What's a Poor TEA Party to do?
The mainstream media when discussing the TEA Party mostly performs a continuous non-stop conversation using the Obama propaganda-nonsense re-using their progressive-labels, terms like “racists, hate-mongers, astro-turf, stupid, extremists, and violent.” You can hardly hear the term “TEA Party” on the air without one of those nasty six propaganda adjectives attached somewhere in the "news" coverage. Only very rarely does the lamestream media try to talk sense or semi-sense about the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party phenomenon. When they do, they mostly seek comparison with Ross Perot’s bumbling political attempts in 1992 and 1996 or call it “a third-party movement,” or even compare them to Ralph Nader. They could be right, but hopefully NOT. Rajjpuut believes Perot failed miserably and accomplished just exactly the opposite of what he hoped to do. By splitting conservative voters, he ensured dramatically easy victories for the progressives and nothing more . . . a very sad legacy.
The TEA Party has a huge opportunity awaiting and at this stage (things might be dramatically different in 2012, 2014 and 2016) the worst thing that group can try to do right now is to raise a bunch of money, field a slate of candidates and seek to elect them as a political party. That would playing the Ross Perot card and playing it very, very weakly. The fact is, Americans are fed up completely with politics and politicians and political parties. Fiscal-conservatives and Constitutional-conservatives (the largest voter-bloc in the country) are especially fed up with politics, more fed up with politics than any other group in America. Politics-as-usual like Ross Perot tried, is precisely the easiest way to waste this moment in history. This moment in history, if handled rightly can be considered: the TEA Party moment! Never has America needed a more intelligent grass-roots movement than it does right now. So what can be done? What should be done?
To succeed at anything it helps to know who you are, exactly who you are and who you are NOT. The TEA Party movement, at its heart, gives conservative people an outlet, more importantly, it gives them hope that their voices can be heard. Right now that is a very huge role to play; and it is right now the best that they or you and I can expect; and most importantly IF they truly play that role properly, the TEA Party can make a huge difference in America and can accomplish many of the things that conservative people in their hearts most pray for.
To succeed at anything, it also is very important to know just exactly what you’re up against and who are your friends and who are your enemies. That the present progressive-dominated Democratic Party is the enemy of the TEA Party seems fairly obvious. Many folks believe that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Many folks believe the Republican Party is the TEA Party’s friend. Let’s think a little on that. The Republican Party as it was created in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin would be precisely the TEA Party’s very best friend. Today the Republican Party of 1854, 1856, 1858 and 1860 would be called “Libertarians,” which means fiscal-conservatives, constitutional conservatives and live-and-let-live liberals so long as you don’t “tread on me.” That was a party that stood for something. That was the Republican Party that freed the slaves. That was the Republican Party that eventually replaced the once proud Whig Party which by 1852 had become an effete party trying to please everyone at once that commanded about 26% of the national vote. Those Whigs were, however, someone we need to understand right now.
The American Whig Party itself arose when the original Republican Party lost its vigor and vision and somebody was needed to oppose the takeover by the executive branch and denigration of the Congress by Andrew Jackson (they called him “King Andrew," the Whigs did) and the Democratic Party. According to Wikipedia: "Whig" was then a widely recognized label of choice for people who saw themselves as opposing autocratic rule. The Whig Party counted among its members such national political luminaries as Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison, and their pre-eminent leader, Henry Clay of Kentucky. In addition to Harrison, the Whig Party also counted several prominent war heroes and national figures among its ranks, including Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott and former Lt. Colonel, western explorer and demi-whig California Senator John C. Fremont (the Republicans’ first presidential candidate). Abraham Lincoln was a Whig leader in then frontier Illinois. Except for a few spotty victories here and there, the Republicans who eventually replaced the Whigs were not at all successful until six years later and helped ensure virtually complete control of the country by the Democrats in 1854, 1856 and 1858 which proved to be some of the most volatile and violent years ever and led directly to the Civil War.
