Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On GOP manipulation of the tea party "movement"

I don't subscribe to the so-called tea party "movement." It's roots were noble and honest enough but it has since been overrun by extremists and I simply don't deal in extremes.

Another reason why I don't ally myself with the tea party is that they're allowing themselves to be manipulated by Republicans. Who's making speeches at these rallies and the so-called Tea Party Convention? Republicans. Who are the tea partiers' biggest cheer leaders? "Conservative" talk radio and Fox News--echo chambers of Republican rhetoric. This isn't what the tea party was supposed to be about.

What was started as a Libertarian demonstration has been usurped by the GOP for the sole purpose of returning control of the government into Republican hands. I can't think of a single self-respecting Libertarian that actually wants that to happen. But why has the tea party allowed itself to be so manipulated? Well, what has been absent from all of the histrionics emanating from the tea party? Answer: Any call for the election of independent candidates for Congress, the Senate or the White House.

Tea partiers are fearful, and no organization knows how to capitalize on fear like the GOP. For all their vitriol over business as usual in Washington and their distrust of government, the tea party is so desperate for leadership that they'll even turn to business-as-usual Republicans simply because they're telling the tea partiers what they want to hear.

I'm curious to see how this all plays out. Will the involvement of the tea party serve to marginalize the Republicans even further? What will the tea partiers say if the GOP regains control of the government and fails to deliver what the tea partiers want?

The pendulum has been swinging between the Republicans and Democrats for years and nobody is ever happy with what either party brings to the table. How many more times does it need to swing from one side to the other before people realize that we have the option of removing the pendulum altogether and electing individuals to public office instead of party loyalists?

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