Some day, I really should read more of the classics, including The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. This morning, a friend sent me a link to an OpEdNews post by Ed Martin in which he wrote that “paranoid Republicans [were] projecting their own evil ways onto liberals.” In the essay, he wrote that Michelle Malkin said “that Republicans must be careful not to sign anything presented by anyone at something they’re calling a Tea Party rally, since it will be an evil saboteur trying to fool Republicans into signing a petition to promote evil liberal policies.”
Now, I know what the Boston Tea Party was (and it wasn’t what you think it was!) so this reference aroused my curiosity. I did a little research and found that the phenomenon of Tax Day Tea Parties was vastly bigger than I had ever imagined. I also thought back to my post on Glenn Beck’s 912 Project. When Mr. Beck states that “We Surround Them”, that sounds eerily similar to what Ma Joad said in The Grapes of Wrath: “[r]ich fellas come up an’ they die, an’ their kids ain’t no good an’ they die out. But we keep a’comin’. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out; they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, ’cause we’re the people.” And then I had a distant memory of a scene in the movie adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, in which the character Muley Graves is dispossessed of his land by an agent of the bank. A.O. Scott, of The New York Times, refreshed my memory:
“Early on in the film, a flashback shows Muley Graves, an Oklahoma dirt farmer, being dispossessed by a well-fed gentleman with a fine car and a big cigar who disavows any personal responsibility. He’s just doing the bidding of the land company, which is doing the bidding of the bank, and on the chain goes — all the way up to the fat cats back East. That no one is to blame puzzles poor Muley. “Well, who do we shoot?” he asks.”
The problem with the Tax Day Tea Parties that I have is not their grievances, but the object of their scorn. In their single-minded pursuit of freedom, liberty, small government, and low taxes, the protesters are signing on to the agenda of the corporations who run this country. Liberals and progressives are trying to rein in the corporations, not give them further powers to run roughshod over the citizenry. Low taxes, small government, and liberty is what the corporations want and have gotten, through their control of the Republican Party for the last 30 years.
Who do we shoot? Conservatives, not Liberals!