Of course, the media coverage has tried very hard to portray the normal, average, every-day Americans of the Tea party rallies as dangerous and angry racists and Wal-Mart knuckle-draggers, while identifying the mass-produced signs, the mass-produced T-shirts, the mass-produced members of bused-in wiccan nihilist anarcho-Maoist lesbian eco-weenie anti-war protestors as somehow the genuine voice of the American people.
So as a person who has been there, let me try and explain what I think this whole movement is about.
The people I have met at these events were generally the happy, decent, hard-working people that make up the vast middle of Silent America. They are not bitter, and they are not “consumed with rage.”
But they — I mean, we – are angry. We have a right to be angry. As a matter of fact, we not only have a right but in fact have an obligation to be angry. The spending orgy in Washington brought on by the Democratic control of both houses of Congress and the election of the most liberal member of the Senate to the office of the Presidency is taking the country off the edge of a cliff and everybody knows it.
You know what this is reckless, Imperial orgy of spending feels like? It feels like coming out of the showing in the morning, dazed and exhausted after a good night’s sleep, and stepping in front of a mirror to find yourself covered in leeches that are sapping not just the blood it takes to make government function, but rather all of it – every last living drop of it – to fund entitlements and work projects and boondoggles of every description: congressional “climate change” junkets that include skiing and snorkeling days in New Zealand, and Bridges to Nowhere, and the use of Air Force jets as the personal chauffeurs not only of the Speaker of the House but for her families and cronies business cronies, too. We see a President who talks about sharing hardship but who then decides to go out on date night and catch a show in New York City and ends up spending every single tax dollar you and your kids will make in your entire life: gone!
Gone! What did you get for it? Nothing. What service did it do the country? None! So why did they spend it? Because – listen now – they spent it because that’s not your money. That’s their money. Just because you got up in the morning, sat in traffic, and worked all day before sitting in traffic again to come home exhausted… that doesn’t mean it’s your money to these bloodsucking, leather-winged, Big Government entitlement-mongers. No, that’s their money to spend as they see fit – and not just all the money you send in in taxes today, or next year, or the next ten years – they – Democrats and Republicans too – have spent all the money you will make in your lifetime, and then spent all of the money your kids will make, and the pool of work that your grandkids will do in 2060 or so – that’s mostly been spent too.
You want to know why we’re angry? What once was a social compact between the people and their representatives has rotted away into this: a people no longer paying a reasonable price for the limited number of things that only a government can provide, but rather victims of identity theft – people who open a monthly credit card statement only to discover fifty thousand dollars of vacations not taken, and jet skis and plasma TV’s paid for but never delivered. That’s why there’s a Tea Party.
Now some critics of the Tea Party movement say it is hypocritical to complain about Democrat spending without complaining about Republican spending as well. Well, there are two things to say about that: first, that is a profound insight from someone who has obviously never been to a Tea Party event, because if they had been there, they would know that the real thunderbolts thrown in response to this spending orgy is aimed not at the Democrats but rather the Republicans; the people who should know better, the people, in fact, that we thought would be standing guard over our hard-earned treasure, not shoveling it out the door by the fork-full.
Secondly, I’ll just let this graph do the talking.
So what’s ahead? Well, no one knows, least of all me. But I do have a very strong sense of what should be ahead.
Despite the authentic and wholly justified sense of betrayal that many conservatives feel at the hands of the GOP, I think that talks of a third party are suicide: not only permanent minority status, but also handing the store over to the people most intent on robbing it – forever.
The Tea Party Movement is really the conservative movement. It’s like a soul that has somehow been cut off from its physical body, and now both wander the landscape, trying to decide what to do. Because if the Tea Party movement is the grass-roots, common-man philosophical soul of small government and personal liberty and responsibility, then the Republican party is the skeletal structure – the bones and arteries and sinews needed to live in the real world.
The only road to success and recovery from this rocket-sled of ruin is to re-unite these two elements. We tried that, actually: Tea Party passion and internet fundraising, plus GOP ground operations, call centers, networks and so forth, and this was the result:
Victory is a ratchet. To retake this country we need every gain we can get – no matter how small – and give up as little as possible. If Scott Brown – Republican Senator from Massachusetts – turns out to be the most liberal man in the Senate then we’re living in paradise. That’s why there’s a Tea Party. And that’s why being a part of the Tea Party movement is, when it is all said and done, just plain fun.
And a final note: do you know who we owe the remarkable success of the Tea Party movement to? We owe it to Rachel Maddow, and Keith Olberman, and Chris Matthews. We owe it to Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and barack Obama – not just for the political motivation, but because they decided to make it personal.
By calling us Tea Baggers, and racists, and Nazis, and rubes, and hicks… by pretending we’re just a fringe group of dangerous radicals, or saying – as the President did, twice, and apparently with a straight face – that he was unaware that tens or hundreds of thousands of hard-working American patriots were clogging the streets of the city he lives in – well all of these geniuses poured can after can of lighter fluid on to what might have been some old, wet charcoal – nearly impossible to light – and turned it into a wildfire that will likely remake the landscape of this country. That’s why there’s a Tea Party.
So thanks, you big-brain, sneering, socialist ninnies! We couldn’t have done it without you.