabian—the lectern. It almost made me think that our system can still work.
But then Conyers scotched the whole discussion by asserting that the only reason for opposing Obamacare is the racist desire to defeat the first black president. Yes, it is childish. But remember we are dealing with a black man here.
The culmination of the documentary is the September 12 march on Washington, in which some 75,000 people from all over the United States converged to demonstrate the Tea Party movement’s steady resolve and growing numbers. After a montage of sound-bites from the speakers, the documentary ends with members piously visiting various monuments and memorials around Washington.
The activists profiled include Jack, a forty-something white suburban dad; William, an older white minister of a black church who is also a painter and military re-enactor; Dr. Fred Shessel, a Jewish doctor who gets a lot of screen time because Jews are discomfited with the overwhelming non-Jewishness of the Tea Party movement; Dave, a white guy with a grin and big biceps; Jenny Beth Martin, a white suburban mother of two who lost her business to the recession and her house to foreclosure because she was not “too big to fail”; and Nate, a black Tea Partier who gets quite a lot of screen time because liberals, observing the overwhelming whiteness of the Tea Partiers, predictably accused them of being racists.
All of these activists are likable, sincere, and articulate. But I was most impressed by Jack and Jenny Beth.
Jack’s unassuming but forceful calls to activism and his Aryan insistence that he does not deserve thanks or praise for merely doing his duty were quite powerful. The guy has the power to motivate people.
Jenny Beth Martin impressed me with her organizational skills and commitment. No, she is not a great orator. Yes, she talks in earnest about “tweeting” things. But she comes across as real, and sincerity is a rare and shining quality in politics today.
Other people who get screen time are Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks, a libertarian/conservative non-profit organization; Georgia Representative Tom Price; and Joel Aaron, a talk radio personality.
I highly recommend Tea Party. It is a very good introductory documentary for people who know nothing about the Tea Party movement. It presupposes no background knowledge, and it is very easy to understand and follow. Tea Party should also be seen by anyone interested in right wing politics, grassroots political organizing, and documentary film-making.
In many ways, Tea Party is a model political documentary. It does not just inform and entertain. It motivates. People who see it will try to change the world.
It is encouraging to see just how much technical competence, artistic talent, good taste, and hipness can be found a little to the right of mainstream. As someone still further to the right, I realized just how much we have to learn, but I also feel hopeful that we can eventually do work of this quality as well.
You can purchase Tea Party: The Documentary Film here . But skip the trailer, which is laughable. It makes the film sound like a monster truck rally or the latest release by Michael Bay.
Sure, in the short run, the Tea Parties might lead to the election of more Republicans and stall some of the worst excesses of Obama and the Democrats.
But the Republicans can produce no lasting change.
The Republicans are the natural party of America’s disappearing white majority. The Democrats are the natural party of America’s emerging non-white majority. Whatever power the Republicans can wrest from the left in the next few elections will inevitably be taken back unless the erosion of the white majority can be halted.
And nobody in the Republican party—or the Tea Party movement, or the Ron Paul movement, much less the Libertarians—even wants to do that. If the idea has crossed any of their minds, none of them has had the guts to utter it.
Furthermore, the ideas of the Tea Partiers—like those of Ron Paul—appeal only to a vanishingly small minority of the disappearing white majority. For every person who showed up at a Barack Obama rally, there were 100 potential voters who did not. For every person who showed up at a Ron Paul rally . . . well, they were pretty much the whole Ron Paul electorate.
The Tea Party movement has somewhat broader appeal, but people intelligent enough to understand its message and self-reliant enough not to be threatened by it are a small and shrinking minority.
I found myself smiling whenever Jenny Beth Martin raised her shrill voice seeking to energize the Tea Partiers with the mantra of “fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market economics.” It would be nice. But it will never compete with “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” much less “Welfare, Food Stamps, and Affirmative Action.”
The Tea Partiers constantly invoke the US Constitution, but they have a largely mistaken view of its nature and its relationship to the American people. The Constitution did not create the American people, the American people created the Constitution.
Who are the American people? White people who came from Europe, settled this continent, and eventually decided that they could better govern themselves. The US Constitution was just one white American experiment in self-government. Nothing like it has ever been created by other races. Nothing like it has ever been successfully adopted by other races.
The Constitution and everything else that is good about America was created by white people. When white people disappear, all those good things will disappear with them.
Nobody is going to save the Republic without explicitly working to save the white majority.
And the Tea Partiers are not doing that.
Designed to Fail
But it gets worse. The Tea Partiers, like the Republicans, actually obfuscate the necessity of preserving the white majority by playing by the rules of political correctness.
I’ll bet there were all of five blacks at the September 12 march. Why do I think that? Because all five of them were featured in the documentary.
I’ll bet there was one Latina at the march. Why? Because she was on screen too.
I suspect that the Jew, Dr. Fred Shessel, was highlighted in the film for similar reasons of diversity.
I am sure that the producers and director simply wished to immunize themselves against the predictable charges of racism by highlighting non-whites. Since they sincerely believe that they are selling universal, race-neutral ideas, they saw no downside to it.
But they have to understand: the rules of political correctness are designed by the left to make effective right-wing resistance to their agenda impossible. The enemy knows that the only way the right can win is by preserving the white majority.
Therefore, the left have bullied the right into adopting the politically correct premise that white racial consciousness and white racial advocacy are simply immoral. Once rightists have accepted that premise, all of their efforts will be in vain. The mainstream right in America has accepted parameters that are designed to make them lose.
The Tea Party movement is overwhelmingly white. It manifests a great deal of what Kevin MacDonald calls “implicit” white racial consciousness . This is why its enemies have branded it racist. To combat this charge, the creators of this documentary go out of their way to showcase non-whites.
But by showcasing non-whites, the Tea Partiers are fostering the same folly that helps the Republicans evade facing up to their inevitable demographic Armageddon.
They hope that significant numbers of non-whites will somehow decide—perhaps by repeating the magic mantra of “fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market economics” till their lips go numb—to stop riding on the system and start pulling it instead.
You see, Republicans and Tea Partiers are so terrified of defending the white majority that they have pinned all their hopes on fiscally responsible, law-abiding, hard-working . . . blacks.
The trouble is: there just aren’t that many of them, and they’ll have an uphill battle convincing the other 99.7% of their people.
The same is true of other non-white groups: there just aren’t enough sensible ones to support the policies favored by the Tea Partiers.
If the Tea Partiers are going to win, they are going to have to break the taboo on explicit white racial consciousness and start working to preserve the white majority.
When that happens, they will have arrived at White Nationalism, which is a whole new cup of tea.