Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How progressives contributed to the growth of the Tea Party.

The Tea Parties are not truly a grassroots movement, but rather people exploited by right wing organizations.
Progressives must shoulder some of the blame for the growth of the Tea Party movement.
Discussing my earlier post about the Tea Party with a friend, she pointed out that many of the people joining this movement are the ones that have been ignored by both parties, and now see a chance of being heard.

In New Mexico both political parties tend to concentrate their voter contact effort for State or Federal office in the metro areas of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. That is where the most votes are, and those citizens in rural areas are often ignored. While individual candidates and some NGOs will engage them, contact and depth of it is limited.
Many of the statewide or national campaign managers concentrate volunteer efforts in the above urban areas; it is just another number problem, after all they are the experts.

While the rural character is not common to all States there are always ignored areas, usually where the less affluent in our society live.
Elitism and classism enter the picture; we are the experts and the smart ones.
The seeming American political apathy discussed by academics, politicians and others is to a great extend due to being ignored over the years.
It can be very difficult to stay engaged when no one is paying attention, the above creates an exclusionary system that disempowers people and the outcome is that people turn away.

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