We keep hearing how voters are fed up, and how the Tea Party movement is shaking the political establishment to its core. I guess unseating 40 or so members of Congress—less than 10% of the House and Senate—represents a radical change in the national temperament. Never mind that our new politicians will quickly will be co-opted by the same establishment they claim to run against—see Scott Brown for only one recent example.
I have a few simple questions for these angry voters and their favored candidates:
1) Have you consistently refused to vote for Republicans and Democrats, either by not voting or voting third party?
2) Do you advocate abolishing or drastically reducing Social Security?
3) Do you advocate abolishing or drastically reducing Medicare?
4) Do you advocate the immediate removal of U.S. military forces from foreign nations, and drastically reducing the DOD budget?
5) Do you advocate abolishing the Federal Reserve system and repealing laws that prohibit currency competition?
If not, you have NO business complaining about the "state of the union." Social Security, Medicare, and DOD are the three primary causes of our national bankruptcy. The Federal Reserve is the enabler that makes deficit spending possible, creates the booms and busts, and punishes savers. Unless you oppose welfare, warfare, and fiat currency, you cannot credibly complain about the economy, federal spending and debt, or "big government."
UPDATE from Ben Richards:
I agree with Jeff, and would also add, that when the Tea Party movement starts advocating the complete abolition of the public school system, I will start taking it seriously. Not before.
UPDATE from Jeff Shoup:
Remember how the media marveled at the vast number of younger folks flocking to Ron Paul? I hope the general public is noticing the same isn’t true of the Tea Party, at least not on the same scale. And there’s a reason the Tea Party isn’t drawing many of us twenty-somethings: they’re so close to the existing party line that there’s no spark to ignite the next generation. The movement overall balks at the idea of dismantling the American military-industrial complex, and only opposes federal funding that isn’t for their pet projects. They would certainly love a public education system that simply replaces the current worldview with theirs.
My list of questions for diehards in the Tea Party movement is pretty short:
1) Where were you when Ron Paul was spreading his anti-state message?
2) Why weren’t you voicing criticisms of big government during the Bush years?
Sometimes the answer is “Wait, I supported Dr. Paul, and I did decry Bush.” Most I’ve encountered, however, are shocked at both questions. Some folks in the Tea Party are genuine and are finally waking up to Leviathan. But others blindly trusted the Republicans during eight years of fiat madness, socialist programs, and international conquest – and they think Reagan was a free marketeer. They can become valuable allies though, thanks to the easy access the Ludwig von Mises Institute provides to great anti-state literature. I have seen people in the Tea Party thoughtfully engage Rothbardian ideas and make the transition. Great stocking stuffers for political literature junkies this Christmas, right?
The great danger of the Tea Party is that it feels like a revolution to its members, but it doesn’t address any of the issues that really matter. Pretty much a repeat of the hippies-gone-Democrats among the Baby Boomers from what I can tell.
UPDATE from Graham Dugas:
Don't forget abolishing the CIA and TSA too.