Well, Mr. President, I’ve tried to “hear” what the Tea party crowd is trying to say, but the message is entangled with so much racist, homophobic and xenophobic rhetoric, that it’s not easy to comprehend their “real intent”, IF there is one outside of those dubious but prominent messages.
Former President Bill Clinton is advising Democrats to pay attention to the grassroots tea party movement and talk openly about its fiscal concerns ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“There are a lot of real people in this tea party movement that are saying something everyone should hear – which is ‘seems like everyone but average Americans are doing all right here. The people that caused the financial crisis are all back in great shape,’ ” Clinton said in a joint interview with Yahoo and the Huffington Post released over the weekend.
Clinton advised Democrats that they may be able attract some voters who share the concerns of tea party activists if they project a more forward looking message.
“I would like to see the Democrats talk much more about how we’re gonna move forward,” the former president said.
“If the election is about apathy on our side [and] anger on their side, we can’t win that race,” he added. “If the election is about what are we going to do now and who’s going to do it, our side will do just fine in a difficult time.”
Still, Clinton said that while he understands the general concerns of tea party activists, the anti-government rhetoric and energy behind the movement would be a destructive force.
“The problem is that if you look at the financial energy behind the tea party movement, it’s not about restricting abuse of big public and private power,” Clinton said. “It’s about destroying the role of government in our life so that private centers of power will be untrammeled, and I don’t think that’s good for average Americans.”
- Bill Clinton: “Everyone Should Hear” The “Real People Of The Tea Party Movement” (mediaite.com)
- Bill Clinton ‘Gets” Why Tea Party is Popular, but Worries About Its Goals (politicsdaily.com)
- Bill Clinton: Tea Party is ‘general revolt against bigness’ (thehill.com)
- Clinton doesn’t get it (thehill.com)