Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is the Future Role of the Tea Party in American Politics?

Throughout the last few years, it became increasingly obvious that Conservative America was speaking loudly and passionately through the creation and support of the American Tea Party. Conservative ideals have never in the history of this country had the effect and voice we saw during the last election cycle.
Even those who disagreed with the principles of Tea Party Conservatives had to take notice of their demands and, at the very least, join in the discussions or possibly heated debates brought about by the Tea Party. This brought tremendous amounts of press coverage to Tea Party members and its supporters.

In my opinion, the debate that was created had the effect of starting a return to the very principles upon which this country was founded. Freedom doesn’t come cheaply, but it does come with some tremendous responsibilities. One of those is the willingness of all those who believe in true freedom to listen, discuss, and debate issues that are important to this country. The creation of the Tea Party Movement forced this debate. While we all, Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike, love our country, do not always have the same ideas for the pathway to achieving the end result.

Before the 2008 elections, we saw that our own party had lost its core beliefs somewhere along the way and that the Grand Old Party was becoming the “Used to be Grand Old Party”. This brought about a “mass exodus” of Republicans; people who felt they could no longer believe in the GOP.

We watched the other side of the aisle take full advantage of this restlessness and resentment during the 2008-election cycle. We saw them form a tremendous political machine capable of getting out the liberal vote and spreading their deceptive message to the politically uneducated. We saw them reach and embrace a disillusioned America with empty promises of changing the political landscape.

However, the 2008 elections may very well have been a blessing in disguise. It brought about uncontrolled spending, bailouts, corporate takeovers by government and even a so-called “healthcare” bill that was passed with only token scrutiny by their elected representatives, while a majority of the American public protested. While this certainly doesn’t sound like a blessing, as a result of these political policies, conservative America finally woke up.

And so came the Tea Party.

Born of frustration and committed to conservative values, the Tea Party grew to astounding numbers. America was ready for a return to its core values.  While loosely organized in the beginning, the message they voiced was impossible not to hear let alone ignore. Beginning with small rallies on tax day, the message began and continued to grow.

We are tired of being taxed to death. We are tired of our government mortgaging our future. We are tired of the lack of individual responsibility permeating this country. We are tired of our politicians using our Constitution as a guide to be circumvented, instead of the rule of law. We are the grandest country in the history of mankind and that greatness is based solely on individual freedom: We will be damned if our government will take it away from us in the name of the “common good”. This is the basic message of the Tea Party Movement.

This group of ideals rang loud and true across the country, gaining momentum every day. The established Republicans saw the writing on the wall and at least tried to change their ways. The ones who didn’t, called RINO’s or "Republicans In Name Only", were in large part voted out. Others, who you had never heard of before, ran for office based solely on their desire to serve. This message rang so true, in the matter of a few short years and one national election; we saw the political landscape of our country, our state, and even some local governments change again. While they didn’t win them all, the Tea Party Movement had a profound effect on the 2010 election. But now that the mid-term elections are over, will the power and influence of the Tea Party Movement be diminished?

 There are those who say the Tea Party should split off and become another political party. I say this is exactly the wrong thing to do. This would only  play directly into the hands of the liberal agenda, splitting the conservative vote and ensure liberal victories far into the future.

Instead, I see the Tea Party Movement as exactly what they are: an independent organization that lets the government know what the silent majority is thinking. They should remain locally based with their roots engrained in the founding principles of this nation. A superior role for them would be to collect and gauge the voting records of our politicians, posting those records for all to see, and recommending only those who consistently vote based on the Constitution and its principles. The Movement must not become silent. It must build on the momentum it has created and let make their voices be heard. In other words, I see the future of the Tea Party Movement as the very conscience of the conservative movement and by extension the Republican Party.

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