Van Jones tweeted a link to this blog post, which links to a news item about a meeting between #occupyMemphis and Mid-South Tea Party members, which he apparently took to be a good sign. I share Jones’s optimism about the enormous potential for positive change in the search for common ground between these two movements. From the quotes in the news item, it’s clear that Jones and I are not alone:
“It sounds to me that y’all ought to be joining us,” said Jerry Rains, a 64-year-old computer programmer and tea party member. “You have a lot of the same goals we have, which is to take our country back.”
“The discussion and the exchange of ideas and the exchange of approaches, it’s fundamental for American people to do that,” [Occupy Memphis protester Tristan Tran] said. “It’s progressive, it’s constructive.”
I agree. Meetings like this should be taking place everywhere #OWS and Tea Party groups are able to meet. I think each side would be pleasantly surprised to find patriots and thinking people on the so-called opposite side.
The blog post Jones linked to, however, was more sour toned, more in line with the hopeless sort of ranting we hear all too often from the right. Titled “The Left’s Worst Nightmare,” it reads:
Could a meeting in the middle be a huge headache for the Left? …
If the sincere elements of occupying places hooks up with the positive elements of the tea party sans the Soros backed subversives, SEIU, Unions, Communist, Socialist, ACORN Factions, Losers, Whiners, Poopers they could merge their grievances to be a reckoning force for the right and the left and America comes out the winner! Perhaps they could call their new alliance, The Tea-Pee Party!
I left a message for the blogger, which may or may not be approved, so I’ll reproduce it here:
I’m unabashedly on the left, I wholeheartedly support OWS and I fully support OWS and the Tea Party movement meeting with each other to find common ground. This should not entail banning elements of either movement, no matter how objectionable these elements may be to the other side. Demonizing each other is playing the business-as-usual game. Enough!
The point of our movements is not to exclude but to unite.
If you agree that these two movements united would be formidable and potentially revolutionary, then please open your mind and heart to your fellow Americans on the left. Can we please try? We’re not demons over here. We’re Americans, fed up Americans. Join with us.
I could have added this: I have news for you on the right: a meeting of minds between #OWS and the Tea Party could and should be a headache for the politics-as-usual crowd in Washington, in both the Republican and Democratic Parties.