Charisma Caucus

Here's the Difference Between Tea Party and Resistance Protests

Trump Tower Protesters
(Reuters photo)

Perhaps it's a just part of our 21st century political reality where partisans fight over everything under the sun, but now Democrats and Republicans can't seem to agree on whose people are (or were) angriest—or even whether the others' followers were angry at all.

With congressmen and senators back in their districts since recessing almost two weeks ago, Republicans especially have faced another wave of angry protesters during town hall meetings and public appearances. The scenes have become almost formulaic, like a bad romantic comedy movie.

Here's the scenario: a congressman advertises an event; left-wing groups put out the word to their shock troops, people show up, make a lot of noise, don't let the congressman say very much without interruption, earn dirty looks from people who are there legitimately concerned about something, the press eats it up and everyone leaves upset claiming they're not being heard and Trump and the Republicans don't care about them.

It's become so commonplace and predictable since Donald Trump won the presidency almost six months ago that Republicans are now just taking it all in stride.

W. James Antle III of the Washington Examiner wrote, "Liberals are calling it 'resistance recess,' but Republicans are guardedly hoping that the rowdy town hall meetings they're facing back home represent a harmless burst of left-wing activism triggered by President Trump, instead of a real warning sign for the GOP in 2018 ...

"Recent history doesn't give much of a clue as to whether the protests are a real sign of trouble for the GOP. While the Tea Party is one precedent for the town hall protests, demonstrations against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed to presage his defeat in the recall election or his bid for a second term. Antiwar activism against President George W. Bush did not have much electoral impact until 2006, the final midterm elections of his presidency."

Having only viewed archived TV news footage of the massive 60s protests, I can't say for sure whether today's iterations bear any resemblance to the "classics," but the "causes" these people are championing today don't seem to compare to the "peace and free love" movements of the hippy baby boom generation.

With the health care issue apparently all but settled and getting rid of the liberals' precious federal subsidy-driven Obamacare seemingly beyond the Freedom Caucus' grasp, leftists have moved on to endlessly bellyaching about other things like "climate change" and the Trump's administration's supposed rollback of environmental protections. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood continues to send out fundraising emails suggesting women are being oppressed—but the "(obscenity) hats" that were so common in the days after Trump's inauguration three months ago have practically disappeared from view.

Maybe it's because women now recognize Trump hasn't turned out to be the bane of all liberal women's causes—but more likely it's due to boredom and the need for something else to cry and moan about.

Because there doesn't appear to be any central rallying point for these unbalanced leftist people, I can't help but conclude their protests are nothing like the Tea Party mass gatherings of 2010. Though the Tea Party movement eventually grew into a larger conservative undertaking that encompassed a number of things—including, to some extent, social issues—the Tea Party was primarily a libertarian-driven cause focused on reducing government's size, overreach and spending.

When in doubt, the protest signs give the purpose away. A quick Google search of Tea Party signs came up with "Obama Commander and THIEF;" "It's not spelled SOCIALISM, it's spelled DEMOCRACY;" "Taxed Enough Already" and "We came unarmed [this time]."

There were others that weren't quite so sanitary, but generally the conservatives' signage was clean and to the point.

In contrast, a similar Google search of Trump protest signs brought up "You cannot unify with HATE;" "TRUMP Make America Hate Again;" and "Without immigrants Trump would have no wives."

Again, there were quite a few more that couldn't be re-broadcast on a family-friendly website, but you get the picture.

In their protest heyday conservatives in the Tea Party crusade often came armed with a pocket copy of the Constitution. A seasoned adult-driven movement, they held their rallies, cheered the speakers and left peacefully—and even cleaned up after themselves when they were done. They went home, organized voluntarily and without provocation and became a real political force, most visibly materializing in 2010, 2014—and 2016.

In contrast, liberals and radical leftists today wear black masks to hide their identities and use pepper spray on anonymous targets. They're young and stupid, the product of a pampered "snowflake" generation raised on political correctness and safe spaces. They come to disrupt, inflict fear and bar conservatives from speaking.

David French of National Review wrote yesterday, "We are now teetering on the edge of a truly terrifying incident, one trigger-pull away from a slaughter. Campus and urban progressives have a choice to make. Is this a nation of laws? If it is, then it's time to grow a backbone, protect free speech, punish rioters and expel those who disrupt the educational environment regardless of ideology. There should be no more sympathy or leniency for the lawless social-justice warrior than there is for the lawless neo-Nazi." 

French was referring to violent protests that occurred over the weekend in Berkeley, California, where leftists clashed with pro-Trump demonstrators and practically started an all-out riot.

From my observations of inauguration day in Washington, I can say a lot of the these "professional" protesters couldn't give a hoot about any particular message other than trying to instill terror in average Americans and exact as much property damage as the authorities will allow them to get away with.

The stark behavioral differences between Tea Partiers and this current vintage of leftist human outrage machines leads me to believe most of what's going on now is phony, undoubtedly professionally sponsored and organized and will likely lead to nothing of substance at the ballot box.

It doesn't take a sharp memory to recall the "protests" that occurred about a year ago this time where leftist crowds attempted to intimidate Trump rally supporters, waved Mexican flags and swore the world would come to an end if Trump won the presidency.

More than likely it's the same people who are making all the noise now, too. This isn't a movement; it's not growing. "Resist" isn't something to unite around, because there's no central cause to champion other than hating on Trump. It's just as probable these outlandish leftists are only driving more rational liberals towards the political center rather than winning more converts.

Republicans may lose an election or two along the way, but it's important to remember the real core of the country still supports Trump's message and will continue to do so as long as it isn't diluted and mixed in with that of the failed GOP establishment.

Trump is his own best messenger. Here's betting these protests won't amount to a hill of beans.

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

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