How The Rest Of The World Views The Tea Party

Dan Gregg

What does the rest of the world read into the Tea Party? Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ross D. Franklin/AP

The US elections are a big story elsewhere in the world. And the Tea Party movement has not gone unnoticed in other countries. Foreign Policy has a roundup of views from Pakistan to Paris.

It's fascinating, and telling, both about how we are perceived, and what those perceptions say about the places that they are written in. Here's one take from the Pakistani newspaper The Dawn:

In Dawn's telling, the Tea Party has risen in tandem with the "Ground-Zero-inspired Muslim baiting frenzy" and is driven largely by the "bigoted rabble-rouser" Glenn Beck who attacks President Barack Obama as a "closet Muslim." According to Dawn, the same "predatory instinct" that led Americans to enslave Africans and wipe out Native Americans is "gathering mass, once again," this time with Muslims as the primary target.

Doesn't that capture their honest alarm, and their penchant for, shall we say, over dramatic reporting?

Also telling is the take of Spanish newspaper El Pais.

"We don't know if we feel more profound horror or more profound pity," El Pais wrote. The author refers to the Tea Party as an extremist movement and notes that O'Donnell (for example) is "proudly extremist." From there, the newspaper warns that "sometimes totalitarianism results from the best intentions and fanaticism grows in the most benign and public settings. The United States is living in one of these moments ... in which its values are in conflict with one another."

Insightful, but also, perhaps, a reflection of their own struggles with fascism.

It makes sense to project their own preoccupations and cultural lens onto what is happening in America. Heck, read the comments on the posts about the French strikes and you'll see Americans tend to project our own cultural struggles on events elsewhere. But it's important to remember that while your insights may be valid, they often reveal as much about yourself as what you're watching.



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