Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tea Parties are Pro-Government, Constitutional Government, That Is...

In an editorial regarding the Williamson County Commissioner Court's allocation of $300,000 for social services, the editor of the Round Rock Leader newspaper took a swipe at the Tea Party movement. The editor's point, that some government programs can do good, is well-taken. Government can indeed help provide for the indigent. However, the editorial characterizes the Tea Parties and The Right as 'anti-government,' and concludes with this statement,

"You tea partiers - you're like the 1960s radicals - you don't know how good you've got it here."

Seriously? Have you so completely misunderstood the Tea Parties?

First of all, the Tea Party groups are pretty diverse; they include Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, black, white, brown, gay, straight, etc., ad nauseam. Secondly, I have yet to meet any anarchists among the Tea Party activists, and I challenge the implication that the Tea Parties are anti-government per se. As for radicalism, despite what the mainstream media would have you believe, the rallies have been peaceful demonstrations attended by all ages and all walks of life.

The Tea Party movement was launched by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli's 2009 comments regarding government (taxpayer) bailout of a system crippled by misguided federal attempts to artificially engineer society. Santelli recognized that more government interference would only exacerbate the issues we face and reward those who abused the system.

We do not oppose assistance for the truly poor; in fact according the studies done by professor Arthur C. Brooks, the politically Conservative give 30% more to charity than the politically liberal, and donate more time, effort, and even more blood than their liberal counterparts. We believe we can assist the needy, even through some government programs, but recognize the fact that economically free societies have fewer poor, and our poor have a higher standard of living than the Middle Class in socialist countries. Furthermore, there are solutions that do not require destroying the entire system.

The Tea Party motivation is not to foment change a la 60's radicalism, but to prevent the radicals from destroying the American constitutional form of government. Just because these groups oppose Obama-style socialism, does not mean they are anti-government; they favor a limited government that walks the line between providing order and security without controlling every aspect of our lives. The irony of the Leader statement, is that it is precisely those 60's radicals are now in charge and now attacking "how good" we've "got it."

Tea Partiers DO know how good they've had it, and they are fighting those who, like President Obama, think the U.S. Constitution is an obstacle to "major redistributive change." No Mr. Editor, we are not anti-government, we are pro-Constitution.

More tea, less government please.

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