The establishment? “My goodness—lobbyists, consultants. I gather there’s now something called hedge-fund billionaires.” The establishment has a lot to answer for. “What they gave the people the past 10 years was two wars and a depression. That loosened faith in institutions and left people feeling had. They think, ‘What will you give us next, cholera?'”

The tea party, in contrast, seems to him to be “trying to stand for a free citizenry in the age of Lois Lerner. They’re against this professional class in government that thinks we’re a nation of donkeys pulling their wingèd chariot.

“Their impatience with the status quo is right. Their sense of urgency is right. Their insight that the party in power has gone to the left of where America really is—right on that, too.”

But the tea party has a lot to learn, and quickly. “It’s not enough to feel, you need strategy. They need better leadership, not people interested in money, power and fame. Public service requires sacrifice. I see too many self-seekers there.