The Tea Party Movement and the Election of Scott Brown
The election of Scott Brown was remarkable in many ways, but one of the most important was in a way little discussed in political circles. It was just this: The election of Scott Brown caused all the pundits and about half the politicians to formulate and express an opinion as to why it happened. In this way, we got a wide view into the national understanding of what occurred, and why.
What it told me, as a National Tea Party Movement endorser, is that most, on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle still don’t get it, and are not even close.
Though it is clear the Democrats are in panic mode, and that a number of them are starting to make overtures to what they feel is a resurgent right, every one that I’ve heard express an opinion of what happened has missed it by a mile. The Republicans that have addressed the issue have been little better. The MSNBC crowd are not even in the same city, much less ball park, as the real reason for Brown’s election. Even Fox News pundits like O’Reilly and Dick Morris are hitting shy of the mark.
The more moderate Democrats are saying in essence that the Democratic Party tried to do too much, too fast, and that they need to ‘tack’ closer the middle of the political spectrum. They think the issues that turned the election were jobs and health care reform, with its huge size, back-room-deals, and lack of transparency. Many think they weren’t good enough at getting the message out about what they were trying to accomplish, and that is what has upset the American public.
Republicans are likewise saying the Democrats need to tack more to the center, and though the Republicans are collectively becoming more and more like the party of Reagan on a daily basis, what they don’t understand is they could be that party and we could still vote them out.
Most Republicans now think if they once again become the bastion of conservatism, they will sweep the elections in 2010 by pulling the Tea Party members into their fold, though there is still a sizable “Country Club” Republican group of moderates who don’t feel that such a tent will be big enough.
Most Democrats fall into one of two camps: The far left thinks the Tea Party movement is irrelevant. They want to continue pushing the Democratic Party (the natural home of the left) to further wealth redistribution, Nanny State policies, and expanded government. The Democratic Center thinks that by ramping back the pace of their governmental expansion, they can pull disenchanted people back in, much like Clinton did with his right shift following the ‘94 elections. They think if the unemployment rate comes down a bit, they will be okay. They won’t.
Both the Republicans and Democrats are wrong. Each is looking at the issue from their party perspective, and that is the completely wrong perspective.
What the Tea Party Movement (which, by the way, is only going to expand between now and the 2010 elections) is all about (from the perspective of an NTP supporter– one who regularly discusses these things with other Tea Party Movement supporters) is simply a desire for a return to Jeffersonian Democracy. It is not an issue of Democrat or Republican. It is not really even an issue even of right verses left, liberal vs. conservative (though conservatives are much closer to the mark than liberals). It is an issue of wanting citizens representing us in Washington – not professional politicians. It is an issue of wanting Congress to have the same obligations and be subject to the same laws and restrictions as all other citizens in matters not directly related to the functioning of Congress. It is the desire for the members of government to be financially impacted by the laws it enacts in exactly the same way as all other citizens, and for them to be accorded no special privileges.
The heart of the Tea Party Movement is this: We see the whole and entire purpose of government, and the only justification for even the existence of government, as being the protection of each and every person’s individual rights. That means protecting us from foreign intrusion, domestic criminality, and intrusion by the government itself into our lives. We see our government as having been the first, and in practical terms, the only government ever created for that purpose and no other, and we see that fact as being at the center of the American exceptionalism that has saved the world several times in the past century, raised the standard of living not just for us but for much of the rest of the world, and provided Americans with the overall happiest of lives of any society that has ever existed.
We see the right to free speech, the right to practice the religion of our choice (or no religion if that is our choice), the right to privacy protections, the right to self defense, the right to a fair trial, the right to own property and enjoy the fruits of our labor, and all the other rights listed in the Constitution as rights that are inherent in all men, everywhere that men exist, but that are specifically guaranteed by this government for Americans…. This government was created by the people specifically for that purpose and no other! It was created to protect us and our rights, not to “govern” us.
