Keep the Change: The Rise of the Tea Party
The elite establishment is confused. Politicians across the country don’t know what to do next. Realize that the think-tanks, analysts and advisors that always know exactly how to react to various waves of emotions and trends have never seen a movement quite like the one going on in our country today. An election is coming up. They are scrambling. A Tea Party activist and Republican candidate in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell, recently won a primary in the Senate race there. One of my colleagues heard the news. He asked me what the Tea Party was. In my mind, the Tea Party is not a political party; instead, it is an idea. Rick Santelli, who is a frequent commentator on the cable television channel CNBC, passionately pleaded with the President to stop the tax and spend policies of the federal government. He said “we are taxed enough already.” Thus began the t.e.a. party. Again, it is not a structured national political party, but rather, a political philosophy that demands national if not archetypal empathy from anyone who has a job and believes in freedom. Right now, average working Americans are bucking the Washington trend. A New York Times poll found that only 29% of American voters viewed the Tea Party unfavorably. 20%, or 60 million Americans, viewed the movement favorably. The Tea Party is asking Mr. Obama to “keep the change.” And this is where liberals, in their confusion, cry out that the Tea Party is a cesspool of racism. It is a mistake for either party to stick to this line of thinking. Those who ascribe to the Tea Party ideals were becoming frustrated years ago, but the ideals were not formulated into a coherent message until recently. George Bush signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law. This was originally a $356 billion dollar bailout of numerous banks that were “too big to fail.” Average working Americans, who must balance a budget and feed their families, were confused. The sentiment at the time was; why are my tax dollars going to rich bankers? One of the reasons that a sizable percentage of the Republican Party helped vote Barack Obama into office was his promise of change. Obama said he would change the trend. He would stop the corruption. He would not steal from the people. Obama signed an $800 billion dollar tax and spend bill into law just months after his inauguration. It was filled with pork. That was all it took. That is not what the people wanted. The corruption is as bad as or worse than it was. And taxes have not gone down but spending has gone up. The Tea Party simply formulates a common sentiment into a set of ideas that true conservative minds believe will bring our country towards a path to solvency. Our two political parties should not be running from these ideas. They should be embracing them. Incumbents should not show their fear so blatantly. Perhaps, for once, the politicians should consider listening to the people.