When they’re not protesting at Tea Party rallies, watching Glen Beck and Sean Hannity on Fox, or pondering Sarah Palin’s latest tweet, Tea Party members like to relax with a good movie like everyone else. Even though many conservatives view Hollywood as a liberal propaganda mill, some clever movie producers have managed to slip movies past the Kumbayah-singing socialist gatekeepers with messages even the most tea-swilling libertarian could endorse. These right-leaning movies contain themes that range from the evils of the American tax system to the corruption of government leaders.
From “Network” to “Harry’s War,” here are some of the best movies for Tea Party members:
Tea Party Movie #1: “Network”–Remember Howard Beale (Peter Finch) screaming from his window the famous rant, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more” in Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 movie “Network”? This iconic movie eerily foreshadowed the anger felt by modern-day Tea Partiers toward a tone-deaf federal government–so-called public servants who spent average citizens’ tax dollars to bail out big bankers and then did little to prevent those same bankers from foreclosing on their homes. In “Network,” TV anchor Beale is “mad as hell” at the media establishment, but the distinction is petty since many Tea Partiers perceive the main stream media and government as being in bed with each other anyway.
Tea Party Movie #2: “Robin Hood”-The Vilage Voice called Ridley Scott’s 2010 take on “Robin Hood” a “rousing love letter to the Tea Party movement.” Chock-filled with anti-tax sentiment, this remake of the classic Robin Hood legend is perfect for its time, casting the populist Robin Hood against the greedy king (read: federal government). Even the king’s mother decries over-taxation, warning the king, “Milking a dry udder gets you nothing but kicked off the milking stool.”
Tea Party Movie #3: “Secretariat”-Andrew Ohehir of Salon described Randall Wallace’s “Secretariat” as “a honey-dipped fantasy vision of the American past as the Tea Party would like to imagine it.” Bolstering its Tea Party appeal, “Secretariat” has a heavy Christian undertone (it begins with a passage from the book of Job and ends with a hymn)–a big plus for the vast majority of Tea Partiers (80% of whom consider themselves Christian, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network).
Tea Party Movie #4: “Gran Torino”-Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” could pose an interesting dilemma for mainly white Tea Party members, some of whom are troubled by the number of immigrants settling in the United States (both legal and illegal). The Hmong immigrants in “Gran Tori no” prove to be more “white” (read: productive) than red-blooded American Walt Kowalski’s (Clint Eastwood’s) own offspring-adult children whom he views as fat, phony and lazy. Many Tea Party members will enjoy the vigilante aspect of the movie; the self-reliant, gun-toting Eastwood character does not depend on the government to solve his problems.
Tea Party Movie #5: “Harry’s War”–Unlike Harry Truman’s war against foreign enemies in World War II, this Harry’s war is waged against an internal enemy-the IRS. In this cult-like 1986 sleeper, an everyman named Harry takes up the fight against the federal tax collectors after they unfairly seize his bank account and property. Although the IRS has made some efforts to be warmer and fuzzier since the 80s, the basic David vs. Goliath premise of “Harry’s War” is a popular Tea Party theme; and the rumor that the IRS confiscated all copies of the movie at one time gives it added Tea Party cred.
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