The Great American Tea Party

NEW YORK – Who were those flag-waving, cheering, hollering, singing, and praying Americans who gathered in Washington DC on the last Saturday in August at a rally to “restore the honor” of the United States? This tax-free jamboree of patriotism was ostensibly non-partisan (otherwise it could not have been tax-free). The main organizer and speaker was Glenn Beck, the right-wing populist radio and TV personality, who promised to restore not only the nation’s honor, but “American values,” too.

The other star was Sarah Palin, the darling of the populist Tea Party crowds, who began by paying her respect to Martin Luther King, Jr. For it was here, on this very same spot and date, that he gave his “I have a dream” speech in 1963. She then quickly proceeded to give a long celebratory speech about the heroism of US soldiers “fighting for freedom” abroad.