The Future of the Tea Party Movement
The latest Tea Party rallies have subsided yet the clamor of the Progressives embedded in the establishment goes on; the disapproving frowns and the clucking of tongues of those who “hear” “violence and hatred” whenever anyone suggests that the supreme law of the Land – the Constitution – be followed.
There is no doubt about it: the backlash to the Tea Party movement is official.
That means it’s working!
There is fear among the milquetoast middle grounders for they have discovered that the “middle ground,” once seemingly the safest turf in modern American politics, is buckling and provides no foundation for their equivocation. The Left, reveling in its congressional majorities and its presidential patron, has discovered that it can simply buy off or threaten the moderates, as it did on the ObamaCare passage. There is no more pretense of compromise, merely naked corruption. The middle grounders predictably respond as they always have. Instead of blaming their Progressive herdsmen, who are the masters of situational ethics, for their sellout, they direct their complaints at those who held fast to their principles. In effect, they are crying out, “How dare you judge me!” when in reality it is history – and God – that will judge.
There is also fear among country club, Republican establishment types who embrace a conservatism of convenience. In other words, they call themselves conservatives when it is convenient to do so, most notably at election time, but otherwise consider themselves pragmatists when it comes to legislating or wielding power. They are suspicious of principles wedded to passion, which is why they never worked up more than token enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan but could whole-heartedly support George H.W. Bush. After all, the latter was one of them. It is this mind-set that is responsible for someone like Michael Steele wondering how the GOP can infiltrate the Tea Party movement.
He was serious, but it was a laughable premise.
The beauty of the Tea Party movement is that it is essentially leaderless. No, that’s not quite right. There are leaders aplenty, but it is a “from the ground up” leadership that calls upon individuals within the movement to educate themselves and to determine their level of commitment to restore constitutional governance to the various and sundry United States.
A case could be made that the leadership of the Tea Party movement includes such heavy hitters as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Paine, among others. They are speaking to a new generation through their writings and the historical record. We are reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, Common Sense, and various biographies. We are discussing the ideas of the Founding Fathers and discovering that concepts are timeless. And sacred. We may restate their truths in modern English, but the ideas themselves cannot be improved upon.
In the Tea Party movement are disaffected Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Once they may have differed on policy but today they are united behind a desire to restore and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (sound familiar?).
It is not necessary for the Tea Party movement to form a new political party. Several national polls show that anywhere from a quarter to a third of the American electorate consider themselves to be aligned with this movement. That is considerably more than the number of Progressives. It is also significant because the Tea Party movement is but a year old. It is growing, and it will not be stopped by innuendo campaigns whether they originate from the White House/MoveOnDotters/MSDNC or even the GOP. It is impossible to stop a movement based on Truth where the vast majority of its numbers are people of good will and peace. The Polish communist machine could not stop Solidarity, and the Obama machine isn’t nearly that effective.
Wishful thinking pundits, more comfortable with the bilateral politics of the past which favored progressivism, keep writing that the Tea Party movement will blow itself out before the November elections. Dream on! The Tea Party has already changed the political landscape of America and it’s only the beginning.
I suspect that the greatest impact will be on the Republican Party for it is the one most susceptible to restoration and change. It is the one national party where intramural debate and challenge is still acceptable, and this is where Tea Party people can make a difference … by weeding out Progressives in the primary process. That might not make Michael Steele happy, but he may be lucky to have a job come November.
Sadly the once diverse Democratic Party is very inhospitable to genuine patriots at the national level, and that renders local Democrat activism something of a long shot. What is the use of wasting time and effort on a party that won’t listen to its conservative voices? I’m sorry, Blue Dogs, but your granddad’s Democratic party is gone, replaced over time by imposters who don’t like America, or its foundational principles, much. Please spare me your campaign rhetoric of how much you love to hunt, as if that somehow excuses you on other constitutional issues. Tell me, instead, of how you will tell Nancy Pelosi to kiss your ass the next time she tries to get you to vote for something that strips Americans of their rights. And then, if you are elected, do it. In public.
No, it isn’t genteel behavior. But it is the time-tested behavior of a patriotic, freedom-loving American.
We live in perilous times when liberty is at stake. Thomas Jefferson said that when the people fear the government, there is tyranny, and when government fears the people, there is liberty. The government hasn’t had much to worry about for the last 70 or 80 years or so, and that’s not healthy for liberty. It’s time to rebalance the political equation.
That’s what the Tea Party Movement is doing. Peacefully. Loudly. With American pride.