Tea Partiers: Populist Corporate Camouflage

08/15/2011 04:44 pm ET | Updated Oct 14, 2011

Dear Tea Party:

You made your point loud and clear. America hears you. You're angry about big government, social programs, incompetent politicians, and freeloaders. You hate taxes more than you love life. That's your privilege. Quite a few of you also hate immigrants, non-Christians, public education, and organized labor. These are not things I can understand, but I'm not here to talk about what you should or should not believe.

Instead, I'd like you to think about something. The Tea Party wave has already crested. You got a bunch of politicians elected to office at the height of your movement, but many of them turned out to be something other than what they promised. That happens to liberals a lot, too. President Obama, for example, turned out to be a disciple of Ronald Reagan. He's about as far from a socialist as they get, regardless of what you're being told. Need proof? Do you think corporate America would plan to drop half a billion dollars into re-electing a wealth-redistributing socialist?

One of the problems we can all agree on is that Washington is broken. Unfortunately, the people you sent in to fix things only ended up paralyzing the government even more. And worse than that, other forces are at work to use that paralysis against you, especially the establishment Right. They're using Washington gridlock to further marginalize your movement and make you into a joke, except as a useful bloc of votes. They can do what they want, knowing all they have to do is toss out a few keywords to rile you folks up -- unions, welfare, minorities, ACORN, or whatever -- and wait for the votes to roll in.

Now, you have to ask: why would people on your own side want to use you that way? Money, that's why. Our government is filled with multi-millionaires. No ordinary folks need apply. And I'm not just talking about Republicans, either. Both sides of the aisle are so crooked they need a corkscrew to get into their limousines. They are Wall Street and corporations. That's their real constituency. Not you.

They're laughing at you.

Here's what the Tea Party movement has become: human shields for the corporate takeover project. You've become populist camouflage for people who have a very different agenda than yours. They'll rattle the cage on overturning legal abortions or other social issues they know you'll like, but what they really want to establish is permanent corporate control of the government. That's why, of all your issues, the only ones that get any attention happen to be the ones that make rich people and entities a whole lot richer.

You think that's a coincidence? Sure, why not. Lots of coincidences in government, right? You hate government regulations, for example. Reducing pollution, poisons, abuse of workers, safety violations, and resource depletion: if you oppose those things, so be it. But have you ever stopped to consider why the regulations you're encouraged to fight against happen to be the exact same ones big multinational corporations don't like? Why haven't you been told to fight against mandatory auto insurance? X-ray strip machines at airports? NAFTA and other 'free trade' agreements?

You know why, if you're honest with yourself: because those things are profitable to big business. Any time somebody is making stacks of loot off regulations, those regulations are A-OK. In fact, they can't wait to crank them up.

So stop telling yourself there's some socialist attack on freedom going on here. Your movement has been co-opted into supporting a narrow agenda suitable to multinational corporations. These businesses are not patriotic. They don't care about America. They want you scared and angry, because you're the pawns in the game that run interference for their kings and queens.

I wish this wasn't true. I wish the groundswell of fury you displayed the last few years had translated into a better government and a lot more listening to regular people, regardless of their politics. I don't agree with many of your positions, but as I said, that's not the point. The big money knows it doesn't have to convince me to vote against my own interests, because there's no way to make their interests resemble my interests. But your movement has certain superficial characteristics, certain key ideas, that align just enough with the corporate agenda so they can use you to get what they want.

Think about that. The original Boston Tea Party was an action against a compliant government working in the interests of a massive corporation. The corporate wing of the American government today is doing exactly the same thing, and using you as cover to do it.

If the East India Tea Company was around today, you'd be working for them.