It was back in the summer of 2009, people across the nation took to the streets in the form of a grass-roots political revolution known as the Tea Party. Their most visible manifestation: taking over local forums and shouting down Democratic office holders, or anyone who wasn't determined to bring down President Obama, his stimulus program and, for certain, his Affordable Care Act.
You may remember them in a group standing at the North Y in Madras, waving American flags, encouraging passers-by to honk in support. The honks were many.
The Tea Party movement created a new breed of ultra conservative Republican senator and congress member, pushed many others further to the right, and pushed many moderate Republicans right out of office.
Its populous, outsider, "angry man" mantra also inspired Americans to move away from traditional Democratic or Republican dogma and seek candidates outside traditional boxes. It turned Obama's Democratic majority in both the House and Senate on its ear in 2010, and new Republican majorities rolled into Washington. The gold medal for the Tea Party? Its spirit is largely the reason Donald Trump is president.
Tea Party, meet Indivisible.
Indivisible started with a husband and wife in Texas, Democrats who were once congressional staffers, upset with the election of Trump and the state of their own party. And the organization has caught fire. In a couple months, fueled by anti-Trump zeal, Indivisible has already morphed into 7,000 affiliated liberal groups, reaching all 50 states.
Left-leaning liberals, who seethed in 2009 at public forums being taken over by intentially loud and bullying Tea Party patriots, are now — surprise, surprise — doing the same thing. You could almost hear the sound of them ripping the page out of the Tea Party playbook.
Indivisible groups have turned out in large numbers to shout down GOP office holders at recent forums, yelling their new catch phrase: "Do your job!" Indivisible is trying to make Trump tar stick on every Republican, and if a Democrat isn't liberal enough, they'll face the sharp end of the pitch fork, too. It's Tea Party redux.
While the Tea Party playbook "worked" for the GOP, its created a more divided America. While taking the same road in a different vehicle, Indivisible will, despite its name, leave us even more divided. It can't help but do so.
But apparently, that's how American politics is to be played in this modern age. You better be intensely liberal or callously conservative, or you're going to get shouted down.