Jeffery Lord, Gladwell and the American Tipping Point

Last week, on Hannity’s radio show he discussed a recent column by Jeffery Lord/The American Spectator, called  American Tipping Point. In it, Lord discusses Malcolm Gladwell’s book Tipping Point and makes comparisons to America’s tipping points at different times in our history and the rise of conservatism and the Tea Party.

Lord says that:  Thanks to the Tea Party movement, Conservatism is on the verge of a major victory that dwarfs the technical and actual realities of whatever the details of the resulting deficit deal passed last night. Yes, there is a long, long way to go. But the idea that America doesn’t, in fact, have to be governed for eternity as a debtor nation with a mammoth, out-of-control, ever-expanding government is winning the day. It is tipping the balance with increasing decisiveness against an idea that has become so much a part of conventional wisdom that even some conservatives, startlingly including, inexplicably, the Wall Street Journal, have displayed the wobblies at the thought of confronting the Leviathan. The WSJ’s attacks yesterday against Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann and Sean Hannity, saying “sooner or later the GOP had to give up the hostage” — follows another editorial in which the paper railed against Tea Party members as “hobbits.” The paper, sounding like cranky British Tories in 1775 Boston rather than the bold, forward-looking paper that championed the much-derided ideas of Ronald Reagan​, wildly bought into the liberal notion that the Tea Party from Hobbitville is somehow holding the government hostage, instead of the other way around. In fact Big Government liberalism has spent decades holding and trying to hold the average American hostage to all manner of outrageous tax rates, taxes and regulations on everything from capital gains to sex (in Harry Reid’s Nevada) to soda, SUVs and poker.

Lord chronicles the rise of conservatism from Senator Robert Taft’s strident opposition to FDR’s mega New Deal in the 30’s, through William F. Buckley to the great Ronald Reagan to Mark Levin’s landmark best seller and Tea Party bible, Liberty and Tyranny and how all these little, or sometimes large events, are causing a tipping point in American history. He says that conservatism is spreading almost like a virus: in Gladwell’s vocabulary, “connectors” — “people with a particular and rare set of social gifts” who have the ability to “spread” an idea like an epidemic, a Tipping Point is in the works. Henry Regnery, for example, published and made a star of Buckley, who befriended Reagan who inspired Limbaugh, who was befriended by Buckley and placed on the cover of National Review, with Limbaugh in turn aiding Hannity and Levin and Levin’s book inspiring the Tea Party etc., etc.

Reading Lord, once again gave me hope. And reminded me that in Beck’s words, we are not alone. Most of America is conservative to some degree. Most of Americans want to be or remain at least, middle class and we see that vanishing under Obama’s ideology. Most of America finds communism (call it socialism or European socialism but it’s still a form of communism) to be antithetical to the fundamentals of our beliefs and our founding. And most of America will fight it.

I hope they don’t think for a minute that we will forget being called racists, nazis, homophobes, Hobbits and terrorists. We will not. The real revolution will occur on November 6th, 2012 – bloodless, gunless and in a voting booth. They are being fore warned and to disregard the tipping point signs will be at their own peril.

It’s a must-read by Lord and I hope you will take the time to read it.

13 responses to “Jeffery Lord, Gladwell and the American Tipping Point

  • The Perilous Conundrum We-the-People Face « blogsense-by-barb

    […] Jeffery Lord, Gladwell and the American Tipping Point […]

  • skincannon

    Great post. I do respectfully disagree w/ most of the content however, but the manner in your delivery and recounting of the program and pundits involved is a refreshing non-neejerk commentary. Under Reagan, individual tax rates dropped (drastically!!), yet corporate tax rose. Under Reagan, government grew, in everyday involvement in people’s lives and as a number of federal employees (both facts conveniently left out of a conservatives praises of President Reagan). And, while I am left of center, I do not consider myself a liberal AT ALL, I resepct the work President Reagan did, the Tea Party is not 100% representative of his ideals. They are more extreme than that President. Now, that being said, I do very much respect the Tea Party and their “movement”. I just think they should have more reasonable goals. Mr. McConnel admitted his party held American’s hostage during this process…and that happened in the name of getting what they believed needed to happen, to happen. But for this country to get back to fiscal respectability, it will have to be treated like a marathon, not a sprint. Cutting spending HAS TO HAPPEN, even more than this deal says, but not closing loopholes for corporate jets right now is assinine. To say taxing the rich hinders job growth is also untrue (Clinton raised taxes in ’93, unemployment shrunk, and both Bush tax cuts in ’01/’03 was followed by increased umemployment rising…and that is NOT 100% of the results, just examples that moderate changes have little bearing). There is a place for this Tea Party and I think if they take the anger monkey off their back, and look at things realistically, what they want can be achieved…this mess did not start w/ Obama…did not start w/ Bush either. But these past 2 presidents have both dug the hole much deeper. Lastly, I strongly disagree that “most of the country are conservatives”. If that were the case, Obama would not have won by 10 points, democrats wouldn’t hold the senate. I’d say the majority of Americans are right in the middle. For good or bad. Sorry this comment is so long, once again, great post.

