Sipping different types of tea
Q: Has the recent success of the Tea Party come because of, or in spite of, the movement's lack of a formal leadership structure? Along with Wikipedia, open-source software and organizations like moveon.org, is this another example of the power of distributed leadership?
The Tea Party has been very successful at spreading their message peer to peer and finding a dedicated cohort of people who are invested in their somewhat amorphous goals. Their biggest difficulty for the long term is preserving that cohesiveness when the aims of the "movement" are better defined. It's already apparent to outsiders that many of the "members" of this so-called party are sipping very different types of tea.
Social movements--like those fighting for racial justice, women's rights and now gay and lesbian rights--are driven by consistent moral philosophies and seek very concrete gains and reforms. As a result they are able to sustain interest over the long term despite disagreements on strategies and leadership styles. I will wait to see if the tea slingers can do the same and become more than a passing fad, born from the current economic crisis.
Posted by: rkornegay1 | September 21, 2010 4:46 PM
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