The Tea Party movement is the most important political phenomenon since the Vietnam War protests in the late sixties and early seventies. However, there are some important differences between the two; the war protests were started on university campuses and were organized and led by socialist leaning youth. The tea party movement is a spontaneous, unorganized, citizen movement that started in Middle America as a protest against an out of control government. Whereas the war protesters were mainly university students encouraged by their leftist professors, the tea party protesters tend to be older, more informed citizens from every segment of society.
The Vietnam War and its protestors changed America forever. The tea party movement has the same potential for change, only in an opposite, more positive direction. The original focus of tea party participants has been on taxes and spending. As time goes on, unless it becomes over organized, it will hopefully broaden its focus from the political symptoms of taxes and spending to the root cause of those symptoms, government lawlessness.
The strength of the movement is found in its localism, spontaneity, individuality, and its “all American”, down home flavor. If or when it becomes nationally organized, it will loose much of its effectiveness and either blend in with the Republican Party or become another of the “third parties” that dot the political landscape. Before the tea partiers follow the hippies into history and American folklore, however, they can have a lasting effect on the future of coming generations. For this we need to deepen our focus past the superficial symptoms of health care, taxes, spending, education and other crises de jour that lie on the surface to the core problem that lays underneath.
America was designed to be a “nation of laws and not of men”. Today we have a government that recognizes no law other than political expediency and power. Most of us believe we are supposed to be governed by a Constitution. We are not and never have been, except in a loose indirect sense. The Constitution protects us; it does not govern us. The Constitution protects our liberty from the tyranny of government. It does so by setting limits on government power. The Constitution is the law for government and its purpose is to govern the government not the people. A government that violates or ignores its constitution is a lawless government and not worthy of directing the affairs of its people.
Only when this concept is fully recognized and accepted by the people and their elected officials can we again live in freedom, enjoying the fruits of our labor and following our own course in the pursuit of happiness.
Constitution Refresher Course
For Elected Officials, Candidates, and Citizens