The Republican party, stinging from their losses in the 2008 Presidential and Congressional races, needed a way to shift the momentum back to their side. When the grass roots tea party movement grabbed hold of the nation in early 2009, the republicans saw their chance. Promoted by republican talk show hosts and talking heads on Fox News, the movement went mainstream and millions across the country jumped aboard the new idea, which just so happens, wasn’t really a new idea, but a resurrection of the principles that the very same talking heads and radio show hosts mocked when Ron Paul was delivering the message just a year prior.
Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) discusses the tea party and the adoption of the movement by the Republican party with Rachel Maddow.
(Video follows excerpt and commentary)
My message is somewhat different. I think the message gets a little bit diluted when a lot of people come in and the Republican party wants to make sure there’s a neocon type of influence.
What we’re doing with the Campaign for Liberty is alive and well, and the young people are responding. I talk a lot about different foreign policy, I talk about civil liberties, I talk about where we ought to cut the budget, and this is what they want to hear. I talk about the war on drugs.
This is not what is generally heard from the Republican party. And sometimes the Tea part accepts these ideas and sometimes they don’t.
I think that one thing that brings people together is they know there’s something wrong in Washington. But you have progressive democrats that know there’s something wrong in Washington, they’d like a better foreign policy too. They’re not exactly totally satisfied.
The people are coming together because they’re unhappy.
I try to find issues that cross party lines. You take transparency of The Fed, or personal privacy or maybe ending the war, or talking about the war on drugs. On these issues, I can get support from both parties.
It seems that the most important thing for the Republican party right now is to coronate a leader as soon as possible, and the leader pro tem is arguably Sarah Palin.
While Sarah Palin may be representative of some of the ideologies from which the tea party was born, frankly, she is not the leader America needs.
Real change in America is not going to come from talking and executing the same party line that republicans and democrats have been doing for over half a century.
If you haven’t noticed, America, the Republican and Democrat parties have both failed you. Most will not deny this. So expecting a different result going forward is, as Einstein said, insane.
It is becoming quite clear that the Republican party has misinterpreted exactly what it is that happened in Massachusetts last month.
Take, for example, Sarah Palin’s recent endorsement of Governor Rick Perry, the 9 year incumbent here in the great State of Texas. The governor, a purported “conservative,” is a perfect example of a Republican who talks a big game on individual rights and lower taxes, yet he has created a new small business franchise tax and attempted to force hundreds of individual citizens off their land so that a tollway that stretches from Mexico through the entire state could be built. The toll road will be controlled by corporate interests outside of the USA and the ultimate goal is to create a toll corridor through the United State stretching from Mexico to Canada (American Union anyone?).
If Mrs. Palin were really a “tea party” candidate and not just another party liner giving lip service to conservative and libertarian views, then she would not be endorsing more of the same. She’d have endorsed constitutionalist third-party candidate Deborah Medina (running as a Republican), a real citizen representative.
(Check out Mrs. Medina’s answers from a recent debate – this is exactly the kind of candidate Texans and Americans need)
Both sides talk about individual rights, yet both sides have a convoluted view of what this actually means and how to apply it appropriately in governance.
The tea party idea grew from the seed of individual rights, and it is essential that it maintains this core concept going forward, otherwise it’s just more of the same.
The problem with the Republican party essentially hijacking the tea party movement as their own, is that the very same people who have been talking the talk in Washington DCÂ for the last several decades are the ones who are the messengers of this ‘new’ idea. The point of the tea parties is not to find leaders and get more republicans elected. It is to find real representatives of the people, who will go to their local, state and federal governments with the interest of the people in mind.
Watch Ron Paul on the Rachel Maddow Show: