Before we get too jubilant about the humiliating, crushing, thousands-of-floating-dead-Persians-at-Salamis-style defeat inflicted by the Tea Party movement on Democrats and RINO Republicans alike yesterday, let’s just remember one thing: the real battle has only just begun.
Think Obama is guaranteed to be a one-term president because he has proved so ineffably useless in every way? Don’t be so sure. You only have to look at the results in the now ineluctably doomed state of California
to realise that turkeys are still very much capable of voting for Thanksgiving. Or look – FFS – at who clung on in Nevada
So what to do?
Well I think my two word solution to America’s problems would probably be: Marco Rubio.
But that’s just a gut reaction based on no real insight whatsoever, other than that he’s likeable, telegenic and a committed Tea Partier. I worry, though, slightly that he might be too good be true; and that if he really is that good he’ll probably get assassinated.
More generally, though, I’d suggest that the key lesson of yesterday’s mid-terms is this: it is simply not enough to stick a Tea Party label on any old candidate and hope that the US electorate’s growing antipathy towards Big Government will take care of the rest. Christine O’Donnell was more than proof enough of that. Not only did her candidacy allow the liberal MSM to tar the entire Tea Party movement as the natural home of anti-masturbation ex-witches and other fruit loops. But it demonstrated a worrying complacency and ignorance within the Tea Party movement about what it stands for and what it ought to stand for.
The Tea Party does not stand for: banning lesbian or sexually active single women from teaching at schools; discouraging onanism; banning abortion; keeping drugs illegal; God; organised religion generally; guns; or, indeed, Sarah Palin.
The Tea Party stands, very simply, for small government. So long as it understands this, a presidential victory in 2012 is guaranteed. If it forgets this – or doesn’t understand it in the first place – then hello, a second term for President Obama, and bye bye Western Civilisation.
Let me give one example of the kind of muddled thinking which could destroy the Tea Party. I noticed one or two commenters yesterday getting exercised by the issue of drugs legalisation, perhaps in relation to California’s sadly defeated Proposition 19. They seemed to imagine that it was perfectly OK to support the Tea Party’s aims, while simultaneously sound off as to why they thought drugs – even cannabis – should remain illegal. (For one of the best essays I’ve read as to why it shouldn’t read this blog at Ozboy’s
There is no intellectual consistency here at all. If you are against Big Government, you are for liberty. If you are for liberty you are also for free citizens’ right to choose whether or not they get out of their trees on cannabis, or indeed whether or not they have the freedom to terminate unwanted pregnancies or never, ever, go to church and in fact worship Satan instead.
Liberty is not a pick and mix free-for-all in which you think government should ban the things you don’t like and encourage you things you do like: that’s how Libtards think. Libertarianism – and the Tea Party is nothing if its principles are not, at root, libertarian ones – is about recognising that having to put up with behaviour you don’t necessarily approve of is a far lesser evil than having the government messily and expensively intervene to regulate it.
And this isn’t an argument for anarchy. There are still plenty of ways society can make known its disapproval of certain “immoral” practices, such as through the traditional method of stigma. Libertarianism doesn’t mean doing what the hell you like and letting everyone else go hang themselves. It’s about doing whatever the hell you like so long as it doesn’t harm others. (Property rights, for example, would remain sacrosanct).
One of the things that persuades me we are not yet ready for a Tea Party movement in Britain is that almost all the political conversations I have, even with people who think of themselves as right-leaning libertarian types, tend to suggest that we are still addicted to the teat of state. The default position when anything goes wrong is: “Why isn’t the government doing more about it?” So long as we think this way – and of course we always will if we take our intellectual and cultural lead from the BBC – we will always remain the servants of the State, not its masters.
That’s why in Britain, as in the rest of the free world, we so desperately need the Tea Party to continue the great work it began yesterday and sow the seeds of the intellectual revolution which will save us from our own culturally-imbued, Gramsci-fostered stupidity. It will only succeed if it remains a broad church, as welcoming to disaffected Democrats and Republicans as it is to Libertarians. And it certainly won’t achieve this is if it starts engaging in the kind of horse-trading we see among Democrats and Republicans of the old school: tariffs and tax-breaks for favoured corporate or agricultural interests, say; Pro-Life concessions for Catholics; or whatever. The moment it starts to behave like that, the Tea Party will have lost its raison d’etre and by extension its right to govern.
Taxed Enough Already. That’s what the Tea Party is about and what it should be about. Everything else is for the birds.