America's beginning this decade in a bad mood, and the tea party movement is poised to conquer it the way hippies dominated the '60s and Christian conservatives the '80s, writes David Brooks. Public opinion is shifting not just to the right, but away from the interests of big business and "the educated class," Brooks notes in the New York Times. Polls show the movement is currently more popular than either the Democrats or the GOP, he writes.
The movement has the passion and intensity that once defined the Obama campaign, Brooks adds. With the right leadership, it could exploit "the deep reservoirs of public disgust" to become a major force, particularly in the event of another major terrorist attack or deep recession. "Personally, I’m not a fan of this movement," Brooks writes. "But I can certainly see its potential to shape the coming decade."