Since the inception of the Tea Party movement, a recurring criticism or question by the media, liberals and other detractors has been the following: Where was the Tea Party when President George W. Bush and members of his Party were spending like drunken sailors and routinely disregarding or trampling the Constitution? It seems every time that Constitutional Conservatives speak up about issues of concern to us in our government, whether locally or nationally, someone always shakes his finger in our face and sneeringly rebukes us for our “hypocritical” stance that gave George W. and his buddies a pass while eagerly pointing out the ills of the Obama administration and his cronies.
Let me say at the outset that I believe George W. Bush was and is a good man; he kept us safe after the most horrendous attack on our nation; and I’m confident he and his wife are patriots and love this country.
Having said that, I’m ready to respond to those of you who are so desirous that Tea Partiers will once and for all disappear into the shadows and go back to a quiet slumber. The question is, “Are you ready to listen and understand?”
The argument that liberals are apparently making is, that since Tea Party conservatives were notably quiet, unengaged and not speaking out publicly for most of their lives, they should now be discredited and disqualified from speaking up and taking a stand.
What kind of an argument is that? Let’s not debate whether the points being made and the concerns being raised are valid. Let’s just chastise people for finally speaking up and taking a principled stand.
Using that argument, an abused spouse, while quiet for years, should never rise up and report the abuse to the authorities because it was tolerated for so long – despite ample evidence of the abuse. Does one really think the judge would buy that argument from the abusive spouse?
There are sufficient examples in history of people reaching the boiling point and responding by saying, “Enough is enough!” and of stepping out to change their neighborhood, community and yes, even their nation. Would liberals have us believe that the original colonists were absolutely engaged and actively resisting King George from the very inception of his tyrannical rule? No, such was not the case.
What liberals – be they citizens, media or politicians – would have us believe is that inaction should never lead to action, that tolerance should never escalate to intolerance, and that turning the other cheek once requires one to turn the other cheek on every occasion.
Yet, King Solomon, purported to be one of the wisest men this world has ever known, tells us in Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything… a time to tear down and a time to build up… a time to be silent and a time to speak… a time for war and a time for peace.”
While one should not justify the passivity of America’s “sleeping giant” by the passage cited above, neither should anyone condemn nor discourage the actions and outspoken voices of millions of Americans who are collectively saying: “We are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!” The last time I checked, we still live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” and citizens are well within their rights to stand up and finally begin to hold their elected officials accountable.
Nevertheless, I can still hear those detractors out there who continue to say, “Yes, but what about George W?” To them I say, “You are right! George W., (and I would admit the majority in his party), lost their way; they never were in lock step with the Constitution. They were given a pass by a slumbering American majority who were either too busy to take notice or did not understand the proximity of the precipice towards which we were speeding.
Of course, Tea Party opponents would have us believe that the Tea Party movement continues to excuse the "George W’s” of our day and solely focuses criticism and pressure on Obama and his cronies. While I would agree that our criticisms of Obama’s policies have been intense, do these vocal opponents really expect people to be so gullible as to believe that the Tea Party is merely a covert arm of the Republican Party? Really? Let’s take a look at the record:
- In Chattanooga, during the 2010 Republican Congressional race, members of the local Tea Party not only opposed the Republican nominee, but they actively promoted and campaigned for an Independent Congressional candidate.
- In Utah, as a result of an active and organized Tea Party, incumbent three-term Republican Senator Bob Bennett was soundly defeated in his reelection nomination bid, primarily due to his support for the TARP in 2008.
- Tea Party members have expressed significant criticism of “moderate” Republicans, including Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, and plans are being discussed to oppose them and other “moderate” Republicans in the 2012 Primaries.
- Tea Party members, in concert with Senator Jim DeMint, overwhelmingly opposed the Republican establishment Senatorial candidate in Florida, Charlie Crist, and played a key role in the election of conservative Senator Marco Rubio.
- During the Presidential election of 2008, many, many yet to be defined “tea party” members expressed extreme reservation and concern over the Republican nominee for President, Senator John McCain, a true American hero, but certainly not a Constitutional Conservative!
I could go on and on with examples of the Tea Party movement’s stance on issues that has held both Parties accountable to strict Constitutional principles. There comes a point however when one is either willing to see the facts for what they are or one is determined to avoid the greater issue by belaboring a false argument.
And what is this greater issue? I contend that it is the survival of our great nation.
While the public, the media, and the politicians are focused almost exclusively on the financial destruction that is surely impending, in reality this particular crisis is only a symptom of something greater. Certainly, we must get our fiscal house in order, but just as importantly we must return our nation to its foundational values such as: God, Family, Ethics, Work, and Sound Economics.
Psalms 33:12 reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
I believe that to date our nation has been preserved as a result of God’s sovereign protection. Yet, as we have nearly removed God from every corner of society, is it any wonder that the figurative wall of protection that has served our nation well for over 230 years is beginning to crumble? Yes, we can put our finger in the leaky financial dyke that is threatening to inundate our nation. All the while though, there are forces that are as actively promoting policies and worldviews that would continue to expunge God from our society, that continue to assault the foundational building block of society – the family, and that continue to diminish the absolute ethics of right and wrong. These holes in the dyke represent as distinct a danger to our survival as the fiscal woes do.
While Tea Party members do not pretend to hold the answers to every issue our nation is facing, this writer does believe there are answers to be found. Continuously violating time-tested, common sense principles (i.e. spending more than is taken in) that will ultimately result in ruin is not one of those answers.
So whether an elected official is a Democrat, Republican or an Independent, he or she must recognize that the American people are making an honest attempt to remain engaged, to hold politicians accountable, and to resist the temptation to sit back, pick up the TV remote, and once again become a silent majority. There is never room for complacency in a republic.
Hopefully now, our liberal friends can once and for all move on to a more intelligent and valid discussion of their policies rather than repeating the simplistic and nonsensical accusation, that because millions of Americans failed to previously oppose their policies publicly, even if they were endorsed and promoted by a President of the opposite Party, we must forever abstain from critiquing Washington’s policies and decisions.
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Thomas Jefferson
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