Selling Out the Tea Partiers

Tea Party leaders have joined Fox News in ridiculing Occupy Wall Street while calling for even  less regulation of the banks and still lower taxes on the rich but Irving Wesley Hall is one Tea Partier who is questioning these “leaders” and finding common ground with the anti-Wall Street protests.

By Irving Wesley Hall

I encourage my fellow Tea Partiers to reach out to their neighbors in Occupy Wall Street. We’re on the same side.

Supporters of the Norwich and Otsego County Tea Parties [in central New York] will remember me. In 2009, we hit the streets together over shared outrage at the bipartisan $800 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street.  I presented the Memorial Day keynote address from the grandstand in Norwich’s community park.

Tea Party activists in Washington

The following Independence Day I mounted the hay wagon in front of Losie’s Gun Shop on Route 23 in Oneonta to address the Otsego Tea Party about taking back America. The Oneonta, New York, Daily Star published my speech as “What’s Good for GM Is Now Good for China.” As a member of the Southern Tier Tea Party in Binghamton I made a similar presentation in 2011.

My point was simple. The problem is not big federal government but Wall Street’s financial stranglehold on our government.

I compared the power of the East India Company of Boston Tea Party fame to Goldman Sachs today, although the former at least profited from tea, while today’s investment bankers profit primarily off other people’s money.

In the cold winter of 1773 our patriots attacked the ships of the East India Company because, like Goldman Sachs today, it was a transnational monopoly that avoided taxes. How? King George III was a shareholder.

I described how — over the last 40 years — Wall Street destroyed America’s industrial heartland, sent our jobs abroad, decimated unions, and flat-lined wages. Speculators relentlessly drove up prices for our food, housing, fuel and medical care.

Despite this cruel profiteering, folks in Central New York still believed in the American Dream.   We worked hard, sacrificed and saved our dollars, but Wall Street stole our savings and pensions through the 401(k) scam.

We worked even harder but were forced to borrow and mortgage for our kids’ educations, medical bills and, often, basic necessities. Then Wall Street ripped us off again with the subprime mortgage scam, credit card rip-offs and college loan racket.

They’re sucking the life out of us, young, old and in-between.

I warned my fellow Tea Partiers that soon we elders would have nothing left but Social Security and Medicare. However, I could not have predicted in 2009 that “we” would “win” the 2010 election and Fox News would feature so-called “Tea Party” Republicans trying to help Wall Street scam Social Security and destroy Medicare, too.

Where did all our money go? The total aggregate wealth in the U.S. is around $75 trillion. The top 1 percent own roughly 40 percent of that amount. The remaining 60 percent is shared unequally among the other 300 million of us.

Did you know that the average Bush-Obama tax cut for one of the richest 1 percent was greater than the average annual income of one of the remaining 99 percent? The nominal value of all Wall Street derivatives contracts is $600 trillion.

Yet Fox’s callused “Tea Party” Republicans have the nerve to demand that we starve our elderly poor to rescue our desperate flood victims!

I warned my Tea Party neighbors in 2009 that Fox News was not a reliable source of information. Most of the corporate media represent the interests and views of Wall Street. Bank and corporate directorates are interlocked. But Fox pushed an extreme agenda on the Tea Party, tragically with success.

Within months of our first non-partisan protests Rupert Murdoch’s empire sucked our national Tea Party right into the Republican Party billionaires’ machine. Today Fox picks the six-figure- income national Tea Party “spokespeople” to defend Wall Street in our name. Nobody interviews us.

We may be advanced in years, but have we lost all memory?

Since the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations started on Sept. 17, some Tea Partiers have turned off Fox News and begun to consult other sources of information besides the corporate media. After all, didn’t the Tea Party start the protests against Wall Street?

But I regret to say that Fox still has a few of us folks convinced that black is white and white is black. How else can we explain how they convinced us in 2009 that Wall Street was out of control, but in 2011 they’ve convinced us that the toothless Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations are a communist plot?

Unionized public workers were the heroes of 9/11. Now according to Fox’s millionaire talking heads they’re social parasites. Why should we dance to Fox’s tune? Owner Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is international. His values and lifestyle are repugnant to our hard-working families. His people have no loyalty to America.

Why do you think Fox attacks this generation of anti-Wall Street protesters? Why are their protests against Wall Street’s control of Washington the exact opposite of ours? Because Murdoch is a master of divide and conquer. Patriotic Americans should reject his manipulation, turn off Fox News, and start thinking for themselves.

