Posted by Kris Broughton at bigthink.com:
In the last twelve months we’ve seen two new political organizations hit the nationwide scene with an intensity and a geographic presence unheard of since the sixties. Unlike the Libertarian Party, which grew through more traditional methods during the seventies and eighties, the memberships in the Tea Party and the Coffee Party have virtually exploded practically overnight. Are these new unions of Americans who are frustrated and upset at the actions of their government actually committed to the arduous task of making fundamental changes in the way Washington works, or are they simply interested in giving what we already have a new paint job?
Underneath the outrage that the typical Tea Party follower prominently displays against big government, high taxes, high deficits and free market regulation, you are likely to find a Republican, or a person who usually votes for GOP candidates, who feels that GOP party leaders have abandoned the tenets of true conservatism. Behind the disappointment that the typical Coffee Party follower says he has with the government’s current inability to deliver the services and administer the programs that every citizen should be entitled to, you are likely to find a Democrat, or a person who usually votes for Democratic candidates, who feels that Democratic party leaders have completely sold their souls to Corporate America.
What I haven’t heard from either of these camps is a dire need for intellectual honesty, not just in their organizations, but in the people they will support for office going forward. Because if they aren’t pushing for representation that can maintain fidelity to their ideals not only in word but in deed, or for an administration in the White House that will do the hard, unpopular things often necessary in order to deliver the results desired efficiently and effectively, then it is very likely that they will all end up being absorbed back into the two major political parties.