Does Sen. Harry Reid have a more accurate understanding of the tea-party movement than RNC Chairman Michael Steele? Commenting on the little tsunami of tea partiers who flooded his hometown of Searchlight, Nev., (“to demand an end to the Senate majority leader’s term”) he reportedly said “he was confused about what tea partiers mean when they cite the Constitution and call for liberty, freedom and limited federal government. ‘The people who are really upset don’t really know why they’re upset. … What do they mean?’” The only aspect of the tea-party movement Reid professes to understand is the “anger at government and Washington during a recession.”
This means, of course, that Mr. Majority Leader Reid has something in common with the RINOs of the GOP, including RNC leader Michael Steele. The difference is this: Reid sees the concern for liberty, while pretending not to understand what it’s about. The GOP leaders pretend to understand the concern for liberty, while refusing to acknowledge that it’s much on the hearts of tea-party participants. They prefer to promote the half-truth that it’s all about debt and deficits.
For both Reid and the GOP leadership, the fulcrum of politics is money. They share, and want the American people to accept, a purely materialistic definition of political goods. The Democrats seek votes by promising to redistribute the goods they say the Republicans want to keep for the rich. The Republicans seek votes by promising better administration of the goods the Democrats squander with their destructive taxation and spending. That way there will be more goodies for everyone. Neither Obama faction Democrats or RINO Republicans are authentically concerned to preserve the democratic republican form of government or respect everyone’s God-given rights.
My experience at the tea-party gatherings and with the tea-party organizers convinces me that these matters are of deep concern to participants in the movement. They seem to have little trust for the Democrats’ government Santa Claus or the Republicans’ green-eyeshade efficiency experts.
They’ve noticed that either way, when the dust settles a favored few are left with virtually unchecked power over all the rest. One is like a resident plantation owner who promises the slaves food, shelter, health care and no sermons about what they do when they’re not working. He runs the place with an iron fist and at first seems to deliver. But his lack of business sense runs through cash and credit, leaving nothing but empty professions of good will. On the other hand, there is the plantation manager who works for unseen investors. He promises the same goods, and the same lack of sermonizing, and seems likely to keep the plantation going for a while longer. But he, too, runs the place with an iron hand, at the beck and call of his unseen manipulators. Either way, the slaves are still slaves, though arguably working for a better master.
Because of their concern with liberty and the constitutional form of government, tea-party participants don’t seem to think either of these alternatives has, or should have, much to do with the American way of life. To paraphrase Frederick Douglass, their goal isn’t to work for a good master rather than a bad one. Their goal is to be their own master. This is the promise of American self-government. This is the purpose of the U.S. Constitution. This is the good life so many generations of Americans strove to build, died to defend and lived to pass on to their children.
Obama is destroying this political good. The RINO Republicans refuse to care for or defend it. But like the generations of Americans who came before them, tea-party patriots know its worth, and many will die fighting, if they must, before they’ll let it go.
I know. John Lennon dreamt of a world where there’s nothing to live or die for. Obama faction Democrats and phony “conservative” RINOs may go all syrupy inside when they recall his self-obsessed and nihilistic paean. But tea-party people stand tall inside when they hear the echo from the Reagan years.
I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land.
God Bless the USA.
The day after the election this November, I advise Majority Leader Harry Reid to listen to the whole Lee Greenwood song. Maybe then he’ll understand why he no longer holds that powerful job in Washington. Tea-party people are putting their legs and arms, their heart and courage to the words. They are writing the tune that heralds the day of his departure. Are there still people in the GOP who hear it as well? Will they stand up in time to reassure us that when Obama’s anti-American socialists are tossed out, real, proud, God Bless Americans will replace them? If so, Alleluia! – and pass the hymns of praise. If not, I don’t think the tea-party people will let it be. They’ll just act out another Greenwood verse or two and see to it that Americans can again breathe free.