Dean Says Tea Party Not Racist

Howard Dean says the real Tea Party crowd is not racist, but is energized by a sense of cultural loss driven by the diversification of America. And, he says, we really want to balance the budget.

He argued that, “The demographic changes we have all known were going to happen have happened and all of a sudden it is here for them and they don’t know what to do.... Every morning when they see the president, they are reminded that things are totally different than they were when they were born.”

The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate said he tells college audiences that, “you have all had friends of different races, different religions, and different sexual orientations, and you all date each other, that is not how I grew up. That is not how the tea party grew up. The tea party is almost entirely over 55 and white.”

He's making the standard liberal mistake of assuming that just because they're obsessed with race that everyone else must be, too - but I like that he's not accusing us being bad people, as they usually do.

Now working for a Washington law firm, Dean argued that there are three tea parties. “There is the racist fringe…. There is the Dick Armey corporate tea party, which doesn’t have anything much more to do with the real tea party than the racist fringe. [Mr. Armey is a Republican former House majority leader now active in the tea party movement.] And then there is the real tea party … which is the vast majority – which are pretty socially conservative even though they try to mask that,” Dean said.

The natural conclusion of what Dean is saying is that resistance to diversification is morally equivalent to wishing for diversity - they are two sides of the same coin. Barack Obama was the perfect candidate for a change election because he looked like change. Some people respond well to change, some people don't.

Dean described the bulk of the tea party members as “populists. They are not going to support free trade. They don’t mind taxing millionaires. And they really do want to balance the budget.”