Well, it seems that the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement might just have discovered some common ground in Memphis, Tennessee, at least according to this Associated Press report from a few hours ago.
Occupy Memphis member Mallory Pope had just finished telling a group of about 75 tea party followers Thursday night that politicians should not allow themselves to be influenced by lobbyists and unions when she received an unexpected invitation.
“It sounds to me that y’all ought to be joining us,” said Jerry Rains, a 64-year-old computer programmer and tea party member. “You have a lot of the same goals we have, which is to take our country back.”
Pope and fellow Occupy Memphis protester Tristan Tran had a lively, sometimes strained and confrontational, but mostly civil discussion with members of the Mid-South Tea Party at a municipal meeting hall outside Memphis.
The factions saw eye-to-eye on some issues and clashed on others. And, while the young speakers didn’t change many minds, they did earn praise from the tea party members for their passion, honesty and courage.
The 21-year-old University of Memphis students had been invited by the tea party group to talk about the goals of the Occupy movement. The invitation was extended after a discussion between members of both groups on the tea party’s website, meeting organizer Jim Tomasik said.
At least they’re talking and, given the dim prospects for any substantive improvement in the U.S. economy, they’re likely to talk more and more in the years ahead, hopefully culminating in a third political party. No, that’s probably just wishful thinking.