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Monday, June 02, 2014

America's Red Dawn

Alexei Bayer makes an interesting analogy between today's Tea Party and the Bolshevik Revolution in early 20th century Russia. He writes:
In the United States, Republican Party primaries used to be deadly boring affairs — until quite recently, that is. But since 2009, they have become as passionate and contentious as meetings of some clandestine revolutionary cell. Candidates swear their undying loyalty to the True Faith and ardently accuse their rivals of apostasy.
Indeed, whatever connections historians and political analysts have been drawing between the Tea Party and previous grassroots populist and nativist movements in the United States, they have so far missed out on the most significant parallel.
The U.S. Tea Party movement most closely resembles its total ideological opposite — Russia's intransigent Bolshevik Party. The Bolsheviks took power in revolutionary Russia in October 1917 and built the Soviet Union.
The Tea Party grew out of the Republican Party. But no sooner did it emerge as a real force did it turn its venom on its political progenitor. Tea Party candidates started accusing mainstream Republicans of betraying the conservative cause and of being inclined to reach compromises with the hated Democrats.
Tea partiers call those Republicans who don't share their own intransigent views "RINOs" — Republicans in Name Only. In other words, they cast them in Soviet-style as traitors to the cause.

He goes on to expand on the amazing parallels between the early Communists and the Tea Party.

Bolsheviks came into being when Lenin created a radical wing within the mainstream Russian Social Democratic Party. He constantly attacked his opponents in the party as traitors to the Marxist cause, whom he saw as only pretending to be socialists.
Lenin was hell bent on an all-out revolution. He also claimed that any willingness to work through the democratic process and to reach compromise with other reform-minded forces in society made them "revisionists" and "opportunists."
A century onward and a continent away, the Tea Party has unleashed a civil war within the Republican Party, but hasn't yet become an independent force. In Russia, the two wings coexisted within the party for nearly a decade. It was only in 1912 that Lenin's radical wing finally broke away and formed a fringe party of its own.
Thereafter, whenever the Bolsheviks got into government, as true believers they refused to cooperate with anyone. Their unbending stance is just like that of elected politicians from the Tea Party.
Time and again, they have proven their willingness to damage the United States economy and undermine the country's vital interests, all in order to make Barack Obama a failed president. They could have wholeheartedly subscribed to Lenin's infamous principle: "The worse, the better."
Will the Tea Partiers succeed as the Bolshevik's did? No way. The US is a far stronger and resilient nation than Czarist Russia. But, it's interesting to see the Tea Party put into proper perspective nonetheless.