National Conservatives Coordinated State Lockdown Protests - 2020-04-22
It's been obvious from the get-go that the rapidly spreading protests against state coronavirus stay-at-home or "lockdown" orders were intensely ideological in nature, emanating from hard-core conservatives who didn't much believe the pandemic was real or had objections to government-imposed restrictions of dangerous activities on various pseudo-constitutional grounds. And it's also been apparent that these protests were not spontaneous but largely the product of local, state, or national coordination by right-wing groups, many of them veterans of the tea-party movement that also began over a decade ago as a bunch of "plain citizens" in Revolutionary War garb and insignia who just happened to share the constitutional, fiscal, and economic policy views common among well-heeled K Street conservative lobbies and Republican pols.
There's new reporting from the New York Times illustrating the connective tissue among these state protests, which (like the tea-party movement) has some grassroots elements but wouldn't have gone very far without the artificial turf of national coordination:
An informal coalition of influential conservative leaders and groups, some with close connections to the White House, has been quietly working to nurture protests and apply political and legal pressure to overturn state and local orders intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus …