Tea time en Amérique

NEW YORK – Depuis que s’est tenue la première convention du “Tea Party” le mois dernier à Nashville dans le Tennessee, avec Sarah Palin parmi les têtes d’affiche, les réactions des cercles politiques et médiatiques de l’Amérique ne cessent d’exprimer un mélange d’appréhension et de dédain. La Présidente de la Chambre des représentants américaine, Nancy Pelosi, a qualifié les adhérents du Tea Party de nazis et le portrait dépeint par la presse généraliste est celui d’un ensemble d’ignares et de provinciaux, un bataillon passif aux émotions à vif mais dénué de compétence analytique, mené et manipulé par des démagogues motivés uniquement par leurs intérêts personnels.

Il est certain que l’étiquette de populisme contrarié du Tea Party, lequel est principalement composé d’électeurs blancs de classe moyenne et en colère, trouve ses racines dans l’Amérique profonde et qui refait surface en période de changement. Mais les observateurs qui les ont comparé au mouvement des Know-Nothing, racistes, paranoïaques, anti-catholiques et anti immigration qui émergeât au milieu du XIXème siècle, ont une lecture bien trop superficielle de ce mouvement.

Ceux qui les tournent en ridicule et les déconsidèrent le font en effet à leurs risques et périls. Certains de ses adhérents sont peut-être racistes ou obsédés par des excentricités – telle que la validité du certificat de naissance de Barack Obama – mais le plus grand nombre d’entres eux, ceux qui participaient déjà à l’effort des mouvements issus de la base, s’intéressent à des sujets dignes d’intérêt. Si vous les écoutez vraiment, plutôt que de simplement lire les comptes rendus communiqués par le miroir déformant de la presse généraliste, vous entendez de profonds griefs et même certaines propositions plutôt en avance sur leur temps.

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