The Tea Party - Part I
THE TEA PARTY AND THE GOP
The pundits don’t get it – and neither does the Republican Party. When Scott Brown won in Massachusetts, it was no more a “Republican victory” than it was “Ted Kennedy’s” seat. It was the people’s seat – and it was the people’s victory.
The Tea Party is not part of the Republican Party, though it is much closer to them ideologically than to Democrats. It is not – nor should it be - a separate political party, though it has a gathering presence that could be more influential than either major party.
It could be a great incubator of ideas and motivator to action if it is embraced … or a terrible divider, if it is misunderstood.
So what IS the Tea Party?
First, it is not pro-Republican – it is anti-establishment… it is in opposition to entrenched, self-serving political interests run amuck on both sides of the aisle, and for far too long. Second, it’s not so much Conservative, but rather Constitutional. Third, It is not agenda driven, but principle inspired – founding principles. Fourth, it is not an outgrowth of the current political system but an evolving ideology of its own based on the principles it serves. Lastly, it is the expression of the people’s ultimate power expressed in our Declaration of Independence: “…That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”…
It’s instructive to review some of the “accomplishments’ of the political system over the past 100 years. This is what that system has given us:
• An income tax that is an obscene affront to liberty running 70,000 pages and 6 million words.
• An education system that has been hijacked by the federal government and turned into an utter failure.
• Like education, a federal take-over of many other rights and duties historically reserved to the states or the people.
• Vast additional bureaucracies of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than are running current deficits, and include over 100 trillion dollars in future unfunded obligations.
• A banking system based on government sponsored counterfeiting of money, or borrowing at a pace beyond our capacity to pay.
• An energy policy that is no policy at all but holds us hostage to foreign producers while ignoring our own natural resources.
• The most incredible defense capability ever known, only to squander it fighting regional wars with no clear purpose or objective.
• Open borders and unfettered entry by millions of illegal residents made more comfortable by the free education, health care and social service benefits provided to them.
• A vast army of mindless bureaucracies: FDA, EPA. EEOC, OSHA, HUD, AND MORE. 2.7 million people muddling up our lives doing things we don’t want to have done for us, with us, or to us!
• An incompetent hodge-podge of security organizations more aimed at terrorizing decent citizens, then apprehending indecent terrorists.
• The destruction of capitalism and our manufacturing base, and replacement with companies too big to fail - beholden to government, not the marketplace.
• Incremental invasions of our personal privacy and liberty, recently exemplified by a determination that citizens have no reasonable expectation of privacy on a cell phone.
I could go on and on. The point is, the so-called smartest people in American; the most experienced political elite that we simply can’t live without; have turned the legacy of our founders into a shameful mess. And we have returned them to power over and over. It’s time for them to go.
Our Republican family, alas, is not much better than the loons on the left who have become literally progressive socialists and communists. It is only a matter of degree. The trend exemplified by George Bush was to become more like them so that others would like us and our party would grow.
What happened was that our party disappeared. We lost not only our rudder; we lost our ship. We let the enemy dictate the terms of battle rather than our own principles. We need to know that these people and groups are not the friends of Liberty:
• The Harry-Barack-Pelosi leftist Progressives
• The major media
• Hollywood and the rest of “pop culture
• The Unions
• And even the moderate politicians in Republican ranks who have capitulated on the parties principles and philosophy for votes to perpetuate them in office. Arlen Specter is not your friend.
Remember the words of the conservative icon Barry Goldwater: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”
The Tea Party reflects extremism in the defense of our liberties; Republicanism contains core ideals in the pursuit of justice – neither of these pillars of our beliefs can ever cave to moderation for the sake of expediency – or reelection.
The Tea Party is a grass roots up-rising of people born of passion; people who are “mad as hell.” The Republican Party is a collection of long-standing values that used to reflect our Constitution and founding principles. To be successful, both must find some common ground, without sacrificing either passion or principles. It can be done if we address these 3 things:
1. Define the message into simple, straightward, rational points.
2. Send the right messenger.
3. Articulate the message so it relates to the people.
The ideological war that is growing in our midst is crucial to the survival of our nation; we cannot shirk from our duty, and we cannot place uninformed, inarticulate, or unwilling generals in command. Are we to send John McCain? A supporter of global warming, legalizing illegal immigrants, and supportive of NCLB? No. Are we to send Mitt Romney? The architect of our first state level health care failure? Not unless he gets the message right. Are we to send Newt Gingrich? His Contract with America was presented, largely adopted and then did nothing to change the festering rot in today’s political system. He missed his opportunity.
We must restate our principles – and we must find a standard bearer who will promote them without fear or compromise.
It is from the Tea Party, not the Republican old guard, that this capacity will arise. But pragmatism tells us that it is within the Republican Party that the war must be waged if it is to be successful. Full-scale revolution is the alternative, a 3rd party - for the moment at least - is not.
Among the critical issues that must be addressed are the following:
1. Abolition of the income tax and the IRS and replacement with a consumption taxonly system of taxation.
2. Enforcement of the constitutional requirements for limited federal and state government. (Art 1, Sec 8 and Tenth Amendment)
3. A constitutional limit on federal and state spending as a percentage of GDP and GSP, together with a ban on deficits except in periods of declared war.
4. Term limits: 2 terms in the Senate, 3 terms in the house, or 12 years of combined congressional office – and no pension or retirement. Congress must live by all laws and programs required of “regular” citizens.
5. A return to sane immigration policy, including current illegals, complete border security, and fair and justifiable policies for new immigrants who embrace our way of life.
6. Preservation of our language, culture, and historic values and philosophy. The bonds of our nation are a common language, a western European philosophy and culture, and Christian moral values. Period.
7. Restrictions on internationalism, including foreign aid, military defense, and trade relationships that are in the interest of our nation and for no other reason.
8. Returning sanity to law. We must restrict the number of new laws by allowing lawmaking in alternate sessions. All laws must cite their constitutional authority and sources of funding. And all laws must have a sunset provision for review and renewal, or automatic expiration.
The road is long and arduous. The Tea Party movement gives us passion, inspiration, and direction. The Republican Party gives us an historically proven vehicle to ride into battle. And the blood and brilliance of our founders gives us our moral purpose.
The time has come to renew the founder’s vision of America. If we fail to do so, it will be lost.
The Boston Tea Party, 1776. It was about more than taxes then; it is about more than taxes now.