I’ve pleaded for two years with Tea Parties around the Southern Tier that the Tea Party is headed for bitter irrelevance after the next election. We can escape that fate only if we change from an old folks club addicted to Fox News and start recruiting young people on the basis of the Tea Party’s three core principles: 1) fiscal responsibility; 2) limited constitutional government; and 3) the ideal of free markets.

Can anyone disagree that Wall Street is the greatest enemy of all three? Is supporting the banks with trillions of dollars of public funds while tens of millions of hard-working folks lose their jobs, homes and health insurance fiscally responsible?

Did you know that the CEO of Bank of America destroyed a half trillion dollars of his own shareholders’ assets just to increase his yearly bonus?

The Founding Fathers would be aghast to see Wall Street lobbyists making the laws, billionaires choosing our candidates, and weapons profiteers driving the Republic into endless foreign wars.

Can you imagine George Washington weeping as hundreds of thousands of crippled vets return home to a jobless economy after fighting opponents of our military occupation who see us as their King George III?

Wall Street has not only destroyed American industrial might and millions of small investors but also wiped out hundreds of thousands of small businesses, the heart and soul of free market capitalism. I recall the heartbreak when my father’s little hardware store was closed down after the arrival in town of Sears and Montgomery Ward.

A free people cannot live under a government that is owned by the top 1 percent. Not according to the three principles of the Tea Party. And, my Tea Party friends, that’s exactly what Occupy Wall Street is saying.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, fellow patriots, and this applies to the folks I’ve met in the Norwich, Otsego and the Southern Tier Tea Parties.

In two years of Tea Party meetings in three counties, I never met more than five souls under 40 years of age. Now millions of young people and folks of all ages have joined our cause. I’m jumping for joy. So should every veteran of our groundbreaking Tea Party anti-Wall Street protests of 2009.

Occupy Wall Street protests are taking place in over 1,000 communities nationwide and 80 countries. Join them now and embrace your neighbors for taking up our banner.

I learned one thing since 2009. We Tea Partiers have plenty to contribute to Occupy Wall Street!

When I spoke to hundreds of Tea Partiers outside the gun shop two years ago, I counted hands. How many faced a bleak future because Wall Street stole their retirement savings and destroyed their home equity investment? Almost every hand went up.

How many could manage the cost of a catastrophic family medical emergency? One lonely hand.

We are part of the American 99 percent the young people are fighting for!

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Fox News tells us that Occupy Wall Street folks are a bunch of anti-American, fascist, communist, socialist, progressive, lazy, and violent would-be terrorists with poor toilet training. Worse — they don’t know what they want!

Hello! This is the story broadcast by corporate media that lied us into Iraq, never tell the truth about the economy and that trivialize every election as a breathless horse race between two equally irrelevant clubs of windbags.

And they demand that we the 99 percent come up immediately with the answers to clean up the mess the media and the 1 percent created?

Fox’s disinformation, fear-mongering, scape-goating, name-calling, personal attacks these tactics are the response of frightened rich people the 1 percent whose only hope to keep their ill-gotten gains is to dumb down enough of us 99 percent so badly that some will oppose their own families’ interests.

Divide and conquer, that’s what ruling minorities have done since Biblical times. Read the Gospels.

Fox’s hate-mongering appeals only to the stubbornly deluded Americans among us. Sadly, it’s the way the American elites and their supporters welcome every new generation of idealistic young people. That was how “patriotic conservatives” greeted our brave defense of the Constitution and Bill of Rights fifty years ago in San Francisco,

It’s like the reaction of the emperor’s courtiers and subjects when the kid blurts out “The emperor has no clothes.” That’s why I feel compassion for my Tea Party neighbors who still buy into Wall Street’s propaganda despite their own economic suffering.

Let’s face it. Most Americans are emerging from a period of denial while the reality of another Great Depression sets in. We’re like abused spouses who finally wake up and confront our abusers. The “left” got suckered by Obama in 2008; the “right” suckered by the Republicans in 2010.  That’s an interesting coincidence, isn’t it?

Are we going to hold our noses and swallow a repeat performance next year?

All of us Left, Right and in-between have been hoodwinked. The American Empire is crumbling, exhausting its resources billions every day in ever-expanding quagmires hunting down shadowy “terrorists” and creating new enemies to justify the Pentagon’s looting our treasury. Wall Street’s globalized capitalism is destroying mother earth.

