Tea Party Danger: Mediocrity

Gina Miller

“President Obama, are you listening?! ….We’re thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing!”

It was just over a year ago that millions of Americans were thrilled by those words spoken by CNBC’s Rick Santelli, speaking from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He was one of the first people in the mainstream media to boldly say to Barack Obama what so many of us were thinking. The tea party movement was born that day.

In the short year that has passed, the tea party movement has exploded. There are numerous chapters in every state of the nation. All who believe in government as defined by the Constitution are welcome to join the movement. It is naturally true that most who join will be of a conservative nature, but libertarians, liberals and others are always invited in if they can agree on basic principles of freedom from an overreaching bureaucracy, out of control government spending and taxation, and all forms of unconstitutional power-grabbing by Washington.

The power of the tea party movement can be partly seen in the reactions to it by the left. When they speak of tea partiers, the derision, slander and libel that pours forth from leftwing commentators and writers is amazing to behold. Tea partiers receive the same kind of treatment that Sarah Palin received and continues to receive. As the left fears and hates Mrs. Palin, so they fear and hate the tea party movement, and I believe they are shocked by its birth and growth. The depth of love for America and our Constitution in the hearts of the majority of the people was underestimated by those in power on the left and even on the right.

Common threads of the tea party platform among all the groups are the concepts of fiscal responsibility, limited government, lower taxation, and national sovereignty, and these are quite important. But, when it comes to “social issues” like abortion and homosexual “rights,” some tea party leaders tend to shy away. I recently heard a lady on Sean Hannity’s radio program who is a tea party organizer. Sean asked her about social issues, and she basically said that the tea party doesn’t want to emphasize social issues, because that might alienate members who agree with the basic platform but don’t agree on the social issues.

I’ve heard other similar arguments. Tea party groups want to be inclusive to all who agree with its tenets, so the social issues must “take a back seat.” I understand these points, but I have a hard time separating the tea party platform of rule of law from social issues. Morality is a principal foundational element of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and rule of law depends on morality to work properly. Morality has undergirded our nation and played a large part in keeping us as that shining city on the hill, although that city’s foundation is starting to slide down the hill. Abortion, homosexual “marriage,” the decriminalization of drugs, and other such nefarious issues fly in the face of morality. When morality is eroded or shoved aside as unimportant, the foundation of our country is further compromised.

The tea party platform is a wonderful thing, but I don’t believe omitting the fight on the social front is the right thing to do. If it comes down to a fear of alienating members who do not agree with the moral-social aspects of conservatism, I wonder if those members who might feel alienated have a heart that is really true at its core to our tea party cause. It reminds me of people who call themselves “Christian,” but who support abortion. It’s incongruent. I’m not saying that people who support abortion or homosexual “marriage” cannot be patriots, but like-mindedness breeds power, as division breeds destruction.

Please don’t misunderstand–I’m not trying to be tedious or to split hairs, as I am quite proud of, and thankful for, the tea party movement. My husband and I work in irrigation and landscaping, and we always say, “It’s all about the edges,” meaning, your foundation must be correct, or the whole job will be off, and attention to detail is what separates quality from mediocrity. I want the tea party to be the best it can be, and I believe that means no compromise with the enemies of freedom. Once compromise begins, mediocrity follows.

Gina Miller, a native of Texas, is a radio disc jockey. She also works with her husband installing and repairing residential irrigation systems and doing landscaping on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

14 Responses to “Tea Party Danger: Mediocrity”

  1. The saddest part of Ms Miller's article is that it assumes the wrong things. She praises the Tea party Movement, while painting it, and rightly so, as a movement that has little to offer. The princples on which the Tea Party is based are ones that have little reality to. Attempting to call for a smaller government, while at the same time calling for an expanded role as “moral protector” is counterprodutive. A small government role means just that, SMALL! It is not the business of the government to police the morals of the governed, that is the business of the individual and their associated religious institution.

    “like-mindedness breeds power” Yes, the power of the mob!

  2. Most Tea Party people are conservatives, and conservatives don't believe in no government, they believe in limited government. They believe–as the Founders did–that government has a limited role, usually expressed in protecting the nation from external threats, and of maintaining order and domestic tranquility within the country. This protection includes children (whom some people want to murder in the womb), and also the fundamental building block of any society: the family.

    If government doesn't protect life and protect the sanctity of the family, little else will matter.

    But, as Ms. Miller pointed out, the Tea Party movement is primarily about fiscal responsibility and limited government. It seems your dislike of human life and family is driving you to disagree with a movement that you might otherwise laud.