So the question remains, is the Republican Party the friend of the TEA Party? And the answer is . . . mostly NOT. Or most properly, NO, NOT yet! If the Republican Party had stuck to its core-philosophies of fiscal-conservativism and constitutional-conservativism over the last twenty years (twelve years under Republican presidents Bush I and Bush II) the nation would NOT now be in the shape it’s in. In fact, by possibly hijacking TEA Party votes en masse without later adhering to TEA Party desires for real meaningful conservativism in 2010 and future years . . . the Republican Party could prove to be as huge an enemy as the progressive Democrats. Right now, as I write this, there are probably eighty to a hundred rather cynical Republican politicos out there, looking at the TEA Party as a “nifty little parade” and planning exactly how they can jump in at the front and lead it.
All that being true, Rajjpuut believes it’s fair to say that the Republican Party has lost legitimacy among fiscal- and constitutional-conservatives. Once burned, twice cautious. The TEA Party would do best to stay independent of the Republican Party and yet NOT stand in direct opposition to it, the Republicans are, after all, the only ones opposing the Obamanations now going in Congress. That Republican opposition has been crucial and the Republicans share many conservative values at least nominally . . . .
It would be a hopelessly stupid mistake to run candidates against Republicans in 2010, because it would ensure progressive Democratic victory and more Obamanations. The TEA Party needs to show it’s hand clearly as opposed to the progressive elements of the Democratic Party which dominated the senate debate and most of the house debate. And the TEA Party needs to show itself as opposed to at least 90% of the Obama administration’s “transformations.” So far great things have been achieved by simply holding candidates’ feet to the conservative fire. Is that a perpetually winning formula? What’s to be done? What is the wisest course for the TEA Party? What’s best for America?
The secret for the TEA Party lies in knowing who they are. The TEA Party is a leveraged group of disenchanted conservatives (about 52% call themselves Republicans; 29% say they’re Independents and 19% call themselves Democrats) who are discovering their political voices. The two key words are the term “leveraged” and the term “disenchanted.” Let’s talk plain English here: leveraged means “potentially powerful.” Disenchanted means “fed up completely.” The TEA Party then is a potentially powerful group completely fed up with the political scene in Washington, D.C. and most of their state capitols.
Rajjpuut repeats . . . the TEA Party then is a potentially powerful group completely fed up with the political scene in Washington, D.C. and most of their state capitols. That is the truth and the truth can set you free. So what is the political reality right now?
Democrats according to a recent Rasmussen survey constitute 36.0% of the voting populace and Republicans 31.6%. That leaves 33.4% of potential voters unaffiliated with either party. There are more unaffiliated voters than Republicans and almost as many as the number of Democrats. Many of those unaffiliated voters are sympathetic to what the TEA Party movement stands for; many of them call themselves Independents . . . and as we’ve seen the make-up of the TEA Party is roughly 50% conservative Republicans, 30% conservative Independents and 20% conservative Democrats and virtually all of them are completely fed up and before the TEA Party came along, they were feeling pretty damn powerLESS. But it’s easy to see that if the TEA Party holds the politicians of both parties’ feet to the fire . . . they and “unaffiliated” groups actually control the political process because neither major party holds anywhere near a majority of the voting public's allegiance. It’s just a matter of proper leadership and wisely plotting the course of the groups’ activism and quite frankly, it doesn’t appear to Rajjpuut to be a necessarily expensive process. More on this later . . . .
For the most part, the TEA Party sympathizers belong to a group of people that Rasmussen calls “mainstream America.” The group of people that are largely responsible for frustrating mainstream America Rasmussen identifies as “the Political Class” How does Rasmussen delineate the two groups? Glad you asked . . . .
Rasmussen said in his January 31st survey that 65% of potential voters hold Mainstream views while only 4% hold Political Class views. When “leaners” are factored in 76% of Americans hold Mainstream views and only 12% hold Political Class views. Specifically, polling showed 76% of voters generally trust the American people more than political leaders on important national issues. Seventy-one percent (71%) view the federal government as a special interest group looking out mainly for itself, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. On each question, a majority of Republicans, and Democrats and unaffiliated voters shared those views. Rasmussen’s results would agree with Rajjpuut’s thinking that the Political Class believes that the politicians know what’s best for America and they are the experts and should be left alone to run the country.
