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Libertarianism and the Tea Party Movement

Written by Subject: Politics: Libertarian Campaigns

Libertarianism and the Tea Party Movement

By Barry Hess 

The Tea Party Movement has become an undeniable force in contemporary American politics, and I think, a very positive one.  What I find incredible, is the total lack of comprehension of the 'Olde-Party' pundits, as to what the movement is all about, or ‘who’ these "Tea" people are.

 

The Republican Party was hit in the political face with a shovel when they sought, (They’re still trying, though) to “get a hold of”, or “capture” the Tea Party Movement, for their own ends--to swell their ranks and coffers.  They’re starting to understand, it’s not gonna work, and here’s why…

 

The bulk of the Tea Party people are libertarians (not the political party—the philosophy) they just don’t know it, yet. I’m not trying to claim them for the Libertarian political Party.  I'm just trying to explain ‘who’ they are, and what motivates them, as a group.

 

The Tea Party Movement has become the ultimate “Big Tent” party.  There’s a lot of disagreement on the nuances in the tent stakes, but they ALL focus and agree on what the center post for the tent is— individual liberty. The idea that the rights of the common people should be respected by their government, is being translated into a simple phrase: “Leave us alone!”.

 

They’re people who have reached the point beyond which, they will not be pushed.  They’re individuals who may not ‘get’ all the details, but they do ‘get’ the big picture; The bigger the government, the smaller the individual.  They do ‘get’ that—and that’s all any of us needs to ‘get’.

 

Frederick Douglas said: (paraphrased, in context) “The limits of tyranny are defined by the endurance of the oppressed.”  Isn’t that brilliant?  Well, the Tea Party people have been drained of their patience, from the bottom of the tank—their ‘done’ with smarmy and deceptive politics and politicians that don’t even begin to try to serve, or represent them.

 

I’ve been honored to speak at several Tea Party events, including the first one here in Phoenix, before a crowd over 10,000 motivated Citizens (regardless of underestimating by the Olde media).   All the Republican speakers were screaming that there should be no new taxes on their income.  When I introduced the idea that there is no point in arguing for an “acceptable level of theft”, and instead we need to eliminate the theft altogether—the crowd erupted into the biggest and most powerful response of the evening!  That was the principle that was lacking—that theft is still theft, even by government, and that we have a moral obligation to stop the theft. 

 

Now, through their network, solid principles are taking a foothold.  Ultimately, the path they are on is exactly the philosophically libertarian path chosen by our Founding Fathers.  Hooray for America!

 

It didn’t take me long to find out that though the voting registrations of the bulk of the Tea Party People was/is ‘Republican’—they ain’t Republicans. They are primarily people who registered as Republicans—so they could vote for the good Dr., Congressman Ron Paul, for PRESIDENT!

 

They’re ‘Independent-minded people’ who are willing to act on the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—“There comes a time, when silence is betrayal.”  And they’re not going to betray their families, or this nation by throwing their votes into anyone’s bucket just because a candidate is in the same political club.

 

Scott Brown, got in that way, but he will serve as a shining example (since betraying supporters by flipping to the dark side on nationalized ‘health care’) that bad people, seeking public office only to benefit themselves, come into every political party.

 

As responsible Citizens, the Tea Party People are raising the level of scrutiny, and consideration each candidate will get from them, regardless of their registration.

 

Typically, politicians work tirelessly to divide “We the People” up into groups, pit us against one another, then offer to referee.  I don’t think it’ll be as easy for them, anymore.  Typical (Republican/Democrat) politicians try to motivate people by fear.  They just don’t ‘get’ that the only fear that will guide the Tea Party People, is the fear of not being free.  Should be fun to watch ‘em try, though. 

 

The Tea Party movement should never be identified with any political party, it should simply remain centered around the concepts of individual liberty, and equal justice for all, a safe haven for the politically dis-enfranchised and the politically homeless.  I hope, that the 'pure' character the Movement has now, will remain intact.
 
The Tea Party Movement should speak to each of us as an invitation to join the Tea Party Movement, but not to change it.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Darren Wolfe
Entered on:

My experience with the  Valley Forge Patriots- Tea Party Conservatives would indicate that they're not libertarian. I got kicked out for advocating peace & liberty on their Meetup mailing list. Here's a good sampling of the debates:

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8814395/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8812052/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8812152/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8812165/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8751524/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8660373/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8654408/

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8496851/

They also believed every goofy email that came down the pike. Here's just one:

http://www.meetup.com/VFP-TeaParty09/messages/8675624/

Restore liberty,
Darren
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The International Libertarian
"When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Charles Hammond [1821]
Comment by Barry Hess
Entered on:

Thanks for the addendum.  I had cut out all the R/D nonsense from my first drafts for the sake of brevity, and because they're just not worth the ink.  I'm glad you got it in though.

Comment by Charleston Voice
Entered on:

 I would like to append just a brief comment. If there's one buzzword that should irritate most of you to no end, it's ------- bipartisanship. We are led to understand that this implies a Democrat-Republican agreement on some vote, and thusly in the "best interests of the people". I look at bipartisanship along a philosophical spectrum. Our country was not formed along political party lines, but with a yardstick which measures the quantity of government. What we have today is not a Dem-Pub bipartisanship 'agreement', but one of pragmatists being pulled into the socialist world for a vote that is not in the best interests of the people, but that of a larger government and the best interests of those who run it. Start thinking along the Yardstick of Government Quantity. Will the issue in discussion bring me more or less government? Determining that will give you the answer what is truly in the "best interest of the people". You will come down on the side of the Constitution every time without even reading it.


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