Tuesday, March 2, 2010

injaynesworld we're always "Up For A Party..."

The Coffee Party is the fastest growing group on Facebook.   In just two weeks over 52,000 people have signed up as fans of this new grassroots political group that bills itself as the antithesis of the Tea Party.

Right away I liked it because no creepy costumes are required. 

Started in mid-February by Annabel Park, a documentary filmmaker who studied political theory at Oxford University, it now has chapters in 30 states and more are percolating by the day.  

Frustrated by all the media attention being given to the Tea Party, a group whose hyper-ideological, right-wing views seemed to be squeezing out more centrist and progressive voices like her own, Park vented about it on her Facebook page.  When her inbox and page wall began filling up with comments from others who were in agreement, the “Join The Coffee Party Movement” fan page was born. 

Unlike the Tea Party which decries the government’s very existence, the Coffee Party believes that we are the governmentTheir overall goal is “to promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, and push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent of the country voted in 2008.”

Civility and inclusiveness.  Who can argue with that?

Oh, wait…

At last week’s CPAC, Glenn Beck, in his typical rabid fashion, mocked the notion that Republicans needed to create a bigger tent by reaching out to moderates.  He demanded conservative ideological purity and called progressives “a cancer in America that’s eating our Constitution.”  After that, he declared his man-crush for all things Dick Cheney.  

A lot of people are angry with government these days.   They’re jaded and distrustful, and with good reason.   People like Beck make millions of dollars exploiting this anger.  Our polarization is their job security. 

The motto of the Coffee Party is “progress is patriotic.”   Its members say they realize that a lot of people of different political affiliations actually have many of the same goals, and they recoil from the theatrics of the Tea Party whose tactics, they believe, obstruct reform and discourage thoughtful deliberation.  

You have to admit, it is kind of hard to have a thoughtful discourse with people in strange hats, screaming that Obama is a Nazi, and carrying signs that read, “Keep government hands off my Medicare!”

We’ve all heard that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”   Up till now the Tea Party has been making a lot of noise.   With Faux News as its personal mouthpiece, it’s easy to get the idea that theirs is the prevailing thought in the nation.    Park’s purpose in starting the Coffee Party was to show that there are other voices out there that the Tea Party does not represent and, from the way this new grassroots movement is taking off, she’s clearly onto something.   

Coffee or Tea?   Whatever your brew, grassroots activism seems to be alive and well.

For further information on the Coffee Party go to  http://coffeepartyusa.com/ or just click the button in my right sidebar.  

Oh, come on… You’re not really surprised to see it there, are you?

Comments with you coffee…?

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