We confront an epic economic emergency, a shamelessly greedy and arrogant ruling class, and a hopelessly broken political system. The executive, legislative and judicial branches have all been corrupted by the rich 1 percent. Stunned Americans are falling into the hell of a Third World country.

And don’t we know it! The polls reveal that we have lost hope and respect for the leaders of both parties. Obama’s and Congress’s approval ratings share rings in the toilet.

No one should be surprised that “Take Back America” picket signs are equally popular with the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Let’s take it back together and share it.

Leaders failed us.All we have is each other. We are all the 99 percent!

Just suppose local Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street folks agreed on just three demands that we know are supported by the overwhelming majority of our neighbors? What if we presented them to all candidates for local, state and federal offices, and we refused to work or vote for them unless they agreed to implement the popular will immediately after taking office?

Odds are they’ll all agree with us. Then we can work for whichever candidate represents our other values. Of course, after the election, success will depend on how well we work together, organize voters, hold joint demonstrations outside debates and Town Hall Meetings, and raise our combined voices inside too!

Together, we can let them know what we will do if they lie and betray us again!

Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street: Don’t Fight! Unite!

Irving Wesley Hall is the author of the political satire, The Einstein Sisters Bag the Flying Monkeys, a hilarious primer on Christian Zionism along with Albert Einstein’s great-great-granddaughters‘ passionate defense of one secular and democratic state for all Israeli and Palestinian people. He is also executive producer of the documentary, Onward, Christian Zionists. His web site, “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!” celebrates the 50th anniversary of the May 1960 San Francisco student protests against the McCarthyite House Committee on Un-American Activities, during which he was arrested. Visit for details and his biography.

15 comments for “Selling Out the Tea Partiers

  1. Rory B
    October 25, 2011 at 17:23

    From what I understand and have heard the real grass roots members of the Tea Party have already joined in with the Occupy movement. All that is really left is the billionaire hierarchy. The last Tea Party get together in St. Louis attracted three people, the speaker and two audience members. As for FOX only the hard core watchers remain and they are there because they only hear what they want to hear and FOX delivers that. They are a lost cause and should left to wallow in ignorance. The casual FOX watchers are long gone. Now FOX network is considering cutting the Simpsons. We are seeing the beginning of the end of Murdoch’s empire and maybe B.S. tabloid political “news” as we know it.

  2. Sally
    October 25, 2011 at 17:23

    Occupy Wall Street sucks. It makes me want to end my life if I have to hear or read about it anymore.

  3. Neko
    October 25, 2011 at 12:29

    The Tea Party was started to support Ron Paul and was hijacked by the media.
    Glenn Beck deserves to swing in a noose for what he did to the REAL Tea party.

    It was about freedom and liberty until the NeoCons took over and turned it into a religious circus!

    Any Tea party in America that isn’t about electing Ron Paul is a fraud and part of election tampering of NeoCon terrorists working for Israel.

    And ANY Congressperson who votes to borrow money from China and give it away to Israel with no strings attached deserves no less than a military execution for treason!

    There are people in the USA who call themselves news reporters who should be tarred and feathered for the media blackballing of Ron Paul who will end the billions of dollars of foriegn aid.

    Yep…thats foriegn aid. Any foriegn government tampering with a USA election to keep the foriegn aid from the USA flowing is committing an ACT of WAR against We the People!

    It is time for Americans to treat the Israel lobby like terrorists!

  4. Pamela Bryman
    October 22, 2011 at 14:18

    I am the 99% and I wholly support Occupy Wall Street. I am also well aware of the crony capitalism on both sides, Mike. Check out – they’re all whores. But I have never supported a movement that is largely old white people and was largely bought and paid for by the Koch Brothers. It’s been interesting, too, how the corporate shilling Faux News has fawned over the Tea Party, which is largely made up of a bunch of crazies, while denigrating Occupy, a real movement led by real people.

  5. October 22, 2011 at 13:21

    A second thought, I support The Tea Party, yet I would never trust The Occupation of Wall Street movement. These two groups operate with entirely different codes of behavior. One group has a moral code, and the other group has ideas, but is devoid of a comprehensive and funcutional moral code.

    • zach
      October 23, 2011 at 14:25

      Mike, you are woefully misinformed. The Teabag Party has been 100% co-opted by dishonesty and greed, and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Faux News and Rupert Murdoch’s lie machine. It’s moral code is more money for those who already have far too much of it, and to hell with the rest of us. That you are still hiding from this truth is sad, but not unexpected. bobzz is essentially correct, and while I disagree with his religion, I can see little fault in his logic.

