The Party's Not Over
by Jim Davies, 10/27/2010
A well-researched article appeared yesterday on LewRockwell.com that suggested the Tea Party movement is being torn apart, mainly by two opposing forces that partly make it up: the religious right, and the libertarians. It tabulates under "Identity Crisis" some key attitudes and opinions about those two groups and shows that most of them are mutually opposed.
For example, under "Morals" the former are "morally charged, particularly regarding group loyalty, respect for authority, and purity" while the latter are typically "morally permissive." Yes, those would be hard to hold together, to keep a movement coherent.
However, as I see it this is a mistaken view.
1. The Tea Party is not a political party, nor was it ever expected to become one. It has a single purpose: to get (most) incumbents thrown out, for the lousy job they have done; and it's fulfilling that quite well. It has rocked the political boat, in a memorable way. If its name is never heard again after November 2nd, it will still have contributed to an improved America.
2. That underscores the missing bit in the referenced article: the Tea Party is an alliance, no more. Its members share one key belief, namely that the status quo needs to be disturbed. That is what its admittedly diverse members have in common, so their diversity matters little.
3. That said, to characterize libertarians (true ones, I mean) as "morally permissive" is a gross slander. Real libertarians are the only people around with a proper moral compass; the author has it exactly upside down. We alone recognize theft for what it is, and call it by its name; the "religious right", in contrast, solemnly pretends to honor the "Thou shalt not steal... kill..." of Exodus 20 while at the very same time voting for those who commit on their behalf the most massive theft, and wage and prepare to wage the most murderous wars, in human history. They are hypocrites, moral pygmies.
4. The Tea Party ultimately aims to improve government, not to abolish it; and therefore it fails to address our society's ills in a rational way.
The fundamental problem is that we are 300 million people whose individual self-ownership rights are being systematically violated. The fix is therefore not to make the violator look pretty, or to replace him with a different violator, but to remove him altogether. Nothing less will do.