Government needs to grasp the idea of affordability. We’ve been led by politicians who believe they are godlike, infinite in their ability to spend money to solve problems. Back in the 1990s, we were told we didn’t need a balanced budget amendment because we had surpluses. We need one now to once and for all put a stop to the overspending.
We also need term limits, because Lord Acton was right. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. After about a decade, even the best members of Congress seem to view themselves as a permanent part of government rather than as representatives of the people. Not everyone will agree with me on these specifics. Some might feel term limits will degrade the quality of our government, though I can no longer imagine that to be possible.
Whatever the specific proposals, our times call not for timid half measures, but for bold, innovative leadership. Some will question whether a tea party will bring about those changes. One sage, a morning talk show host, suggested the tea parties wouldn’t do anything. On one level, he’s right. A tea party won’t balance the budget anymore than the 1963 March on Washington passed civil rights legislation.
Many politicians won’t “see the light” until they feel the heat. Large rallies, when properly leveraged, place pressure on recalcitrant politicians to mend their ways to save their jobs. One splash of tea parties isn’t enough. They must be the beginning of something, rather than a one-time, nationwide event. This is where things become dicey. Too often in grass roots movements today, there’s a large surge of interest that slowly flames out over time; citizens of our ADD nation wander off when the fight gets too difficult.
People will pledge solemnly to fight big government and preserve American liberty and then lose interest. That will happen as it has at every moment of American history as far back as the Revolutionary War. We forget that, in the winter of 1776, the ravages of war led a lot of people to decide this whole revolution thing wasn’t worth it. In fact, it was probably going to be lost, so many soldiers deserted.
My hope is that there will be Valley Forge people for whom the tea party is not an end but a beginning. These are people that will be at the core of efforts to reverse the policies that imperil our Republic. These will be the leaders, writers, and activists who carry the movement forward. This is the way vital changes are achieved.
The great movements of American history have had at their core thousands rather than millions. To go to the tea party is an act of hope, as opposed to the despair sold by the “why bother” crowd. Because America is too great not to make an effort, I’m going to the tea party. I hope to see you there.