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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why The Tea Party Is Not The Answer

Before I go forward, let me make clear two points. First, I am not an opponent of the Tea Party movement or its candidates, I agree with some of their views and I disagree with some of their views. Also, I believe there are some Tea Party candidates that would make very good candidates in state and national offices.

This said, however, I am convinced that the Tea Party is not the answer to fixing the political problems that exist in the United States today. If you really drill down into the Tea Party and examine their candidates objectively, you'll find that they really don't differ from the two major parties. Too many of their candidates only differ from the "establishment" candidates in some of their political beliefs. Like Democrats and Republicans, many (if not most) of the Tea Party candidates are hypocritical and corrupt.

Assorted Tea Party candidates have lied about their education (Delaware), employment (Colorado), use of unemployment (Alaska), etc. Others have engaged in divisive campaigning, pitting groups against one another. Too many have demonstrated a lack of understanding (or misunderstanding) of the Constitution, the views of our founders and the ills of the early America they so passionately want to return to (Delaware, Alaska, Florida). Some have bordered on racist (Nevada, Arizona). Too many rail against the evils of unrestrained government while completely ignoring the evils of unrestrained corporate greed.

Too many have been hesitant to share their political views in a clear and open manner, avoiding anything but the most supportive media in their attempt to hide their real views from political analysis. Too many are simply running to "defeat Obama." Too many have pushed the political landscape away from the middle (where most Americans stand) to the extremes. Too many believe compromise is an evil and corrupt process.

And like the mainstream politicians of the Democratic and Republican parties, too few provide actual plans for how they'll accomplish their objectives. There are no detailed plans as to what programs should be cut. Like the two parties, there is no meaningful conversation about the need to sacrifice (at all income levels, individuals and businesses) to solve the nations problems.

In the end, while they may bring some fresh ideas and a fervent passion to these leadership positions, I don't see them actually effecting real change. I don't see a difference in the level of honesty, character, leadership or trust among Tea Party candidates as I see in the candidates of the two major parties. Like those before them, they will govern for the benefit of themselves and their major financial backers.

It will take a much more fundamental change in the attitudes and character of the American people than just changing who represents us in government to effect real change, but that recognition has not yet taken hold among the general population. It will only happen when we recognize that our leaders reflect our character as a people and that we are responsible for changing our nation (from the bottom up), not our government (from the top down).

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