Politicians and folks with government jobs, especially those cushy government jobs tend to belong the Political Class. In Rajjpuut’s memory the highest that Mainstream has ever surveyed is right now and the lowest that the Political Class has evered surveyed is right now. The lowest Mainstream numbers he ever remembers were around 49% and the highest political class numbers were roughly 26% or 27%. The lesson to be learned from this? There’s a lot of disenchantment out there and that disenchantment, if properly channeled is a potentially powerful force . . . a force for positive change.Let’s look specifically at why Mainstream voters are so fed up. Recent top gripes include these taken from the mouth of a mythical typical voter:
1. Politicians throwing money around in hopes of curing problems they created by spending money unwisely in the first place. Since unfunded obligations now have reached $108 TRillion, I’m highly upset.
2. Big company CEOs flying private jets and collecting big salaries while receiving billions of dollars of our bailout money.
3. Government telling us we must give up our freedoms and privacy if we ever want to be secure.
4. Politicians trying to control every aspect of our lives for their own benefit has got me boiling mad.
5. Politicians spending our children’s and grandchildren’s money to fund “set aside” programs that they refused to set aside funds for.
6. The mainstream media aligning itself with the political class virtually 100% of the time.
7. Angry citizens with legitimate gripes being labelled racists, extremists and dangerous violent by the Obama administration and the mainstream media.
8. Everything about the Federal Reserve Banking system and how it helped bring us to this fiscal sinkhole we’re in is totally aggravating to me. Now I understand my dollar is likely to be worth seven cents in about five years.
9. Government refusing to protect our borders.
10. Stimulus money spent without our approval.
11. Stimulus money not creating jobs but just being looted.
12. GM using a bailout slush fund of our money to “pay off its debt five years in advance when it only had one profitable quarter.
13. Chrysler now needing another bailout, their third, since I know good friends who’ve lost homes, cars and hope, I find this infuriating.
14. Some being called “too big to fail” being rewarded for their failure while the ordinary citizen who through no fault of his own has to fear losing his job is just taxed more to cover the bailouts.
15. Politicians, especially the Obama administration abusing the Constitution or using it like toilet paper.
16. Greater taxes and greater spending instead of really stimulating the economy by reducing government spending and slashing of taxes.
17. Government abusing the word “reform” when they only mean “greater government control.” REFORM means “making things better” and that’s not happening with the clowns now in office making our decisions. It’s enough to make you want to vote every one of the bums out of office.
18. Major legislation being passed by the slimmest possible vote margins instead of with 90% approval and both parties involved in crafting wise laws.
19. Having the largest (Baaken Fields) oil reserve in the world within our borders and paying an arm and a leg at the gas pump.
20. Knowing that in Europe (where their media even the ultra-liberal London Times keeps them informed) public opinion has now roundly rejected the notion of “global warming” in the face of the Climate-Gate revelations of scientific mal-practice and corruption of statiscal evidence and yet being faced with cap and trade legislation that will cost a minimum of $220 billion per year. Our media hasn't even run stories on Climate-Gate.
21. Seeing irrigation stopped in California and vegetable prices rise so that the EPA can protect a three-inch long fish. Let the EPA figure a cheap way to keep the fish safe and let farmers irrigate. 40% unemployment in parts of Fresno County is ridiculous! Have politicians NO common sense? I find it mind-boggling.
22. Seeing our tax money go to increase the size and complexity and interference-capability of the federal government when it should be going to increasing the number of jobs the private sector can create.
23. Hearing that a VAT (valued added tax) is about 85% likely after November’s elections on top of increased taxes for 2011 created by letting the Bush tax breaks expire and on top of horrendous income taxes.
24. Seeing that our president is 100% convinced he and only he knows best for us, and whatever thoughts we have about what an American government ought to look like and how it ought to be functioning are totally ignored.
25. Seeing that every day America, and everything good and strong and great about it, is being threatened by “transformation” that is becoming more and more of a nightmare. A big part of that nightmare is that our teachers are seemingly teaching that America is evil and needs to be drastically changed. Since those drastic changes include teaching first graders about homosexuality, trans-gender operations, and cross-dressing . . . I’m highly upset.
26. Seeing that the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX with Gore and Obama and Goldman Sachs as prominent players) stands to make, by their own admission, "Ten TRillion dollars selling and producing nothing, but just for handling cap and trade dealings in this country when I know that global-warming is NOT true and cap and trade is not needed just infuriates me. That's a severe conflict of interest for both men and yet the mainstream media won't publicize it.
