The Tea Party deserves credit for choosing such an evocative name.
The metaphor is so powerful, in fact, that it’s tough to argue with supporters without sounding like you’re thumbing your nose at history and common sense.
What’s needed is a stronger metaphor to counter it. And an unlikely conflation of events taking place a world away from each other may provide it.
The union protests taking place in my home state of Wisconsin and the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” spreading through China and the Middle East have little to do with one another. But both, symbolically, represent the “little man” fighting against “the man.”
Right now, Tea Party organizers are mobilizing their own “activists” to defend proposed cuts to Wisconsin union contracts, just as Chinese and Middle Eastern governments mobilize police and military.
Is the conflation fair? Of course not. But at some point the simultaneous media events (and imagery) may blend in the public consciousness. And the Tea Party may get thrown overboard.
Photo credits: (left) unidentified; (right) markonf1re on Flickr.com, (cc) some rights reserved.