Is the Tea Party Really Extreme?
by Tom Donelson on March 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM
A few years ago, a Democrat friend of my children told me that he would be more willing to vote Republican if they would just simply forget about those social issues. In 2009, the Tea Party movement arrived from the grassroots doing just that. All those Democrats who complained that Republicans should just talk economics and forget the social issues, how did they treat this grassroots movement? With the disdain they often reserveded for social conservatives Even today, the Tea Party is equated with extremism. Any opposition to the leftist hegemony will not be tolerated and must be destroyed.
As for the Tea Party themselves, it is foremost an economic group and hardly extremist in their orientation. They are for reducing government spending, which in an era that government spending has reached heights not seen World War II is hardly extreme. Many Tea Party ideas are not much different from much of the Republican establishment and few of the Democrats. Obama's own deficit commission is close to what the Tea Party stands for including getting entitlement under control, reducing the size of government relative to the size of the overall economy, and tax reform that features both lowering marginal tax rates and closing loopholes. Their attack on crony capitalism should bring warmth to any American right or left who is tired of seeing many corporations benefitting from tax loopholes or simply too big to fail. So where is the extremism?
A friend of mine, a solid conservative, told me that at his Tea Party meetings, no mention of social issues is allowed and only economic issues are discussed. While many in the Tea Party movement are social conservatives, it is not a movement identified by those issues. This is why many Tea Party members were comfortable with Ron Paul and just as comfortable with his son, Rand Paul. While both Ron and Rand Paul are pro-life, they are also pro-gay marriage and their foreign policy can be classified as either isolationist or non-interventionist.
The Tea Party movement is a broad-based movement that has many sides and many supporters not always on the same page on many issues, except one, the need to get our budget under control. The left's war on the Tea Party, along with their allies in the media, is simply one misrepresentation after another as the goal is to minimize and isolate the Tea Party. How many grassroots movements has the left attempted and failed at over the past four years? The closet they have come was the Occupy movement, and that movement descended into violence along with some rape, plunder and pillage. If there was contrast between the two movements, the Occupy movement provided one with the Tea Party. The Occupy movement often involved themselves in violent activities and there were accusations of rape and a little bit of plundering private properties. When the Tea Party finished their demonstration, they often left the place cleaner than when they found it.
If we are at a stage where asking the government to slow the growth of spending by 2% can’t be done as in the latest sequester, then maybe we are doomed. Obama has received his tax increase, which included the Middle Class getting screwed, and now Obama wants even more taxes and no real cuts. The latest “cuts” are not cuts but continued growth in government spending, albeit at a slower rate. So a movement that is willing to support two cents on a dollar reduction in a budget that consumes 25% of the GNP is hardly a radical group. The Tea Party movement is good for America for these are common Americans who simply want America to begin to gets its financial house in order so future generation can enjoy future prosperity. Reducing $35 Trillion worth of spending by a mere 1.2 trillion dollars over a ten year period is hardly radical cutting of the budget, and the Tea Party is hardly extreme for supporting it. The real extremists are the Tea Party critics who simply can’t bear to cut anything and perfectly willing to risk an economic calamity in the near future.