Monday, May 17, 2010

The essence of the Tea Party: leave us alone

Ed Crane, president of the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote a nice editorial in last Friday's Investor's Business Daily about the failure of our elected officials to understand what the people really want. As he puts it, we have a failure to communicate:

The communication problem involves the accelerating realization on the part of many Americans that the essence of America, namely, a respect for the dignity of the individual, ... involves the government leaving the individual alone.

One of the classic examples of the failure of politicians to communicate with the citizenry is found in a video of Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu, giving what turned out to be his last speech to the teeming masses gathered in a square in Bucharest.

Oblivious to the mood of the people, Ceausescu is at his bombastic, self-important best until he realizes that the chants from the crowd below are not praise, but something rather to the contrary.

The Declaration of Independence says governments are created to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, to leave us the hell alone.

... this is the encouraging thing about the Tea Party movement. It is made up of average Americans who are sick to death of politicians regulating, taxing, controlling and limiting individual choice.

[Congressmen] think we sent them to Congress to solve our problems when we sent them there to see to it that we are left alone to solve our own problems. Add to that the fact that many of our problems have been created by Congress, and we have the basis for a healthy, peaceful revolution.


John said...

Whut we hauve a commuuunikate!!

Struther Martin - Cool Hand Luke

Sorry Scott, just couldn't help it.

W.E. Heasley said...

Maybe people should try reading a section of the Declaration of Independence. You see those folks back then had a little problem and they bothered to jot it down directly into the Declaration of Independence:

(1) our government continues to erect “a multitude of new offices”,

(2) and send “swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out our substance”.

Same song, different beat.

John said...


I don't do politics except around election time but I saw some poll numbers the other day that surprised me. The congressional spread for congress was a negative 49% but was about even for President Obama. It appears the public is blaming Congress for the country's ills.

I'm wondering if you have a feel for how the two houses will change in the next election. Care to make a prediction? I seriously have no clue except that the Dems should lose some seats (as the incumbent party usually does in mid-terms).

Benjamin Cole said...

We can't even get our government to stop meddling in the affairs of nations literally on the other side of the globe.

There is no corner of the earth too remote or economically insignificant that someone from the federal government will not declare that absolutely vital and crucial interests are at stake, and that we must spend billions, even trillions of dollars to rectify matters, even matters internal to those woegegottem nether-lands, run by thugs, despots and idiots.

If we can't stop Uncle Sam from meddling in the Podunk-land in the Lower Slobovian-Niger-Tang Valley, can we expect Uncle Sam not to meddle in our lives?

MadTax said...

This is great. I am all for libertarian philosophy and the portions of the Tea Party that embraces. Particularly the ideal of reduced government. However, please remember this includes men having sex with other men. Women dressing as men. People smoking marijuana (or more) in the privacy of their own homes. And remember this is the way it should be. A she-male's home is his/her castle. If candidates like Sarah Palin try to impart biblical values on the Tea Party movement, I guarantee it will fail. Not in the coming election. There is no doubt we will win in November. in a landslide. But with victory comes responsibility. If we want to win again in 2012, we must reduce government spending. We must be singular in this mission. It will be a quick end to the Tea Party if there is a hint of religion in this movement.

Scott Grannis said...

I've said before and I'll say it again: the strength of the Tea Party is that it is focused on fiscal policy not on social policy. If social policies get inserted into the Tea Party movement it will surely lose a lot of its momentum.

tom said...

Fiscal policy focus yes. Until the flat tax is constructed there will always be ties into the social fabric of who is defined as a man & wife for a family unit. Tea Party enemies will want to force arguments where they should not be, as long people major on the majors it will be fine. I am praying for this November and beyond.

Paul said...


That's also my anecdotal experience here in Tx with the Tea Partiers I know. The focus is mostly on Obama's private sector grabs, and his red-ink spewing super volcano of debt.

Public Library said...

The Federal Reserve has as much to do with the current problems as any government body in America.

If you believe in limited government, then you should believe in dismantling the secrecy, power, and control of the Federal Reserve.

Otherwise, you are fooling yourselves into believing a few tea leaves can save the day.

Benjamin Cole said...

It would be nice also if every state got back from Uncle Sam roughly what it paid in. No more subsidizing of weakling states.

By definition, the red ink is going to states that received more abck from Uncle Sam than they pay in.

Libertarianism and the Republican Party: Strange bedfellows.

Polygamy anyone? Cocaine? Brothels with blinking lights and plate glass storefront windows? Muslim restaurants with signs that say "No Christians or Jews Allowed?" No tax deductions for churches?


Time will tell.

Scott Grannis said...

John: Re the impact on Congress of the November elections. From everything I've seen, I think we'll see heavy Democrat losses in both houses of Congress this November. The losses will easily be enough to erase the Democrat's control of Congress, and enough to ensure legislative gridlock. At this point, gridlock is a thing devoutly to be wished. Furthermore, I think there is a reasonable chance that the Republicans could gain a slim margin of control in one house. The message this will send to the remaining politicians will be stark and powerful in any event.

Charles said...

The size and scope of government in the US is incompatible with democratic governance - hence the frustration of the Tea Party people. The expansion of governmental power now underway, if it is not reversed in 2010 and 2012, will doom us to government by bureaucratic elites. The crucial test is whether the Tea Partiers are willing to slash middle class entitlements to save our way of life.

There are a lot of people babbling nonsense about the president's middle name, his birth certificate, term limits, nonexistent social security trust funds and death panels. We will see if they are ready to put their own retirement on the line when it is time to pay the bills for the profligate politicians they elected.

I hope they will but I am skeptical.

John said...


Thank you. I would LOVE to see some gridlock right now.

Unknown said...

Gotta love Ed Crane. Well said.