    • roxannadanna

      I will return to take issue with some of your statements, but for now I have an appointment in 10 minutes.

      Thank you for your post, however.

    • Rich

      I’ll concede valid points by skincannon, but why in the world is it necessary to take even more money out of the economy by punishing owners of corporate jets, which will inevitably hurt the people who make them?
      Washington did a number on yacht-makers 20 years ago thanks to Mr. Read My Lips, No New Taxes’ deal with the Democrat devils.
      D.C. sucks over $2 trillion out of the economy every year. Why in the world does it need more revenue?

    • roxannadanna

      With all due respect, you’re really all over the board with your post, Mr. Skincannon. It would take writing a novella to address all the points in your post that I think are erroneous.
      I’ll take just a couple on for the time being and reserve the right to return at another time for others.

      Why do you believe that requiring our government (in essence, our employees) to be responsible with OUR money and not live beyond our means? Using your words, why is that unreasonable and extreme?

      Why do you believe that the TEA party is an angry mob? Where do you see news coverage of their events and activities to draw these conclusions? And on the other hand, if you held firm believes in personal and fiscal responsibility, and were labeled a Nazi, racist, homophobe, hobbit and terrorist at every turn, would that not raise YOUR hackles just a little bit? Especially when that is one of the many Rules for Radicals in the Alinsky manual? And none of that is true of any of conservatives that I know.

      Excuse me but I don’t befriend people who are racists or homophobes. My friends believe like I do: in personal and fiscal responsibility.

      You are wrong and if I weren’t so tired I’d find the actual stats but most of America does identify as center right or conservative, to some degree. Only about 21% admit to being liberal. Now if you want to discuss how many are democrat and how many are republican, that my friend is a different issue all together.

      • skincannon

        Hopefully I didn’t portray my own personal opinion of the Tea Party as some sort of hate group, or a collection of racist, homophobe individuals…that was and is not my personal opinion. Now, once again, not my personal opinion, but when this movement first started, certain “members” of the Tea Party DID make themselves out to be racists, w/ signs at their own events calling themselves “white slaves” and “the jews for Obama’s oven” and “taxpayer = n****r”, etc. Or perhaps those are just attempts to call the President racist. Either way, that does not paint a nice picture of these people. BUT, once again, I, in no way, think the Tea Party as a whole or as an entity is in any way a racist organization. Now, if you want to consider being called that, or a Nazi, or other names offensive, doesn’t that all pale in comparison to what the President has been called? Okay, call him a socialist, while I personally do not see to be true, at least I don’t think it’s an “insult’ or name calling. But this President has been called and portrayed in more insulting lights than any president I can ever recall. Now, please understand, I am not “defending” him or attacking people’s opinions, just trying to make the point that name calling is part of the problem and gets NOTHING solved. Me calling them “angry” wasn’t meant to the derogatory, it was pointing to the actual inception of the Tea Party, that this collection of people were fed up, or “angry” at the direction of the country and came together. Sorry for the confusion.

        Okay, sorry that went so long. Lastly, I stand by my thought that most of the country is not conservative, but what I should have elaborated was that most of the country is middle-of-the-road thinking. I haven’t seen statistics either, but w/o that I would concede there are probably more conservatives than liberals. Liberals are cowards by nature, in my opinion.

        • roxannadanna

          “Now, if you want to consider being called that, or a Nazi, or other names offensive, doesn’t that all pale in comparison to what the President has been called?”