      Wake up, Mike. You’re about to be rendered about as relevant as Rip van Winkle, and you certainly aren’t paying attention.

      • bobzz
        October 23, 2011 at 17:24

        Ryan, I only threw in my religious bona fides to let Mike know that my comments did not come from an unbeliever. For the most part, unbelievers have a better analysis of what is going on in this nation and the world than right wing Christians—the latter being major contributors to the problems the nation faces. I am writing a book entitled; The Great Separation: Christ and Church. Too many of us are more nationalist than Christian, and we don’t even know it.

  6. October 22, 2011 at 13:06

    I support The Tea Party. I doubt 10% of the occupiers of Wall Street ever heard of Whitewater, The croney capitialism scandal the Clintons were caught in; William Daily, Obama’s Chief of Staff, who was a banker before going to work for the president; the Obama/ Solyndra croney capitialism scandal worth 500 million; or Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law recently given several hundred million dollars in a goverment backed loan. Moreover, of the few occupiers who know of these widely publicized events, my guess is not a single of them would ever mention them, much less complain of them. I find the occupation movement poorly informed, misguided, and dishonest to its core. I disapprove of any unity between The Occupation of Wall Street and The Tea Party. I make 36,000 per year, yet I am not for the 99% who are either liars or dupes.

    • bobzz
      October 22, 2011 at 14:27

      I’m curious. What are your news sources?

      • bobzz
        October 22, 2011 at 20:08

        I shall try to respond to some of what Mike has graced us with. You are not dishonest; you are simply ignoring evidence that does not go through your ideological filter. The WSOs are not dishonest; they have looked at the evidence and perceive that corporate and big bank greed have brought the nation low. They understand the military industrial complex must create enemies to sustain their profits. They understand that tax cuts for the rich have cost $2.7 trillion we need to inspect our food supply, ensure clean water, repair our infrastructure, to enforce regulations to prevent explosions like the Massey mine or BP oil spills, etc., etc. They understand that the Citizens’ United decision makes it easier for corporations to buy elections. The things you cite are nothing compared to a born again President that lied us into an unwarranted war. They know Bill Clinton allowed Greenspan and Rubin talk him into repealing Glass-Stegall, depression era legislation that kept banks from doing what they did in the lead up to 2008. The big boys quashed voices like Brooksley Born who tried to warn of the coming storm. Big banks objected to Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Protection Agency because she is on to them (Warren for Senate!). They know Chuck Schumer has accepted more money from WS than any other Senator. And if you want to drop back a little further, they know the American economy began going side ways when Democratic president Johnson lied us into Viet Nam. Obama has out-raised all Republican candidates put together for this election, and guess where most of those funds came from: Wall Street. Obama turns out to be a crypto-Republican. You fail to understand that the WSOs are not happy with EITHER party. As for the judgmental shot you took for the WSOs’ lack of morality, I would say they are no less moral than anyone else. You make $36K a year; if your account is with a big bank, I suggest you transfer it to a credit union. When hundreds of thousands, hopefully millions, do that, they may begin to get the message.

        For the record, I read Thomas Sowell, perhaps the most intelligent conservative commentator and listen to Rush Blusterbaugh and Sean Rat-a-tat Tannity, thus, I understand the neocon line. I am no liberal. I am a white male Southerner, 73 years old, that believes the resurrection of Christ is a historically better explanation for the rise of Christianity than the reconstructions by skeptics.

        • Ben
          October 24, 2011 at 18:24

          I am the 99%. Your problem is that we are young. Your right I was too damn young to know all the stupid things Bill did, but I know one thing. Democrats and Republicans are two halves of the same broken system. Pure and simple.

          Also the idea of a pure free market is such a joke. Do you know what the first completely and utterly free market was? Before there were governments and regulations(post-Roman, of course)there was pure free market feudalism. When there are absolutely no rules in economics the strong take everything for themselves and turn the rest of us into peasants. Which is exactly what Corporate America has done to the rest of the world, now the only people left to fuck over is us.

          • Michelle Black
            October 26, 2011 at 16:52

            Very well put. You might add that during the height of the Roman Empire,carts filled with goods from all over the empire streamed into Rome, the only thing leaving Rome was carts of dung. I think we are well past the goods streaming in and now they are trying to sell us loads of H@rseShit.

    • D. Walters
      October 22, 2011 at 19:37

      There’ll come a time when you’ll be asked:
      “Which side are you on?”
      -So your reply will be;
      “-I’m with the Banksters!)?

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