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PRA Senior Researcher on Pacifica Radio: Is the Left Responding to the Tea Party Movement?

Thousands of conservative Americans gathered over the weekend in Searchlight, Nevada, hometown of Democratic Senator Harry Reid, to kick off a national tour that will culminate in Washington DC on April 15th, tax day. Under the banner of the right-wing so-called Tea Party movement, activists carrying signs that read Don’t Tread On Me, rallied to condemn the Obama Presidency. Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a Tea-Party favorite, addressed the crowds defending her recent rhetoric loaded with violent, firearms-related imagery where she urged her supporters to set their sights on “targets,” and to “never retreat, instead reload.” The provocative language coming from the right is not easily dismissed in light of yesterday’s charges against a Michigan-based right-wing Christian militia for conspiracy to murder police officers in an attempt to set of an anti-government insurgency. Chip Berlet, a Senior Analyst with the Boston-based Political Research Associates, has studied the spectrum of right-wing movements for many years. I recently ran into to him at the Annual Left Forum in New York.


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