President Barack Obama’s former “Special Adviser for Green Jobs,” and liberal activist Van Jones was more controversial than usual yesterday in his demonization of conservatives, saying the Tea Party wants “to repeal the 20th century” and calling Tea Partiers “bigots.”
Van Jones attempted to rally the liberal base of the Democratic party as his charged comments closed the Taking Back the American Dream Conference Wednesday.
Van Jones said on numerous occasions that the American Right was full of “cheap patriots,” and that it is the Left that are the true, “deep patriots.”
“The deep patriots are in this room. It’s the cheap patriots at best that want to roll it back. You can’t be an anti-immigrant bigot and patriot and the same time. That is cheap patriotism,” Jones said.
“They [conservatives] want to take a wrecking ball to this country and call themselves patriots,” said Jones. “For too long we have let one side monopolize the flag. They claim to be patriots, but they hate almost everyone in America.”
Jones painted a picture of the Left as the side that championed the struggles of the middle class while the Right is trying to suppress the liberal vote, suppress economic equality, and use their perceived financial advantages to buy elections.
“Are we going to win in November? Or are we going to lose? It’s in out hands. There is no future out there that’s been written. The question is whether or not we are prepared to do what needs to be done.”
Promoting his brand of social justice by tapping into the patriotism of conservatives is a newer strategy for Jones, but not the first time he has tried to frame the debate that way recently.
Last month at a speech in Milwaukee, Jones said, “[The] Tea Party is trying to take a wrecking ball — and paint it red, white, and blue — and smash down all the things our parents did for us.”
His message yesterday was a return to his anti-Tea Party message after the annual Netroots Nation Conference two weeks ago where Jones criticized the activists for not working harder to recall Scott Walker (R-WI) after he survived his recall election earlier in the week. He also told supporters that the needed to vote for Obama even if they felt “crushed” by his broken promises because he’s still better than the Tea Party, which he claimed was trying to destroy America.
Despite minor mentions of the Tea Party at Netroots, Jones comments were more subdued than usual. But after watching is speech in Washingon, D.C. yesterday, Jones is clearly back to his usual self.
Francesca Chambers contributed to the report.