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Egypt and the Tea Party

Host of Open for BusinessI’m not a tea party guy. Not because I don’t embrace their message but because I want to maintain a comfortable neutrality on my show. I don’t attend political functions as a rule but I do have strong beliefs on certain topics that I am happy to share.

I got to thinking the other day about the timing of this uprising in Egypt and Tunisia and whether the tea party movement in America had any influence on citizens changing governments in other parts of the world.

We’ve certainly seen changes in power throughout history long before the introduction of the tea party. The breakup of the Russian hold on parts of Europe for example. Also the removal of the Shah of  Iran and Castro’s takeover in Cuba.

During those times, of course, there was no 24 hour cable news outlets or Facebook or Twitter. Still not sure how hundreds of thousands of people who live in abject poverty can afford monthly cell phone bills or computers but somehow the message is resonating.

Getting back to the tea party. Thanks to cable news the whole world watched the tea party as they moved through the year with a grass roots movement to try to affect changes in policies that they felt threatened their constitutional rights. They saw marches on Washington, citizens taking on politicians in public meetings. While the main stream news media was demonizing the tea party as radical wackos and protecting the presidents march toward tax cuts and health care the world was watching.

In November, the world witnessed the success of the tea parties efforts to effect change in their government. Both on the local and national landscape.

Let’s face facts. As much as we don’t like to admit it the rest of the world does look to the US for guidance in government, business and human rights. Sometimes we get it right, other times we don’t.

So the question is, did the tea party play an influential role in international politics? One group that has come into prominence is the Muslim Brotherhood. Whether it was inspired by the tea party or not it seems to be a force in that part of the world at the moment.

I don’t think a comparison of the tea party to the Muslim Brotherhood would be fair. But it would not surprise me to find that the media attention to the tea party during the last election was not lost on these folks. I guess time will tell as to who will be running Egypt and how that relationship will affect us here.

A lot of things are in play. Politics, power, Israel, finance, oil, the Suez Canal, and stability in the region. Will their example spread to nearby nations? A case could be made that Tibet spread to Tunisia and from there to Egypt. Will Egypt and Tunisia inspire other groups in other places gain strength and the will to effect the kind of changes they are looking for? Where will it pop up next? Only time will tell.

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