  3. Gina. The Tea Party Movement are a bunch of people banned together from all walks of life. Some never paid attention to politics at all until they thought that America was being taken from them. What I would like to see them do is to discuss among themselves the importance of banning together regardless of race, religion or any other issues. Their main purpose is to see to it that we have smaller govenment and that we keep our rights and liberties as Americans should. They want the constitution upheld.
    Having said all of that, anytime you have that many people standing together for a certain cause, there will be that few that are the bad potatoes that ruin the whole bag. But I really think this group is not going to let that happen. I am part of the Tea Party movement and have seen first hand how we all except and respect opinions of our fellow members. The press will run crazy with any little thing about us because WE THE PEOPLE ARE TEARING UP THEIR WICKED PLAYGROUND.
    Thank you for the thought provoking article. As usual, with high respect for your observations and wisdom,
    In Abilene, Texas,
    Judy Alexander

  4. Thank you, my friend!

  5. Gina, Very provocative piece, I love the discussion. I think by the looking at some of the replies, it shows why these issues like abortion, drug laws, and same-sex marriage can divide the movement. So what is the movement?

    Here’s the formula I made up to simplify:

    Federal Power v. States Rights v. Individual Rights

    so… If you take away or limit the powers from the federal government, then the fight for power is between the States and the individual…..right? Well, that’s what our Constitution intended. I think this issue of States Rights is what tea party-ers should unite behind. Save the social debate for your fellow Texans, I bet you will win some of those issues, later.

  6. I agree that compromise will defeat good intentions. There is nothing left to say but 'the age of compromise is over'. Compromising our liberties even one bit is like saying you'll only get a little bit pregnant.

  7. Thank you for reading and commenting, Mike.

    Your blog is right-on, as well. Never give in. Never compromise.

  8. Rian, my points and thinking go deeper than states-vs-fed, etc.

    “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” –G.K. Chesterton

    “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have aquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

    Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

    To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” –Jesus, Revelation 3:15-22

  9. Gina, I can see you are very passionate about doing away abortions and I can agree with you on that. But I feel that it is the gross disrespect of the States' Rights and the Constitution is what has brought all of us together. Example. What if U.S. changes the ruling of Roe v. Wade and there no abortions allowed in U.S.; Then comes International or Global Laws banning the bans of abortions everywhere, because of some human or world right? Wouldn't you say let our country be sovereign? Why not say that now? Let our states be free to decide..

  10. The Tea Party Movement is based on morality as defined by more than 200 years of American history. Limited government and an allegiance to our god is the cornerstone of American democracy.

    In recent years a corrupt faction has taken over our government and has replaced our allegiance to god with secularism. From secularism tenets has come rubbish such as gay marriage, promotion of homosexual causes and creation of a welfare state. With the election of BHO and an out of control congress we have progressed to something best described as Marxism.

    The Tea Party movement is an outcry by a significan number of citizens to return to basic American values which will stifle secularism and the bloated government which threatens to destroy the American dream.

  11. Rian,

    I am not a “single issue” person. Although fighting abortion is terribly important, it's not the only issue I care about. I mentioned other “social” issues as examples. I am firmly against the mainstreaming of any counter-intuitive, destructive behavior, whether it's the legitimization of homosexuality, amnesty for illegal aliens, the decriminalization of illegal drugs, abortion, revisionist history or any of a host of other problems.

    In the article, I did mention national sovereignty as one of the major platforms of the tea party movement, and of course, states' rights are part of the Constitution we are defending. Therefore, I don't give a rip what the United Nations may decree. If I could, I would destroy the U.N. They already have way too much influence over our own laws and country.

    Now, when you're talking about abortion, you're dealing with something different. It's the killing of a human being. States' rights should never trump a person's right to life. So, the “states should decide on abortion” is a bogus argument.

  12. Gina, I think there is way to get things closer to what you want and what all of us want, less or limited federal government. Right now we are spending federal dollars for all sorts of things we don't like., one being Plan Parenthood. The spending powers of the Constitution needs to be reestablished to its original meaning and limits. The spending attitudes of federal judges, Congress, and the President are not in the spirit of the Constitution and hasn't been for a hundred years. If you cut the $$$$$ out federal government than these programs will wither and die. This is the same issue dealing with the current Health Care Bill. Dr. Theo used my blog a guest writer the same day this blog posted. You hit on exactly what I thought the tea parties were missing and why I wrote my blog…A Unified Message. Here's a link directly to it: http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/03/states-right

    I'd be really interested to hear what you think, Gina. Thank you for your time.

  13. Right-on, Rian. Your article makes excellent points. Getting to the point you're speaking of would take moving a mountain, but it's certainly a worthy goal.

    We've slept for so very long while the government grew and grew. No one stopped them, and now the government is so powerful that it will be exceedingly difficult to roll its power back to where it should be.

  14. Thank you Gina for reading my blog and your encouraging words. I was hoping you would see some validity in it. It does seem herculean but I'll keep trying, as long as the spirit is still in me. I knew we were on the same side, the Constitutional side.