The Republican/ Tea Party Opportunity
As all blog readers know I am a Conservative American that has strong passionate feelings in regards to politics. For years I pretended to be a moderate because I thought it sounded open-minded and fair. However, I began to notice that most of my views both morally and fiscally landed on the conservative side. (If you want to see a few areas I agree with President Obama check out this post) Finally after the 2008 election I decided to stop pretending and embrace my beliefs- not only embrace but fight for them. I was disgusted by the stimulus package, car company bailouts, government intrusion into our most personal choices, mounting debt, imminent deflation of the dollar, the massive health care bill, and declining moral values.
Then came the tea party rallies, which gave me the chance to protest these policies. I don’t think I have ever felt as patriotic or as proud to have freedom of speech then when I carried my sign in the tea party rally. It was a great moment in my life. (btw, why does it seem like protesters on the left are characterized as bold, courageous, and patriotic but the right are described as radicals and dangerous? Makes me crazy!)
I know the movement has been mainly Republican but to all the Democrats who mock it- the tea party made many establishment Republicans reexamine their policies. Politicians like Bob Bennett would no longer get the automatic rubber stamp from their republican base. Bennett served for three terms but was not reelected in the primary because of his vote on TARP and support of health insurance mandates. Despite many characterizing it as ‘extreme’ or ‘radical’ I have yet to see anything in the tea party movements (and rallies) that wasn’t patriotic and concerned. We don’t want to see our country go so far into debt that there is no way back. We also want to keep our freedoms and our ability to choose how we run our lives. Clearly we need government but the involvement should be as minimal as possible. Washington needs to trust the American people and the free market to make the right choices- with a little nudging from Uncle Sam along the way. Getting our country on track and out of debt will require CUTTING programs (some of them quite worthy) and getting rid of entitlements. We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have. To me it is as simple as that. As I mentioned before, this goes for the Republicans and Democrats. They both got us into our current mess.
On Tuesday, after a year or more of campaigning, many of the Tea Party Republicans came into power- particularly in the House of Representatives. Naturally not all of the tea party republicans won their races but this should be expected in any new inner-party movement. In the Democratic party many progressive candidates lost election early in the 20th century and now they are the mainstream of the party. For instance, William Jennings Bryan ran for president 3 times, loosing each time. Now his ideas are part of mainstream liberal doctrine. As weird as it sounds I expected some Tea Party Republicans to lose on Tuesday. After all, Rome wasn’t conquered in a day!
Anyway, the next two years is the chance for the Tea Party Republicans to live up to their rhetoric. We will see. I am cautiously optimistic. I know it will be hard to get everything the movement wants with just control over the house but I will be looking for some noticeable change. Even if the bills get vetoed I want to see the budget cuts go through the house and let the Democrats be to blame for blocking them. If these new Republicans wimp out I will be very disappointed.
This statement by Tea Party star Marco Rubio is encouraging of good things to come. Let’s hope he and others live up to the potential…
I pray our country can get out of the grasp of Chinese debt, that the dollar can become strong and that traditional values will reemerge. The closer we get along these lines the happier I will be. I hope I have explained my views well. Its always a little scary to put them out to the world for scrutiny. Please be kind as we debate the issues.