Polemicscat's Weblog

Examining settled and unsettling questions.

What People Need to Know about the Tea Party Movement

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The Tea Party movement is NOT a political party. Rather, it is a grassroots movement of millions of like-minded Americans from all backgrounds, political parties, and ethnic groups who share similar core principles.  These advocates of better government  come from a dozen or so loosely affiliated groups whose members identify with Tea Party objectives.   These people are not looking to form a third political party.  By their own inclination they support candidates of any party who believe in those core principles and who will sincerely take the oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Those in the Tea Party movement support the original US Constitution as the founders intended it: a document that establishes a federal government with limited and enumerated powers and that  leaves other non-enumerated powers to the States and to the people themselves.  They believe that the Constitution preserves personal liberty and encourages personal responsibility and a free-market economy.

The only way to depart legally from the provisions of the existing Constitution is through the process of amendment, a process the founders wisely included in the document.  So the argument that the passage of time makes the document outdated is false. Tea Party principles transcend arguments for or against any particular legislative or policy initiative.  Honest disagreements on proposed laws and policies can always be expected, and, because the founders knew that, they provided a framework of government in which differences of opinion can be openly discussed and reconciled in a civil fashion.

All this is unsettling to the politician who would rather campaign on a party label than to discuss an issue on its merits. In the last few weeks I have heard politicians complaining that too much is being made of the Constitution.  Perhaps they prefer not to be bound by its provisions. The oath required of office holders is simply to support that Constitution and laws not inconsistent with it.  That oath is required of members of any political party.

It is likely that those who wish  to circumvent the Constitution know that they cannot make a persuasive argument to the people for its amendment.  Such a politician is usually one of the elite who pretends to know better than the people what they want and need and who is unwilling to allow the people to express themselves on the matter. Tea Partiers believe that such a politician should be quickly voted out of office.

The people who fear or oppose the Tea Party movement either don’t know what it is, or they are entrenched advocates of a huge federal government with the power to ignore the Constitution and the power to control citizens’ lives in ways not permitted by the Constitution.  Politicians who want to evade the responsibilities of the oath of office try to smear the reputation of the Tea Party movement because, in truth, it is their enemy.

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Written by polemicscat

January 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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