I attended a "Tea Party" on Wednesday
I agreed with some of the things said at my local Tea Party, disagreed with more, and heard plenty of stuff that was simply wrong.
Yes, I believe in democracy. (A republic is one form of democracy, tea party friends - saying we're a republic and not a democracy is like saying Mickey Mantle wasn't a pro ball player becaus he was a New Your Yankee.)
As a liberal, I believe that the central genius of the Constitution was setting up a system of check and balances within the power centers of our nation: in an farm-based barter economy, that was the government.
With the rise of the industrial revolution and the emergence of corporations as a another power center, I believe there also need to be checks and balances on them.
As corporate monopolies took over toward the end of the 1800's, we, the people, through our duly elected representatives, created anti-trust laws to break the monopolies (aka "trusts" in those days.)
It turns out monopolies aren't the only corporate entity which is capable of having significant effects.
Next, we the people, through our duly elected representatives, and after bloody battles, empowered unions as a check and balance on one area of corporate power.
Corporate power and effects on our society continued to grow in many respects.
In the 1920's, the financial industry ran amuck and was a significant cause of the great depression.
So, we the people, through our duly elected representatives, significantly increased the powers of the Federal Reserve, and created other federal banking and finance agencies to balance the financial industry.
Through the 50's, 60's and 70's, our economy blossomed - so did aspects of corporate power and industrial waste dumped in our air and water.
So, we the people, through our duly elected representatives, created environmental protection laws and agencies to balance such corporate power and effects.
The fed government is the only contender for the position of providing checks and balances on corporate power.
In the 1980's, Reagoanomics and anti-government government gained power.
Regulations were ignored and repealed.
In the financial sector, unrestricted uncontrolled financial games has caused the worst financial set of problems since the 1920's and the Great Depression.
Will we, the people, understand that another round of checks and balances on corporate power and its effects on our society is needed?
Starting with regulatory controls on the financial sector AND breaking the unprecedented choke hold of corporate lobbying and power over the representatives of we, the people.
Do I believe that corporations can do good? That capitalism is good?
Yes and yes; when we understand and apply the central genius of our "founding fathers" and invoke checks and balances.