In the Washington Post’s Book World segment, surprise was noted how quickly Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe’s Tea Party manifesto, Give Us Liberty, fell off in sales. Why? Perhaps “Tea Party folks . . . already knew who they were and what they believed?”
But what do they believe?
Alveda King is the niece of Martin Luther King, whom she refers to as “Uncle Martin.” Fielding questions from CNN’s Larry King after she had participated in Glenn Beck’s recent Washington rally, Ms. King insisted that “It’s not so much about the man as the message.” The “issues” she emphasized were the ones that Beck, to the surprise of many, had also emphasized: Faith, hope, charity, and honor.
“My uncle said we have to live together as brothers — and I add, as sisters — or ‘perish as fools.’” If Ms. King is not out of place in Beck’s wing of the Tea Party, then what of all the noise about racism? Could widespread opposition to Obama be mainly about policy?
When Rev. Sharpton talked about “going all the way in civil rights,” Ms. King clarified something that might be useful in helping left-leaning folks understand Tea Party folks’ attitude towards policy: “My uncle was not teaching that we needed the government to take care of us.”
His main message had something to do with liberty. And respect for all.
Tea Party people appear to be in the main stream of modern American culture in claiming such ideas as theirs, too.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.