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October 18, 2010

Is The Tea Party Good For America?

Is the “Tea Party” good for America?

Last year after the first “tea parties” were held on Tax Day, 51% of Americans had a favorable view of the Tea Party (“TP”). According to Rasmussen, this year, that number went down by 10 points. Now 41% of polled voters have a favorable opinion of the TP, while 35% view it unfavorably — 23% are undecided. The Rasmussen also informed us that male voters are more likely to have a favorable opinion of the TP than female voters but there are many, many female Tea Partiers (“TPiers”) and we know that 70% of Republicans view the TP favorably.

Voters also said that if the Tea Party was organized as a political party, 34% would prefer a Democrat in a three-way congressional race; 27% would vote Republican and 21% say they would vote for the TP.

After doing a tremendous amount of research I came to the conclusion that the TP doesn’t have any real set of guidelines, long-term goals or realistic solutions that defines it as a group. On the other hand they have a few beliefs in common that make them unite when it’s opportune.

TP members say that they want to “take back” America! They say that America is heading in the wrong direction and we need to take control and fix it before it is too late. Bu they don’t say specifically what they want to fix. The rhetoric sounds damn persuasive and even more terrifying. It has many Americans frightened, anxious, enraged and ready to wage war!

TPiers believe that the federal government is a special interest group and that government and big business work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. Of course there was no TP before President Barack Obama. This contradicts their insistence that it’s really all about big government since big government didn’t bother them when George W or any other person was president.

The TPiers won’t commit to what part(s) of big government they would get rid of to create a small government. Do the TPiers want to get rid of Student Loans, Federal Education Funding, Job Corp, Public Transportation, Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare or any of the many government programs that build our roads, highways and bridges or the programs that protect our food supply, etc.? These are the things that ‘big government’ does. If our government isn’t responsible for these big issues that the majority of all Americans benefit from, who is going to create, fund and manage these programs? The TP doesn’t have an answer. They seem to be only interested in throwing random thoughts into the wind where they leave the thoughts…floating aimlessly…with no solutions.

TPiers are only interested in the economic state of our nation, not any of America’s social issues, unless, it’s something they don’t like such as: welfare, abortion, or gay and lesbian (GLBT) rights. The Republican Party candidate for Senate in Nevada, Sharron Angle, said, “And these programs that you mentioned — that Obama has going with Reid and Pelosi pushing them forward — are all entitlement programs built to make government our God. And that’s really what’s happening in this country, is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government.”  TPiers wants us to believe that if we lose our jobs because of the Republican-caused economic crisis, or if we lose our house because of the Republican-backed bank fraud, or if we can’t afford health care insurance because Republicans blocked the public option, don’t worry; the government won’t have to help you because God will provide.

TPiers also allege that they are being painted as extremists, which they say they are not when they are in their smaller social club group. But they agree that when they come together and have joint meetings of different sects from different cities and states they are extreme in their vocalizations and outrage.

What is puzzling is that even politicians that owe their nominations to the TP tend to shy away from admitting to being a part of it. For example, here in the great State of Florida, Marco Rubio the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate said, “I think there is a real misunderstanding about what the Tea Party movement is. The Tea Party movement is a sentiment in America that government is broken – both parties are to blame – and if we don’t do something soon, this exceptional country will be lost and it will become just like everybody else.”

It seems that politicians use the TP to gain campaign funds and the nomination and then discard or distance them self from the TP in order to reconnect with mainstream voters. This is a very shrewd strategy! This strategy allows politicians like Rubio to tap into the ranting and raving of the TP without them self having to look or sound angry or extreme – they can blame the rage and disorderliness on their TP audiences. How incredibly conniving of mainstream Republicans!

How is this even possible? How can an ideological group that is only 18 month old allow mainstream politicians that do not support their beliefs to manipulate them and dispose of them so blatantly?! It seems that greed may be the answer.

Some TP leaders are thinking about their personal futures and are trying to find a way into mainstream politics. Yes, they want to be a part of the same big government that they loathe and preach against daily. TP leaders are involving themselves in the more traditional American political scene. From before the primaries and now as the mid-term elections draws closer, some tea party groups seem to have aligned themselves with one candidate or another and these alignments are changing the nature and character of the TP. Many TP sects are seeing a shift in their focus. They are moving from being ideologically linked groups of people who want to advance an ideal, to being candidate focused groups that are participating in the infighting between generally like-minded candidates. The thing is the TP leadership doesn’t want their activists or supporters to know that there is bickering and infighting in their ranks.

So back to my original question, “Is the “Tea Party” good for America?”

In a civic sense I believe that answer is yes because the TP has engaged and encouraged citizens to involve themselves in maintaining the good order of our fair republic – just as the country’s Founders envisioned it.

From a constructive, helping America to be all she can be point-of-view – my answer is a resounding no. Their candidates are erratic and are on the fringe of one extreme or another. They are not unifiers. They are dividing America with hostilities. The TP has not brought anything new to the table. They have no solutions and their political naiveté is worrisome. Simply put, they are obstructionists.

Initially I thought the Tea Party was a noble movement of independent free thinking spiritual people from all walks of life. What I have discovered during my research is that the TP could just as well become a neo-Nazi type party if they are not contained.

We cannot sit idly by and watch a few ‘non-thinkers’ without solutions take over the American political system. It seems to me that those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know. If ‘thinkers’ do not unite and make our voices heard we will all have to live with the decisions that the ‘non-thinkers’ made and it will be our own fault.

Keep your eyes on the prize — vote on Tuesday, November 2 and Early Vote if it’s an option in your State!!!

Peace, Love and Understanding!

 

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