Former Vice-President Al Gore recently spoke of the need for a new grassroots movement; an American Spring much like the Arab Spring that brought down Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak as well as other leaders across the Middle East. He mentioned the wonderful digital tools that are newly available for the reinvigoration of democracy,” as well as “non-violent change where people on the grassroots get involved again. Not the, you know, not in the Tea Party-style.”

This characterization(or rather mischaracterization in their minds )didn’t go over well with pundits and some factions of the Tea Party; be it the “Express,” “Nation” or “Patriots.”  A guest on Sean Hannity’s Great American Panel said Hello…. Al Gore there IS a grassroots movement and it’s called the Tea Party. Ya think? A grassroots movement is defined as not adapted from or added to an existing facility or operation: totally new.  How can you be a grassroots when you’re being bankrolled by billionaires? Not just any billionaires either; ever heard of the Koch brothers(David and Charles)?  Yes, the uberrich David Koch founded Americans for Prosperity, which has worked closely with the Tea Party since its inception. You’ll hear more about the money the brothers donate to entities such as the Metropolitan Opera House but much less about the shadow organizations such as Americans for Prosperity.

I wrote last summer that those Dixie paper plates and cups at your summer barbecue is partly financing the Tea Party Movement because the Koch brothers own Georgia Pacific, heck they own a lot of stuff and are among the richest men in America.  I hope you like your billionaires with two faces because that’s what you’re getting with the Koch Bros. On the one hand they pledge ten million dollars to the MET(Metropolitian Musuem of Art) to fix its crumbling outside fountains and on the other they make the list as one of the top ten air polluters by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts. It’s no secret that the brothers are longtime libertarians but does the Tea Party/so-called grassroots movement really understand what that means.  Lower taxes, the bare amount of social services for the needy and to hell with environmental regulation. All fine until a corporation dumps its dirty water right in your back yard. The Koch brothers are rich and could fight it but not you Tea Party Patriot now at the least you could file a complaint with a government agency.

Let’s revisit a more realistic grassroots movment:The Civil Rights Movement. Real change came about for people of color, especially blacks, in the form of voting rights and, yes, improved economic conditions. There were, of course, those who donated time and money to the movement but certainly not millions and certainly not by two rich white men who distrust government at its core. The Tea Party may think they are making radical change to this country but really they are destroying the America that has progressed so much since the 60s.

Posted by Libergirl