          How about the Hitler references to Bush? The illustrations of Bush as a vampire in Vanity Fair, or the movie made about the assassination of Bush? Has any of this been done to Obama? Not one mainstream rag has done to Obama (their messiah) what they did to Bush.

          On the contrary: they present TheOne with a light halo around his head as though he is some kind of messenger from God. They indoctrinate children to sing praises to him. Have they done that to any other modern president?

          And furthermore, I’m not defending Bush’s policies. He was too big a tax and spender, too. But democrats do not get vilified in the same way they do conservatives and republicans. And you cannot deny that in all honesty.

          As to posters that used derogatory comments about TheOne, those are all isolated incidents and do NOT speak for the majority of TEA party members or others who don’t associate themselves with the TEA party but who disagree with what the current government is doing to us.

          You don’t believe he’s a socialist? Have you looked at his policies and the regulations that have already been imposed on us? How about nationalizing the auto industry? Nationalizing student loan industry? What in the world do you call OBAMACARE if not socialism? This is all socialism! Wake up, doll! The government, under TheOne, is taking over all aspects of our lives, for cryin’ out loud!

          I could go on and on about all this but it serves no purpose. No one’s mind is going to be changed – not yours or mine. You have your mindset and I have mine and no amount of debating it, will change either one of us.

          Have a great day!

          • skincannon

            I don’t have enough fingers for the times Glenn Beck has called Obama a Nazi, facist, marxist or blatantly the next coming of Hitler, including putting the President’s photo next to Hitler and Stalin and asking “is this where we’re heading?” The Anti-Defamation League condemned Rush when he called Obama a nazi and put a swastika over Obama’s O logo thing. But, let me hold on, b/c my point IS NOT that Obama is a victim of this, just that BOTH sides do this to each other and it is INCREDULOUS and HAS TO STOP!

            I am a lifelong Texan, I was familiar w/ President Bush before he was governor and I know he is not a bad man. I do absolutely agree that Bush was vilified and I absolutely consider that crap nothing above ludicrous. Really, that is my whole point. And what I was trying to convey in my original post. That dirty play is not needed and unproductive. Protest in manners of conveying your disproval, but not in violent activism and in ways beneath us as a society. Vehemently speak out against the policies you disagree with and contact your representatives so your voice is heard, but do not resort to derogatory acts of an uncivilized people. Those are my points, for BOTH PARTIES.

            Lastly, no, I do not believe Obama is a socialist. Obamacare’s main hot button that people define as “socialist” or even the “takeover” portion is the Individual Mandate. Ironically, that EXACT thing was the center of the Republican healthcare reform pacakge from the early 90’s. It was actually created by a Republican, and I think Orrin Hatch, in 1993, called the individual mandate a way to hold individual’s responsible. But in 2010, the same Mr. Hatch says it’s unconstitutional? It’s just the politics. “Whatever the other guy is doing is wrong, my way is right”. The first time that individual mandate was in place??? Our founding fathers w/ the Militia Act.

            And you are right, we can’t change each other’s mind, but that is why I LOVE this country. We have that freedom. Please understand I am a member of neither party, I have never voted straight ticket and most likely never will. The only points I make here, are not to try and change your thinking, only that the venom spewed by both parties, combined w/ their attitude of ABC – “Always Be Campaigning” is not solving our country’s problems. I don’t expect agreements, but I do expect decorum and productivity w/ our elected officials. Thank you for the wonderful conversation!

            • roxannadanna

              So what is it that you do stand for? You keep insisting that you aren’t taking sides with either party, so what do you believe besides both sides have been out of line in their name calling? That’s something I’ve never said, in my posts to you or any blogs. We agree that both sides can go overboard in their smearing.

              I guess that’s where our agreement ends because I have no idea what you believe, what you stand for. Well, you did make it clear that you don’t believe that Obama is a socialist. But what do you believe in?

              A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

              (corrected my stupid typo.)

