Voices of Freedom
"Everything I ver knew about freedom, I was reminded of at a Tea Party..."
"The idea that the government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people.....is the issue of this election. " Ronald Reagan, 1983
While the average person may not have had his required dose of learning for life by the eve of kindergarten graduation, by the time middle school rolled around, most of the groundwork was laid for anything that came afterwards. Much of the wisdom gleaned in elementary school and carried on into higher learning came from what may have seemed like nonsense at the time.
Consider these conversations between Alice and some of the inhabitants of the otherworld called Wonderland. (From Alice in Wonderland, the classic novel for children by Lewis Carroll).
"Where do I go from here?" Asked Alice.
"Well that depends on where you want to go," answered the Cheshire Cat.
"What if I don't remember?" said Alice
"It's a poor memory that only remembers backwards," answered the White Queen.
"But I say what I mean and I mean what I say," offered Alice
"That's not necessarily so," said the March Hare.
"I'm confused," said Alice.
"That's ok," said the Cheshire Cat, "everyone is mad here."
If Wonderland is the world of Washington style politics, then these little exchanges which carry truth in a form just out of reach might be what are necessary to navigate an otherwise strange and treacherous course.
Nonsense duly confronted gives way to an intuitive sense of what is right.
Reagan was referring to his bid for a second term as President when he made the statement quoted at the beginning of this piece. But has anything really changed?
Perhaps what has changed is the listener rather than the message. If I read the Republican Party Platform and the Tea Party Mission Statement, I find myself (not unlike Alice) thinking, "Things are getting curiouser and curiouser!"
In the original story, that meant that she knew exactly what was going on, even if everything and everyone she encountered seemed to contradict her! Simply, they sound a lot alike!
Most Republicans, if they were completely honest and not swayed by polls or public opinion, would feel right at home at any Tea Party rally I've attended. It's not a choice to move to the left or right to fit in.
To feel comfortable enough to pull up a chair for Tea with these folks, it is more like a choice to stand up for individual freedom rather than lay down and be run over by totalitarianism. It boils down to simple principles near to the hearts of freedom loving people from many different sectors of our society.
Individual freedom is consistent with the rule of law and paramount for effective self-government. Trading precious freedom for the promise of security and efficiency ultimately results in none of the above. The Marxist's have tried to sell this on a couple of occasions in the last 100 years; and a look at the economic indicators tells the tale better than I can.
It's a foregone conclusion that economic freedom leads to the potential for the greatest personal and political freedom. Freedom begets freedom.
The voice of the Tea Party movement is none other than the voice of the sleeping giant. Theirs is not a radical message with extreme overtones. It is simply the response of a free people who have had enough. Most of them realize they have been on the sidelines too long-raising families, making a living and enjoying these freedoms.
To be met with the reactionary responses of the Washington establishment (from both sides of the aisle) with accusations of hijacking the Republican Party or thwarting the great movement to stop the socialist agenda of the current administration is, for lack of a better word, laughable.
Now for the two way memory--back when there were 55 Republicans in the Senate, spending and taxation were tolerated as necessary "evils" in order to protect the economy from the fluctuations of a free marketplace.
Historically, however, this kind of strategy usually produces unmanageable deficits and results in recession.
In contrast, because of incentives for rapid growth and advancement of technology, Taiwan and South Korea moved from developing countries to Newly Industrialized Countries in less than one generation. The average income is 5X what it was in the sixties and the quality of life has improved dramatically. Their GNP is growing by 6% a year, 30% faster than advanced countries like the US.
Back to Wonderland...
When Alice sat down at the table for Tea, she was treated rather rudely and was about to take offense, when she realized they were all incapacitated by their condition.
If a defensive, elitist posture rules the day in the Republican party, the Voice of freedom calling from the grass roots of this great country and amplified by the Tea Party movement, could be drowned out again.
However if Republicans listen and support ALL candidates endorsed by the Republican party, the results in November may not be everything we hope for, but the groundwork will be laid to build on for 2012.
Without the bedrock conservative principles espoused by Barry Goldwater in 1964, there may have been no place for Ronald Reagan to stand in 1980.
Reagan might say, "Let's Win One for the Gipper!"
All the Republican Party has to say is, "Pull up a chair."
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