The Tea Party movement is a political revolution unlike any since the founding of our nation, for it is grounded in the historic American values of liberty, personal responsibility and commitment to the Constitution. This revolution represents every corner of the American experience, from young students worried about their future economic opportunities to middle-aged entrepreneurs struggling under the burden of confiscatory taxation. It is not a ploy of the Republican National Committee, but a vast alliance of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who are fed up with the tyranny of big government. Yet the Democratic Party, to its own peril, refuses to understand the true nature of the Tea Party movement, as its leaders are blinded by a radical liberal ideology entirely foreign to the average American citizen.
It all began with a famous rant at the start of the housing crisis. For years the government had been forcing lending institutions to give loans to poor people in order to promote “universal housing.” When the housing bubble burst, the government bailed out complicit banks in order to help people facing foreclosure remain in their houses. Never mind the fact that they could never afford their house in the first place. “The government is promoting bad behavior,” exclaimed CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who then suggested in exasperation that we “reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water.” To the cheers of stock brokers on the NYSE, Santelli called for a “Tea Party” to protest the government’s policy of subsidizing the irresponsible loser at the expense of the responsible taxpayer.
Within months, a mass movement was born. It culminated with a series of Tea Party protests on tax day where average, hardworking citizens united to speak out against the reckless spending of President Obama. The tone-deaf Democratic supermajority then moved to nationalize healthcare, but the Tea Party movement responded by mobilizing over one million citizens to march on Washington against socialized medicine.
To date, the revolutionaries have won. Government tax-and-spend stimulus bills are now politically toxic, and the push for a national healthcare bill has been soundly defeated. The Democratic majority is dead on arrival, as polls portend a massive Republican landslide in the midterm elections next November, and early gubernatorial and special elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts have delivered Republicans unlikely, yet decisive victories.
And the Democratic Party still doesn’t get it. They would do well to listen to Sarah Palin, who so eloquently explained at the recent Tea Party Convention, “This movement … [is] a ground-up call to action that is forcing both parties to change the way they are doing business. … The soul of this movement is the people.” The American people, just like the Founding Fathers two centuries earlier, want to be left alone. They want the government to promote free enterprise and protect the individual, not crush future generations with unsustainable debt. They want their God-given liberty, and they will defeat any politician, Republican or Democrat, who tries to take it away from them.