Letter: Tea Party efforts have backfired

I am writing to congratulate and thank the Tea Party movement for their phenomenal performance in the Colorado gubernatorial race. Due to their “toss-out-the-incumbent-no-matter-their-positions-on-issues-or-level-of-competence” demeanor and utterly disastrous organizational framework, they have managed to vote in a Republican candidate that shares their convoluted and incoherent mission.
Dan Maes is the Republican nominee, largely due to the support of the Tea Party in a state where the movement is the strongest in the nation. The Tea Party movement, however, has a record of producing and nominating vapid shells of candidates motivated by perverted ambition and a disturbingly simple message: vote them out. Rather than a movement dominated by sound, rational thought, the Tea Party has evolved into a crazed populist machine producing an unhealthy number of demagogues and destabilizing factions. Dan Maes was the primary recipient of support from this important bloc of “anti-Progressive” voters. The Tea Party has played an integral role in Tom Tancredo’s decision to run, as well. He probably assumes that he can gather enough support from these “Constitution-carrying” people through tough-talk and anti-establishment rhetoric to win the governorship. For our future’s sake, I hope he is wrong. But the Tea Party has a history of listening to candidates who spout out exactly what they would like to hear, reveling in their ideological cesspools of “straight-talk.”
Many of these Tea Partiers claim to ardently oppose anything Progressive; it is my hope then, that they are true to their word. If they are real anti-Progressives, Tea Party members should refuse to vote for their senator (the 17th Amendment, which allowed the people to choose their senators for the first time in the nation’s history, was a major Progressive victory in the early 1900s). They should immediately stop circulating petitions to pass a referendum refusing to participate in what they term “Obamacare” (the referendum and ballot initiative are darlings of the Progressive Era, developed for the “good of the people”). Term limits should also be dismissed as progressive folly (the Progressives proposed the idea of term limits; many of the founders thought limiting official’s terms was dangerous-see the Federalist Papers). The Tea Party preaches about our “Christian Nation” (which it certainly is not; please read Article 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli: “[T]he Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” — passed unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams, a founder). They celebrate our supposed founding on positive liberty (positive liberty, of course, is the basis for Marxism and Rousseau’s social democratic theory — it is directly opposed to the negative liberty championed by John Locke, the philosopher whose thoughts were largely supported and consulted by the Founders). Finally, they stress the need to “stick to the Constitution” (which few have probably read in its entirety; as a side note, the Tea Partiers adopt nearly every argument and harbor the same fears as the Anti-Federalists — they were the group opposed to the Constitution back in 1787, claiming that it would allow for a massive national government and a brutal system of taxation).
On all fronts, the Tea Party seems confused and contradictory — a tangled mess of thoughtless propaganda fed to them by a deceitful populist machine. Tea Parties want the Average Joe in office (another Progressive idea) but they also expect competent governance — some say you must choose one or the other.
Now, thanks to this clueless movement (movements are also progressive by nature), Dan Maes sits as the Republican nominee and Tom Tancredo has decided to enter the race. The Republican establishment is beside itself and John Hickenlooper will almost certainly be elected the next governor of Colorado. At least Tea Partiers can take credit for handing Hickenlooper the governorship — which is about the only good thing the Tea Party has done (inadvertently, of course).
Sam G. Love
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine

1 Comment

  1. Out of the mouth of babes. . . well, young adults thoroughly enlightened by a great educational system–his parents, Meeker School District and now Bowdoin College. However, Sam, also takes his education seriously and does his homework. Your references add to the validity of your message. Thanks Sam for speaking so eloquently the truth!

    My only comment to add is that Tom Tancredo thought about running but for some reason (pure speculation of course–did the Republican party faithfuls convince him it wasn’t “his time” so he withdrew his name early on?) choose not to run. Jumping in at the last minute to “save” the state of Colorado only decreases the choices to one person for Governor.

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