(L2E is our new Letter to the Editor feature. We invite our readers to share their views about political matters and events. Please use the Contact Us email form to submit your L2E.)
Recently I was asked why I don’t go all in with support for the Republican Party and their candidates because this is the party which more closely defines my values and that the TEA Party is not helping the cause. They stated that the “purpose of political parties is to win elections. Unless a political party can attract voters, it can not win. In a multi-racial, and often bi-lingual society, winning usually requires some give and take. Otherwise, it isn’t a choice for governing, but for war”. This assumes I support either of the established parties. I don’t, however, I truly believed that Mitt Romney was the right man for the Presidency at the right time in our history so I supported him and voted for him. In 2008, I had no interest in seeing either of the established party candidates sitting in the WH so I didn’t vote for either, opting instead for Ralph Nader who actually put up a platform I could support.
There does come a time when one has to stand up and be counted for their beliefs. Standing up for a candidate just because he is the lesser of two evils is the reason why our two party political system is destroying the country, IMO. The generational trend of having the government offer subsidies to the citizens in the form of entitlement programs and corporate donors in the form of tax benefits and huge government contracts has created a nation of dependency and it occurs through the acts of both established parties.
Ted Cruz stood up for principle. The ObamaCare program is a travesty and he was right to stand up against it. Was it the best way to proceed, I believe that it wasn’t because it was an attempt to combine the cost of ObamaCare with the overall budget and the looming debt limit. There were better ways to address the budgetary issues and not give Obama the upper hand, but at the time, Senator Cruz didn’t know just how bad the ObamaCare rollout would be, so he was acting in good faith.
So now let’s address the issue of the TEA Party and it’s growing pains. Certainly there are mistakes being made, some of which have been outlined. Having a group of idealistic citizens go up against the entrenched parties will always be met with resistance and having those citizens be marginalized is par for the course, in the short term. But I do believe that as the old saying goes, all politics is local and I honestly believe the majority of the citizens when it gets down to the local grassroots level, agree with Senator Cruz and the TEA Party platform. I see it every day in the local coffee shops,in the beer halls and at the local barber shops. I see it with the college students I speak with when I return to my college campus for seminars and business support gatherings. I witness it when I attend small business development conferences and conventions. Certainly there are naysayers, but when specifics are discussed, the majority agree with what the TEA Party represents.
Additionally, there is one more element which comes into play and is a real threat to the established parties. This new element is the instantaneous communication afforded by access to the internet. 10 years ago, we could not use the FaceBook or the blogosphere to discuss our discontent, we could not Tweet the whereabouts of a TEA Party meeting in our local communities, we could not mount an instant effort to advise our “representatives” of the fact that we do not support a bill they are willing to vote in favor of and most importantly, we could not immediately let them know that we were watching when they voted for that bill anyway and that as a result, we will be looking for someone else to support.
As we have seen over the past 3 national election cycles, the TEA Party candidates, although working through the Republican Party, are gaining ground and the quality of the candidates seeking office is showing dramatic improvement while the quality of the upcoming Democratic and incumbent Republican candidates remains incredibly self absorbed and dismal. We as a nation need more of the self reliant American spirit to reach the surface and the TEA Party members bring the true ideals of the American spirit to the office. It may take some more time and it won’t happen without additional scars and/or lost elections, but I do believe the TEA Party will become the dominant political party in our nation or the nation as we knew it will not survive.
(Lifelong entrepreneur who has developed numerous real estate projects in Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and Tennessee. He is the founder of the World Distance Learning Institute, an international post-secondary education access point, and the founder and CEO of the Ownership Recovery Company of America.)