1. I’ve revised my analysis of MAD MEN for the season.
2. So someone wrote me that SOCIALIST MONARCHIST is the same as RED TORY. And that puts the PORCHERS at the greatest possible distance from the LIBERTARIAN POPULIST members of the TEA PARTY.
3. But we have to add: The Tea Partiers are especially attached to the forms and formalities of the Constitution, and they hold that democracy is limited by the liberty given to people by God. They’re also, like the Porchers, all in favor of local control as a way of allowing the manners, morals, and religion that form a particular community to flourish.
4. Not only that: The Tea Partiers and the Porchers are both very concerned with with small business and individual property owner. They both favor Main Street over Wall Street, and they believe that Big Government and Wall Street have formed a corrupt alliance.
5. But Red Tory Porchers, at least, believe, with Marx, that the development of capitalism—including, of course, globalization—will destroy everything small, local, humane, and personal without a kind of government intervention that might be called paternalistic. Local self-government needs to protected against the impersonal grain of modern life.
6. The Tea Partiers tend to think that Big Government—not capitalism—is the cause, And so they are, in the Porcher view, insufficiently attentive to the economies of scale that allow WalMart to triumph over widespread personal ownership of “the means of production.” The centralization of brains and power in a displaced or globalized, irresponsible meritocracy is not caused, primarily, by Progressive Big Government.
7. The best argument for the Tea Party, of course, begins with doubt that government—paternalistic or otherwise—can rid us of the anxieties associated with the collapse of the safety nets on which we’ve come to rely. There’s no alternative to people doing better in caring for themselves—meaning themselves as individuals, as members of families, as friends (on the porch, among other places), as creatures, and (to a limited extent) as fellow citizens.