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"We went from hopey to mopey and forgot to build a movement in the middle."
Van Jones is unabashedly anti-Tea Party. After resigning from the Obama administration back in 2009, the former "green jobs" adviser seems to have finally found a calling in railing against the conservative movement.
During "Take Back the American Dream" this week, a three-day conference in Washington, D.C., intended to inspire liberal activists and their enthusiasts, Jones slammed the Tea Party, dismissing its cause as "silly" and "the worst."
However, his jabs were also countered with some positive compliments about the inner workers of the Tea Party -- a movement that has become a part of the nation's political discourse.
For someone who has such disdain for the movement, it's intriguing that he called for his supporters to "steal" from the Tea Party's playbook. Yes, that's right. He very literally urged progressives to utilize the same tactics and to build the same infrastructure that conservatives have assembled.
In fact, he went so far as to claim that liberals can learn from the Tea Party's accomplishments. Fox News has more:
Using the pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps tone President Obama has employed in recent days, Jones pointed to the Tea Party movement as an example of grassroots activism done right. He suggested liberals have relied too much on one person, Obama, to fix everything.
Below, he shares his version of the American dream:
Jones gave credit to the Tea Party for building a "network" that doesn't rely on a central figure. "You can't land at the airport here in D.C., and get in the cab and say 'take me to Tea Party headquarters'," he explained. While the Tea Party speaks about individualism, the movement acts collectively, he said.
In contrast, the left, he explains, has talked collectively and acted individually. He wants liberals to come up with a messaging that is both "positive" and "portable."
It is with this in mind that Jones is planning to build a movement for the middle class. In explaining where progressives went wrong, he said, "We went from hopey to mopey and forgot to build a movement in the middle."
Rather than focusing so much on one individual -- President Obama -- to fix all of the nations problems, it seems Jones wants to see a collective movement rise up and come together to tackle the issues of the day.
This so called initiative, something he dubs the "American Dream Movement," was launched earlier this summer. This particular conference, of course, is an effort to provide the movement with steam, while bringing key progressives together before the 2012 electoral season heats up.
To add insult to injury, Jones was ready and willing to praise the Occupy Wall Street participants. The Root has more:
...activist and author Van Jones sees the protest as just the beginning. On Monday, speaking before attendees at the Take Back the American Dream Conference -- a Washington, D.C. meeting of multiple progressive organizations working to build a cohesive national agenda -- he interrupted his PowerPoint presentation to give an update from New York. Describing the activists as courageous in the face of police pepper spray and arrests, he announced that U.S. Marine veterans were reportedly joining the protesters.
"Marines are going to protect them and stand with them in their dress blues," Jones exclaimed to hundreds of cheering participants, of various ages and ethnic backgrounds, assembled in a ballroom at the Washington Hilton Hotel. "This is a movement moment! Something's happening in America! Don't you give up on this country! Don't you give up on this movement! This is your movement!"
You can watch the conference live (it will continue through Wednesday), below:
(H/T: Fox News)
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