This article was supposed to be a criticism of the national leadership of the “Tea Party” for such a blatant sell out to the Republican Party, but then voices from the Liberty movement sounded off and I had to criticize them both. First for the Tea Party.
This article printed a few days ago, and needless to say I was disappointed. Okay, I can see the point of the leadership of the Tea Party and their desire to not become the spoiler. The idea that whatever we need to get done needs to happen through the 2-Party system (I disagree, but understand). But to say that whatever candidate comes from the Republican Primary will be the Tea Party Candidate?… This makes the Tea Party nothing more than a captive constituency of the Republican Party….and how has that worked for some of the others who have taken on this role?
Has life become better or worse in “minority communities” since they started backing whoever’s on the Democrat ticket? Has life become better or worse for Union workers since the Unions became a captive constituency of the Democrat Party? And, lest you think I am playing favorites, what happened to the “small govt.” Conservative Republicans from 2000-2006? All of these groups were harmed and not benefited by their allegiance. Union membership has shrunk since the 70s, the minority family has been decimated, and the Conservative movement was extinguished by our question-less backing of the leftist Republican George W Bush. If the Tea Party leadership wants to take over the Republican Party from the inside, I’m on board (provided they reform it into a party I can back). But do not tell me you’re simply going to rubber-stamp whatever is put forward… because the last time I heard that was in 2000, from the leadership of the Conservative movement.
Before I got a chance to write all of this, I found this article on the national Tenth Amendment Center (originally from Lew Rockwell’s site). Really?… Are we in the Liberty movement really going to eat our own? This article refers to the Tea Party as a “Brown-shirt movement.” This is over the top! The Nazi SA were referred to as the “Brown Shirts.” They performed such tasks as beating up political opponents and disrupting political rallies, and didn’t simply advocate for violence against others… they were the main perpetrators. As I pointed out above, the Tea Party, or at least a major part of it (by their own admission) has agreed to become part of the Republican party, but this is a long way from being storm troopers for the Nazis.
The main question that the article from Anthony Gregory brings to my mind is this: If this is how you feel, how many Tea Party events have you attended? If you believe that the Tea Party is headed in the wrong direction, why have you not been attending them and speaking to push them in the right direction? I, myself, have been attending 912, AFP, JBS and Tea Party events.I will admit that they are not some pure group of Libertarians, but if you, believe that they are headed in the wrong direction, then it is incumbent upon you (as it is incumbent upon all of us in the Liberty movement leadership) to push them back on the road towards freedom and liberty. I will admit there is a large contingency? of the “Neo-con” left present, but so too is there a large contingent of Liberty loving freedom fighters. And frequently, when I talk to people, I can convince them to commit to the more liberty embracing message of freedom. However by smearing the entire movement, how many do you think you converted? In contrast, by that same smear, how many “almost Libertarians” do you think you pushed back to the waiting embrace of the Republicrats? Are there those who support the endless unconstitutional wars/a large welfare state/the war on drugs? Yes, as a byproduct of the fact that the party in power right now is the Democrats, a lot of Republicans have joined in the effort, but so too have a lot of former Neo-con cheerleaders (such as myself ) realized the monstrosity that our unquestioning loyalty to the Republican brand has wrought.
The disappointment that I feel in the Tea Party is palpable, but this does not stain the entire movement. I believe that we need to start some buzz of dissension to any assertion by the Tea Party leadership that we should vote for another GWB just because he is on the Republican ticket. But that does not mean we should give up altogether. The Tea Party is headed the wrong way, but if there is one thing I learned from 2008, it was not to exit the stage altogether and leave the field to those who would love to re-establish the phony left-right paradigm and finish the destruction of our Republic. Time for those of us who truly value liberty to step up our efforts and prevent the Tea Party from becoming just another tool for the 2-Party system.
Tim Reeves is the state coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center
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