The discontent flows from both sides of the political main stream. Could there be some tributaries branching out on both the left and the right? A third or even a fourth party? The Tea Party already stands waiting for a veto on the Republican choice for President and on the left bank of that mainstream there is the discontent manifest by the “occupy” movements.
The difference between the two groups is more than ideological. The legendary humorist Will Rogers once said “I belong to no organized political party, I’m a Democrat.” Will Rogers would have been pleased with the Occupy movement for its focus is as diffuse and non -specific as its membership: multi-racial, multi-cultural, and embracing the entire spectrum of ages. Watching the two groups one feels the Tea Party is capable of causing the most disruption if things do not progress as they wish. Their discipline in support of the “no tax, shrink Government” goal will make the greatest impact.
The occupy movement is characterized more by flexibility and accommodation. They sit in collegial decision making circles, listen to each other’s’ points of view, and are much less disciplined and more likely to disagree on the details than their opposite number. Their binding principle is a demand for a fairer sharing of the riches of society. There is the rub, for in order to share more you have to collect more and that is unacceptable to the Tea Party.
So where would the strongest force come from for separating into a third party? The Occupy dissenters are much less likely to go to the extent of finding a candidate to carry their cause because they cannot all agree on a specific set of targets. Perhaps they could reach back to the Roosevelt era and ask for something all-encompassing like a “New Deal” or a “Fair Deal” or, as Harry Truman said, “Square Deal.” “Occupy the Street” just doesn’t do it.
President Obama enjoys a 92% support level among African American voters and anyone who seeks to challenge him from the left will have to take that into consideration if they hope for a political life beyond 2012.
The Tea Party, however, has elected people to the House of Representatives and the Senate and is most prepared to put their dissatisfaction into action. Governor Rick Perry is a possible champion for the unhappy right as well as Congressman Ron Paul, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain and some who yet remain undiscovered.
— Pat Gogerty