Poll ratings show approval levels for the major political perps, meaning the President, Congress, each of the two major parties, at levels so low as to be tantamount to loathing. But while the Tea Party has become a force to be reckoned with by tapping into this wellspring of discontent, those on the left who are unhappy with the lump of coal the Administration and the Democratic party have put in their stocking have no outlet.
I wonder why this has come to pass. In the stone ages of my youth, the left was feared (some of that was due to the violence of the 1960s: riots, demonstrations, the SDS, the Weather Underground, to name a few), in fact so feared it led to the concerted right wing push that started in the 1970s. But then again, the left was also much further to the left.
One can point to some causes. The young used to be a reliable source of idealism and willingness to break china. As French Prime Minister Aristide Briand said, “The man who is not a socialist at twenty has no heart, but if he is still a socialist at forty he has no head.” But young people in America are worried about survival (aka getting a job) and up to their eyeballs in school debt, which they can’t discharge even in bankruptcy. School loans in particular seem an almost Machiavellian device for forcing students into bourgeois conformity. And we have Obama’s veal pen strategy which neutered key groups on the progressive flank.
It might even be plausible to attribute the complacency (or maybe sullen resignation) of what passes for the left to Prozac use or learned wussiness. For instance, some of my colleagues were having fun by e-mail coming up with the name for a leftie movement to oppose the Tea Partiers. This was all in good fun, but they came up with Cammomile, which per Bill Black could stand for “Creative Anti-imperialist Majoritarian Movement Of Morally Illuminated Liberal Enterpreneurs.”
How about something more to the point, like the Pitchfork Party?
In all seriousness, why has no movement emerged on the left to channel the considerable disappointment and anger of progressives?