Monday, July 5, 2010

Walter Russell Mead Looks At America, From London

Walter Russell Mead is one of my favorite modern historians and public intellectuals.  He's got a clear head on his shoulders, and he's a darn good writer.

Here's a little piece he's written on The American Interest website, with some thoughts on the US, Great Britain and the ties that bind.

In the following short paragraph, Mead manages to 1) analyze the Tea Party with insight 2) point to a bit of a drawback with the Tea Party and 3) skewer the modern liberal image of "progressive" thinkers of the 20th Century.  A solid three-fer:

The Tea Party movement’s choice of revolutionary imagery makes a lot of sense from this perspective.  Tea Partiers see themselves as resisting liberal efforts to centralize power and impose a single moral vision on the United States — very much in the tradition of those who threw the tea into Boston Harbor.  As always, an upsurge in American populism brings out the fruit bats and the conspiracy nuts — during the Revolution there were people who identified George III as the Antichrist.  The Anti-Masons and the Know Nothings surged until the rise of the Republican Party refocused these energies in a more positive and effective way.  There was much more anti-Semitism, racism and all around crackpot thinking among American Populists than progressive historians generally like to remember.



Anonymous said...

I'd rather deal with a few well intentioned crack pots than be mired in a party that has lost its way and given up the fight.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

I hardly think they've given up the fight.

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