One of my biggest frustrations with the Republican Party -- specifically the conservative movement -- is the lack of planned offensive strategies to undermine and reverse the momentum of big government.
Even some of the best conservative activists get bogged down in fighting against the status quo, and forget to address the bigger picture. This leaves us constantly on the defensive and settling for much less than we should. And this is where the fresh ideas, energy and creativity of the Tea Party movement is sorely needed.
I consider myself an average and typical Tea Partyer. My point being, I was swept into the movement as a naive, concerned and close to terrified American, and quickly educated myself to get up to speed on all things political.
While I didn't enroll in law school, I didn't find it that difficult to read and understand the Constitution. The document was written with simplicity in mind -- a mere seventeen pages in my little pocketbook version. The Bill of Rights -- the first Ten Amendments -- and the other amendments totaling twenty-seven in all, take a mere fourteen more pages. That's a total of thirty-one pages that contain The Holy Writ that is supposed to be Thee supreme document our public servants swear to uphold and defend when they enter into public service.
Without getting bogged down in all the reasons why most Americans are just like I was -- rusty and in dire need of familiarizing themselves with our founding documents, I believe that is precisely where we find ourselves. With a public woefully ignorant and in need of reeducation on the basics of civic government. And we must do something about it to permanently defeat and annihilate progressivism.
Specifically, I believe we must launch a campaign to educate the public on where America has gone wrong, how we have betrayed the Constitution, and why we seem unable to change course. In order to be effective, we must "keep it simple, stupid," and reduce the discussion to a few simple concepts that I will outline below. Keep in mind that while they are simple concepts, they are profound and lie at the core of what makes America a unique and exceptional nation.
1. The Principle of Federalism
This is one of the reasons I love Governor Rick Perry so much. He gets the principle of federalism better than any other politician, and it is why he mentions the Tenth Amendment so often. Legislators and judges have annihilated this principle by virtually ignoring the Tenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment makes clear that the federal government has limits on its powers. To review the specific wording, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People." When I fully understood this one Amendment, it energized and angered me to take action.
Understanding the Tenth Amendment makes it glaringly clear that both the courts and Congress are acting in clear violation of the Constitution, in many areas and in many ways, and have been doing so for many years.
2. Government's Limited Role in Social Programs
Central to the principle of federalism is the Constitution's obvious lack of focus on the federal government's involvement in solving social problems. Article 1, Section 8 delegates the specific areas the federal government is allowed and empowered to regulate. These are referred to as "delegated powers." They are few in number and clearly delineated. All other powers are reserved to the States, or the People.
Try reading that section of the Constitution for yourself and see if you can find any mention of education, health care, social security retirement, the environment, student loans, HUD, etc., etc. This is why Governor Perry and many others try to scream, "But what about the Tenth Amendment?" Every time Congress legislates outside of their delegated areas, they are stomping on the face of the States. And every time the courts uphold their laws, they reinforce the unconstitutional acts.
3. Limited Government Protects Our Liberty and Private Property
It's time to roll back the progressive movement once and for all. The notion that it is government's (ie., the taxpayers) primary role to care for the poor is anathema to our founding principles. Our founding fathers found the notion of government taking from its citizens to support the poor as nothing less than repugnant theft. And it is.
We must reverse this trajectory and take control of the narrative so that people understand what's wrong with it and don't feel guilty for resisting this form of theft. That's why the Tea Party stays focused on limited government, individual liberty, and individual/personal responsibility, as these simple principles are what fuel our nation's exceptionalism and prosperity.
This is where the church, non-profits, the work-ethic and free markets naturally contain the solutions -- on the local level and within each state -- to most of our social problems. But the left and the establishment don't want this to be heard by the People, thus they win the argument on a superficial level using guilt and intimidation. Who wants to be accused of neglecting the poor? No one.
We have better and more effective answers. They just have to be taught and promoted.
I truly believe that when Americans revisit and relearn these concepts it will empower us and them to engage in the process of restoring America. But we have to reeducate them -- through commercials, public service announcements, campaign themes, and social media so they have the power to join us and fight back against all of our enemies. These few simple principles provide positive, real solutions that put the power (and the property) back in the people's hands where it belongs.
The Watercooler is always an open thread.