We are sick and tired of Congress deciding it can do what it wants, the Constitution notwithstanding. We are sick and tired of government deciding it can impose its will on us. As Obama has said, all the “rights” in the Constitution are negative rights. They all exist to protect us as individuals, including from, and especially from the government. There are no positive rights in the Constitution giving the government the right to choose to do things for its citizens, and we do not recognize the Congress’ or the President’s authority to do anything we don’t specifically approve-of.
We are sick and tired of Congress and the President ignoring us. When we collectively say, “Stop spending”, we don’t mean spend like thieves anyway, and pass along some platitude to us in an attempt to placate us. We don’t mean go ahead and spend as long as the money is allocated back to our district. We mean stop spending!
We are sick and tired of Congress deciding it can take the fruits of our labor, and use it to buy votes. Take your “wealth redistribution” elsewhere. Most of the countries in the world will be happy to have you do it. This is the one society on the planet where the Constitution protects us specifically against that, and it is what has led to our unmatched prosperity, and we damned well want it adhered-to.
If you want to appease the Tea Party Movement, here is what you are going to have to do. 1.) Dramatically reduce taxes. You should not be allowed to have anything more than the absolute minimum needed to operate the government and provide for emergency services and defense. Nothing more. 2.) Dramatically reduce the size of government. It should be less than half the size it is now. 3.) Open the books on where our money is being spent, and how our economy is operating. The Federal Reserve needs as a minimum to be heavily audited, and should probably be eliminated. 4.) America first! The U.N. should be a means of interacting with the world to protect American interests and nothing more. There should absolutely be no U.N. influence allowed in how our country is governed. 5.) Listen to the voters. There is a rather large segment of the Tea Party Movement (probably as much as half of them) that wants to throw everyone out of office, whatever their political persuasion, simply because it would instantly take away the arrogance of those who remain in office after the dismissal. 6.) Protect out borders. 7.) Stop spending our money! It’s our money, not the government’s. Would you reach into the pocket of the man next to you on the subway to get money to buy a paper? Don’t you see this is no different? If we don’t want you spending our money, you have NO RIGHT TO DO SO! We are far more offended by the notion that you think you have the right to do so than by the act itself. You are self-justified in your thievery, and it is that that torques our nut, even more than the theft itself.
We’re also sick and tired of a left-leaning press, that doesn’t understand their job is to report the news, not to shape it. That calamity will be taken care-of by the market, which is already well along the road to doing so. Left-wing papers are going out of business daily, and Air America had its last (thank God) broadcast yesterday. Please people. Go get jobs in Argentina. Hugo Chavez will welcome you!
If you don’t care about the Tea Party Movement, you do so at your own political risk. The elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts were very much the result of the Tea party sentiment coursing through our society, as a result of Obama pursuing policies that are in direct opposition to Tea Party Movement sentiments. The “change” people hoped for in the 2008 elections was a change from the big, non-responsive government, open borders, and heretofore unparalleled spending (Bush started it, Obama just doubled down on his policies). Not a change to even more spending, even larger and less-responsive government, wealth redistribution, and a defacto march to socialism and reduction of American sovereignty.
If you want to get swept into office in 2010, look to the Tea Party Movement’s principles. If you want to get swept out, ignore them. We outnumber all of the rest of you, and we are pissed!
We made statements in Virginia, New Jersey, and especially in Massachusetts. It’s really good that we were able to make such statements, because the Tea Party Movement supporters are fed up, angry, and aroused to action. Had the opportunity to make such statements not been available, had the current government not been given pause, it would have continued on its destructive course, completely unabated. And from what I have heard many of my fellow Tea Party Movement supporters say about it, a hostile march on Washington was not all that far removed from possibility. I have heard that discussed openly on many an occasion. Never before in my 60 years have I seen people afraid for their country the way people are today, and never before have I seen them decide with such conviction to do something about it. The people are completely fed up!
When Bill Oreilly asked Dick Morris the other day where the power went that Obama had apparently lost after the Brown election, Morris replied, “Obviously to the Republicans.” He could not have been more wrong. The power that Obama lost was taken back by the people.