              • skincannon

                That last line, that was from a great country song in the 90’s, right? I certainly do not buy into our 2 party system, especially in its current form. I cannot believe that there is a line and we, as citizens, have to choose a side…w/ one side telling them they are wrong and we our right. Ideologically speaking, I also cannot be apart of one party, I am pro-life but also from a family of proud union members (and believe me when I tell you that unions in today’s form are also terrible representations of their original purpose, today’s unions need a dose of reality). Mostly, and what I was trying to convey through each of my posts, is to promote civility in politics. True representation from our elected officials. Honor and integrity. Not constant campaigning, catering to special interests and lying. When I vote, for each seat, I have to see what candidate offends me the least, or stands for my points I agree with than don’t. I could be more specific to policies I support or have disdain for, but I am sure you are not interested in that. I was drawn to this post of yours b/c I like reading any political blog and I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, so it caught my attention. I do believe in what the Tea Party stands for, I can stand behind fiscal responsibility (something I honestly think VERY FEW of our officials truly care about, no matter what they say). I just think we have gone too far extreme in both directions…that we, as citizens, need to realize that our personal beliefs are different than our neighbors and perhaps we need to work together, not shout across the lawn. And I appreciate your dialogue w/ me, so many times, when you comment on something, even that leads to unhealthy debate instead of friendly banter.

                • roxannadanna

                  “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Alexander Hamilton.

                  Well, we do have some common ground, it seems. I’m pro-life, also. I come from a union family too, but I do not agree with the union in its present form and in fact, see it as dangerous to our nation and our laws. Read Card Check, as one thing that I am profoundly against.

                  I am a conservative and an originalist (or constitutionalist, if you like) first and foremost. Democrats by nature and ideology are not conservative, so therefore I vote Republican almost all the time. There are some more liberal Republicans (John McCain) who I would not vote for. But let me qualify that with a Mark Levin quote – I’d vote for an orange juice can over Obama. I’m a conservative and finding a conservative who is not a Republican is like looking for a unicorn – in other words, they don’t exist. LOL

                  I like Malcolm Gladwell too and have read Outliers. I have not read Tipping Point yet. Hopefully when I get done with the 4 foot stack of books I’m trying to wade through, I’ll read that one too.

                  I would like to know if you’ve ever been to a TEA party event. Or what TEA party members you know personally. And again, where have you acquired your knowledge and information about the TEA party because from reading your posts, you are misinformed. I admit that I’ve not been to many TEA party events, although I claim to be a TEA party member, but the several I’ve been to, I’ve never seen anything – ANYTHING – that disparages the president in the manner that you have depicted.

                  I appreciate the polite dialog we’ve had so far.


                  • skincannon

                    I knew that quote wasn’t originated in the country song, was just being facetious. But I did not know it was Hamilton, so that is great, thank you!

                    I just have some aquaintances and some family who unofficially belong to the Tea Party. I have one problem w/ the Tea Party, and really only one. The “we’re taxed too much” mantra. In a utopia, we’re minimally or even not taxed at all…but what is interesting to me, is that currently, taxes have not been lower in generations. The effective corporate tax rate is historically low. And, even had the Bush tax cuts expired last year, taxes still would have been lower than when Reagan was president. Obviously, I do not WANT to send more money to D.C. when I cannot trust it will be managed efficiently, but that has been going on for decades now. But, my biggest problem w/ G.W. Bush (and I did vote for him) was he cut taxes twice, but entered into 2 wars. I am sure it’s happened, but I can’t remember another president who entered into just one war w/o having it funded first. That very issue is what cost his father his office, when he said no new taxes, then essentially, he had to fund Desert Storm and raised taxes. And I know, w/ any Democrat in office, the threat of raising taxes is very real, and President Obama tried to let the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy expire, but taxes have never been lower, so the thought we’re “being taxed to death”, is simply not true.

                    I digress. I am all for fiscal responsibility. I think spending is out of control, I have a big problem w/ how medicare is managed, but I feel it is necessary. The Tea Party wants reduced spending and I am all for it. I think the debt deal was paltry compared to the direction we’re going and I don’t feel anyone in D.C. took it seriously.

                    I think when the Tea Party hit the scene in ’09, there were the bad apples, but as w/ anything, this was something new that had to develop. I really do not view the Tea Party in a bad light, I think it is great we have citizens not sitting still and calling to action!

  • Freedom, by the way

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve always believed there were more of “us” than “them.” Unfortunately, the ignorant vote with “them” because they don’t know any better, even though, if they were to really study the candidates and issues, they would find that many of them are “us.”

    I really don’t mind the Hobbit reference. It was Frodo & Sam who saved Middle Earth. LOL.

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