Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

The Left Gets Caffeinated

Posted by Dan Draney on March 3, 2010

From The Left Gets Caffeinated – Daniel Foster – The Corner on National Review Online.

Behold the Coffee Party, USA, 50,000-strong and growing:*

Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party. . . .

The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

Local chapters are planning meetings in cities from Washington to San Antonio to Los Angeles (where there have been four in the last month.) The party (coffeepartyusa.org) is planning nationwide coffee houses for March 13, where people can gather to decide which issues they want to take on and even which candidates they want to support.

This summer, Ms. Park said, the party will hold a convention in the Midwest, with a slogan along the lines of “Meet Me in the Middle.” The party has inspired the requisite jokes: why not a latte party, a chai party, a Red Bull party? But Ms. Park said that while the Coffee Party — and certainly the name — was formed in reaction to the Tea Party, the two agree on some things, like a desire for fiscal responsibility and a frustration with Congress.

“We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party,” Ms. Park, 41, said. “We’re a different model of civic participation, but in the end we may want some of the same things.”

*Caveat: 50,000-strong on Facebook.

UPDATE: It turns out that Annabel Park, the Coffee Party’s founder, is a former New York Times employee and Obama campaign apparatchik, neither of which is disclosed in the article.

[Emphasis added] Sorry, Ms. Park, but with that Mission Statement, you most assuredly are “the opposite of the Tea Party” movement. I can’t imagine a single signer of the Declaration of Independence or member of the Constitutional Convention agreeing with the proposition that the federal government is “the expression of our collective will.” The Framers were acutely aware of the danger government power poses to individual liberty. Strong, central governments have proved to be “the enemy of the people” time after time all over the world.

The phrase “our collective will” reminded me of the poster at the right. From the site where I found the picture:

The Nazis viewed this as one of their best posters. It, too, is by Mjölnir. The caption translates: “National Socialism: The Organized Will of the Nation.” Goebbels claimed that Mjölnir perfected the art of drawing the Nazi Storm Trooper.

The phrases “collective will” and “organized will” are also staples of Marxist rhetoric. You could Google it.

So are the Coffee Party Nazis or Communists? Of course not. Well, there are probably a few, but mostly they just haven’t realized the logical outcome of putting the “collective will” ahead of the individual. But ideas have consequences, and the consequence of “collectivism” is inevitably tyranny. Most of those who followed leaders who claim to embody the “collective will” in Germany, Russia, Cambodia, etc. were not seeking to do evil. That road is paved with good intentions, but we can see where it leads. If we are willing to look and think.

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3 Responses to “The Left Gets Caffeinated”

  1. ptg said

    I recall when I published this photoshopped version of the same poster before the election. Nobody liked it. Otherwise intelligent folks blindly cited this corollary of Godwin’s Law: “once a comparison to Nazis is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress”. Nobody paid attention. Now we have Obama, a National Socialist if ever there was one. My faith in our system of Democracy, never strong, was shaken to its core. I was bitter for a while, but I’ve gotten over it. If we don’t put some limits on the voting franchise our choices will become: submit, resist or go into hiding. Nobody will like this statement, either, but I think I am right again.

    • Dan Draney said

      Ptg,
      I remember it well, being one of the ones who gave you a hard time about it at the time. That’s why I remembered the original poster and why I called this to your attention. [I have had a raging head cold al day, so I hope I’ll be lucid here. 🙂 }

      Nazi references have been thrown around so loosely for so long, particularly by the Left, that it has practically lost all meaning. As you probably know first hand, just deleting an abusive comment can get you tagged by some nutjob. Also, the Left has managed to get Nazism (and Fascism) associated with the Right in the minds of many otherwise openminded people. So if you’re preaching to the choir, your photoshop poster is great. Hey, I laughed, too. I just think it may cause a lot of people, who might be willing listen to reason, to discount your point of view out of hand.

      In the case at hand, the vast majority of those embracing the “Coffee Party” (talk about astroturfing) are neither Marxists nor Nazis. They have just soaked up collectivist ideas from the general culture without realizing it or thinking through the consequences of those ideas. I want to get as many people as possible to question those ideas and the people espousing them. I think we can avoid traveling that path, if people see where it leads.

      Cheers,
      -Abe

  2. […] by Dan Draney on March 16, 2010 Turns out “The Coffee Party” is about as spontaneous as an Iranian “Death to America” Rent-a-Crowd. [via […]

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