On March 14, 2010, a Wal-Mart customer used the corporation’s paging system and—with an air of formality—politely asked all blacks to leave the premises. This set off a firestorm of criticism for the retailer, and even led to arrests. As a former employer of Wal-Mart, I have always been amused by the accessibility of the paging system. The system is ubiquitous, as the paging phones are clearly visible throughout the store. There was no pass-code, ID system, or other way to ensure the system would not be utilized by just anybody who wanted to play a joke. I am actually surprised this does not occur more often. This situation could teach a valuable lesson to the GOP and the Tea Party.
The supporters of the Right seem to have the same lackadaisical attitude about who is afforded the soapbox. Consider Mitt Romney—winner of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll—combs his hair like Ronald Reagan. Romney is also the guy who is often credited with developing the framework for ObamaCare while serving as Massachusetts governor. Conservatism incarnate!
In one last fit of ObamaCare criticism, John Boehner proved himself to be Oscar-worthy when he dramatically screamed, “Hell no, you can’t!” in answer to his own rhetorical questions about whether Congress can really defend its tax-raising benefits. Although ObamaCare is suspected of costing nearly a trillion dollars, the House minority leader had no problem voting to spend over half a trillion in 2003, when the GOP expanded Medicare to include Part D.
Then there is John McCain—you know, the guy whose objective in 2008 was not to win, but to bring dignity to the election. The “maverick” of the lot. In July, 2001, he voted to make it harder to declare personal bankruptcy. In October, 2008, he voted to provide $700 billion to the financial corporations—in essence, ensuring that these companies would not run the risk of having to undergo bankruptcy, a fire that the senator feels a non-CEO is significantly more capable of walking through.
Finding real leadership is going to be tough these next couple of months, and into 2012. The Tea Party has genuine grassroots momentum behind it—and the GOP would love to have that energy be completely focused on the Democratic Party. That is because the Tea Party represents a threat to the establishment. Fox News, the RNC, and other figureheads of the Right will do all they can to subtly change the Tea Party’s focus from the Right to the Left. Take notice of which politicians appear on Fox News, the Mark Levin Show, Greta van Susteren, etc. as the savior of the Right. Take a look at what they’re railing against, and check out their voting history. Personally, I have been led to believe that most Americans lack a political memory prior to 2008/2009. I am convinced that, for the most part, the Right needs to run unknowns, from the top down. The lesson? Be careful who you give the conservative megaphone to.