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Are Tea Partiers Cool?
Among our citizenry has arisen a libertarian movement. This movement has begun to flex its muscles. Among the first of its victories, the Tea Partiers (named aptly after the Boston Tea Party) were instrumental in electing a fiscally conservative, and socially somewhat liberal, senator into the seat held for nearly half a century by Democrat scion Ted Kennedy. Then, Charlie Crist, a fiscally-squishy GOP governor in Florida, dropped from the GOP primary to become an independent amidst fierce backlash from Tea Partiers. Most recently, Bob Bennett, GOP Senator from Utah, was ousted in a primary-level caucus by Tea Partiers.
The left, led by Democrat pundits, excoriates Tea Partiers as insane hyper-conservative GOP sycophants. Such a conclusion is patently ridiculous. The conclusion is, in fact, given the lie by the Tea Partiers themselves, as they drove Charlie Crist and Bob Bennett out of Senate seats, to the shrieking anger of pundits across the board. The Left retorted that all but the most conservative of GOP operatives would draw the enmity of the Tea Partiers. However, Sen. Bennett has impeccable social conservative credentials. He screwed up by supporting the TARP and bailout bills. As the pundits decried Utah’s loss of “power and connections,” the Tea Partiers reveled in putting up another citizen-legislator who believes in truly limited government. And rightly so.
What is with the Tea Partiers? For what do they stand? The answer is apparent to anyone who looks at the movement without a predisposition against it. Tea Partiers want to reduce government and make it financially responsible, something that neither party, both of which have been in recent control of House, Senate and Presidency, has shown any desire to work at, much less accomplish. Contrary to being a loosely organized and anarchic group of dissidents, the Tea Partiers are a loosely-organized group of dissident lovers of The United States of America. For their love of country, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would love nothing more than to effectively label Tea Partiers as terrorists. Al Qaeda terrorists are supposed to be moved from a Guantanamo detention facility into an Illinois prison. Is this to make room for the imprisonment of anyone who flies a Gadsden Flag?
That which holds most of the Tea Partiers together is not, as the leftists ludicrously say, the anger of rich white men. To the contrary, the Tea Partiers are a breathtaking example of diversity of income, race, gender, creed and even political party. At what are the Tea Partiers angry? The abuse, by both political parties, of the privilege of serving this country in government. What the United States is now afflicted with is a shocking and skyrocketing debt, about which a Chinese official recently stated that there is not enough money in the world to finance the programs that Congress has passed, for example, the health-care boondoggle. Further, there is no will in Washington to reduce any part of government. The GOP added a preposterously huge prescription-drug benefit to Medicare, even as the Democrats carped that it was too small. Every time we turn around, the size of government bloats geometrically. The GOP grows government; the Democrats just grow it more. The Tea Partiers are fed up. And rightly so!
This leaves the Tea Partiers with one option: throw the bums out. With the option settled, one question remains: Whose bums get the bums’ rush? The GOP at least has a semblance of an understanding of limited government. This is true even though all seismic activity in California since 2005 has been from Ronald Reagan spinning in his grave. The Democrats seem intent on imposing a centralized command-and-control economy on the people, and taxing every productive person and company into a parity of mediocrity. The Tea Partiers have therefore naturally gravitated toward the GOP, where their influence is likely to be warmly received. The one cardinal sin against the Tea Partiers is to fail to enthusiastically reduce government to that which is necessary to prevent chaos. Tea Partiers stand, more than anything else, for one core principle: Freedom from Big Brother, combined with fiscal responsibility.
Is this movement perfect? No. Sarah Palin, regarded as a great hero, and the consensus Tea Party endorsee for president as of this writing, recently experienced hard blowback from Tea Partiers for her endorsements of John McCain and Carly Fiorina. Mrs. Palin can hardly be faulted for endorsing the man who made her a household name. Her endorsement of Mrs. Fiorina, who was a McCain adviser seems to be linked less to Mr. McCain’s connection than to Mrs. Fiorina’s rapidly-growing chances to win over Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat in 2010, which would virtually guarantee that the GOP would seize control of the United States Senate in November. That said, some Tea Partiers where enraged at Mrs. Palin’s choices, and made comments like, Well, she must not have plans for 2012.” Mrs. Fiorina and Mr. McCain are relatively solid fiscal conservatives. There is an appearance of a purity test here. By any reasonable standard, Mrs. Palin passes such a test. I just hope that they stay reasonable.
Why am I hoping that the Tea Partiers stay reasonable? Because I agree and identify strongly with their – our – principles. We must limit the size and power of Federal and State governments. We must not only stop spending more than we take in, we must spend so much less that we can pay off the national debt. We must eliminate the long-term professional politician and replace the same with citizen legislators who are eager to gut bureaucracies and streamline the government to just that necessary to protect our freedoms.
Am I a tea partier? I think that Tea Partiers are cool. I’ll take my tea straight up, on ice, and join the party. Count me in.