Why More than Economics is Needed to Understand the Tea Party

Last Thursday, the Projo published an excellent op-ed by Rhode Island Tea Party President Colleen Conley, written in response a derisive editorial on the Tea Party from a week ago Sunday.
Since Ms. Conley was more than clear about where the editorial board’s perspective was lacking, the part of the op-ed I would like to call attention to is the penultimate paragraph, 1) because I like taking advantage of any opportunities to use the word “penultimate” and 2) because it challenges the conventional wisdom commonly found in both Democratic and Republican political circles…

We do not just protest; we are active, organizing and engaging in civic discourse. We are mobilizing in every city and town in Rhode Island. It is not only about economics; it is about individual liberty and the vision of the great patriots who created our country.
Often forgotten by so-called moderates and political professionals who seek to build tactical political coalitions — yet who seem unable to understand why the Tea Partiers are not happy with the standard political choices being offered — is that either good or bad ends can be pursued through efficient means, and that it will always take a discussion extending beyond fiscal and economic efficiency, in order to define what the goals of government should be in a society that is worth having.

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11 years ago

I think Rand Paul is telling us a lot about what the Tea Party stands for….between him and Sarah Palin, we get the idea. It’s a old idea, really!

11 years ago

Oh, Andrew, I’m all about Libertarianism as a private and personal philosophy, as I am all about spirituality as a personal creed. The problem is that neither fit in very well with governing 300 million diverse people in the modern era.
I’m sure I would agree with both Rand and his dad on more issues than I agree with many pols on. But I not with him that your private gas station has the right to not allow people without perfectly white skin to use their restrooms. I’m not with him in thinking that the catastrophe in the Gulf now is “just an accident”, nor that the coal mine deaths in WV are the same. I do not pray at the altar of business as he does – government should be MORE separate from business than it is now!
And, being as the Tea party is financed by the likes of Exxon, Koch industries and whatever other corporation can get the dumb masses to jump up and down, that pretty much loses my support for them…..heck, most of them are so uninformed that they don’t even realize who is financing them!
As long as they pray at the altar of Palin, they have lost me. Heck, Alfred E Neuman would be a more fitting leader.

11 years ago

Tea parties don’t “realize” anything except talking points. The word has the root of “real” as in the real world.
Every time I have ever asked my libertarian or tea party friends to tell me how all their rhetoric translates to “real”, they are unable to answer.
As a top republican leader said…and I agree…..all this BS is what college students sit up til 2am debating, but here in the real government we have to do real work.
As we see by the last couple days, the tea party is gonna mess up things for themselves AND the republican party. Rand Paul has fired his libertarian staff while the Libertarian party of KY (tea baggers) says Rand has already sold them out! The tea candidate in Idaho, backed by Palin, lost out bad……
So, I urge my fellow tea partiers to continue to do just what you are doing! Instead of losing the entire Congress this year, you will make certain the Dems hold majorities in both houses. But at least you will be able to think you held to purity.

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9 years ago

Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike.” died leaving no issue. I. The heroic refusal of unlawful obedience. We shall probably not do

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