The list above includes many of the problems that conservative, good and patriotic people are trying to cure when they become politically active by joining or sympathizing with the TEA Party. What can they do but gripe? Does anyone listen?
Politicians really DO tend to listen, especially when it’s nearing election day. Let’s look at the legacy of the TEA Party influence so far. Four elections*** with three resounding victories and one almost-miracle so far. In other words, the TEA Party activism is bringing about change and it’s not even involving huge expense. So why would, should the TEA Party people change a winning formula? They shouldn't. They're doing more to help the country with minimal expense and without becoming a vote-seeking political party then either of the two major parties combined-- don't change a winner!
The TEA Party also has a tremendous new tool at its disposal and to Rajjpuut’s knowledge it has NOT used it so far, more's the pity:
The TEA Party created this wonderful instrument the “Contract from America” and it’s not using it at all: huge mistake!
The ten items (voted on by sympathizers from the original twenty-one TEA Party concerns) in the Contract from America are perhaps the wisest set of values identified by any political group since the Magna Carta. In brief form, here they are:
And the top ten are…
1.Protect the Constitution
2. Reject Cap & Trade
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington
6. End Runaway Government Spending
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
9. Stop the Pork
10. Stop the Tax Hikes
The TEA Party created this wonderful instrument and it’s really done nothing with it. The whole nation needs to educated as to what the TEA Party stands for, and not this brief listing above but rather a full and complete picture. For example, 71% of supporters regarded the #1 item on the list “Protect the Constitution” as important enough to be in their top ten from among the twenty-one items voted upon . . . but “Protect the Constitution is too vague. Their original document which Rajjpuut was NOT able to find, (How smart is that, TEA Party?) required every bill proposed in congress to reference the Constitution of the United States and to cite the provisions of the Constitution that allowed the bill to be considered.
So what’s a poor TEA Party to do?
A. Continue with the winning formula of educating and attracting more members compatible with the three main concerns: constitutionally-based government that’s fiscally-conservative, open^^^, transparent and accountable; and that represents the minimum government necessary to work for the people.
B. Practice high standards and non-violence at all times no matter what.
C. Continue holding the feet of all politicians of every political party and the independents too, very close to the fire. Evaluate all of 'em against the ten planks of the "Contract from America."That is the winning formula. Look for those who espouse and practice conservative minimalist government; and, if they don’t keep their word, kick them out next time and elect someone who respects the Contract from America who will keep their word.
D. EDUCATE! EDUCATE! EDUCATE! EDUCATE! EDUCATE! Imagine how much better America would be today if over the last twenty years Americans were educated and truly aware of what was going on in Washington. Imagine how much better Americans will be in 2020, IF 67% of Americans this year learn the ten TEA Party tenets in the Contract from America and 55% of Americans decide that those ten tenets are important.
E. Love America, read about America and study what America is really about and pass that on to your children and grandchildren.
F. By the way, by at least 2016, we should consider making congress a part-time entity, say 160 days every other year. We don’t need politicians and lawmakers, we need to elect statesmen and stateswomen who tinker with the people and the capitalist system the least and spend no more than necessary. Human nature being what it is, lawmakers tend to make laws whether they're needed or desirable or wanted or not, limit the possible mischief by limiting the time available for making laws.
Ya’all live long, strong and ornery,
*** That is, two big wins in New Jersey and Virginia; and a really huge win in Massachusetts and helping an unfunded conservative oust the ultra-progressive Republican funded with $1 million of Republican money from an upstate New York race and almost defeat the semi-conservative Democratic candidate in the election.
^^^ Open means that perhaps 85% of what the congress does is NOT done behind close doors and both parties and the media are invited.
^^^ Transparent means that bills are clear, simple, short and easily understood and placed online for all voters to read-over 96-120 hours before the first procedural voting begins. Amendments (earmarks) not having anything to do with the fundamental purpose of the bill need to reference the constitution or better yet, be cut altogether from all the bill.
^^^ Accountable means that congressmen and the president honor our established processes; and the constitution; and the will of the voters and are willing to discuss these and the entirety of the bills they're voting on with the media and the people and to ensure that they do NOT personally profit in any way from the bill they're supporting.