Liberty Blog

The Problem With the Tea Party

Posted in Uncategorized by Phil Russo on July 28, 2010

I think the problem is that most of the people in the tea party movement are not true believers in liberty. They are neo-con statist Republicans. They are also ignorant of the meanings of the words and quotes they use.Remember, I say all this as a founding member of the Orlando Tea Party and someone who has spent the past year and a half
of his life fighting in this movement. This is how I see it: there are two different kinds of tea partiers. There are the younger, more ibertarian, Ron Paul tea partiers. We were having tea parties in December 2007. This is something that Tom Tillison argued with me about. He didn’t believe that Ron Paul supporters were having tea
party rallies more than one year before the rest of the country. We were doing it before Obama was elected, during the Bush years. If you don’t believe me, use Google and find the articles for yourself. The reason people like Tom and my buddy Jason don’t know that there were tea party rallies in 2009 is because they, like the rest of the neo-
cons in the movement, were asleep at the switch. They didn’t care when Bush and the GOP Congress passed Medicare Part D, took the debt from $5 trillion to $9 trillion, and pissed all over the Constitution (Patriot Act, Real ID, warrentless wiretaps). You see, it’s ok to violate the Constitution because of terrorism. As long as you aren’t
doing anything wrong, what do you care about the FBI coming into your
house and snooping around without telling you or getting a warrant?
These people stop reading the Bill of Rights at the 2nd Amendment. For
some reason, they seem to love the 10th Amendment too, but that is
just rhetoric because they seem to think that even though the government has no power to regulate what you smoke, they are ok with the federal government spending billions of dollars fighting the war on drugs.

Anyway, this second group is the neo-con, over 40, upper-middle class, white people who are less Barry Goldwater and more George W. Bush/John Mccain voters. I think the age gap is the reason the movement won’t always be effective. Funny how they all like Rand Paul. What do they think Rand Paul thinks about pot legalization? My
friends like Hoyt has asked me questions like, “How
do we get more young people involved?” I don’t think we are going to
get young people to vote the party line at the ballot box. I’ll be voting for Libertarian Alex Snitker for U.S. Senate because he believes what I believe. I voted for Bob Barr for President in 2008. Most of the people I know under 40 think like I do. The ones that are
registered Republican is so they can vote in primaries. The rest of my
friends are Libertarians, Constitution Party, NPA and such. Most of the people I know that are my age just want the government to follow the Constitution and leave them alone. Nobody wants to be told what to smoke or whom to marry. The Constitution does not give the government the power to regulate either of those things. You would think you could get the neo-cons on the constitutionality of these things. Even if you think pot and gays are the worst thing in the world, does the Constitution give the government power over these things? Try to follow me here: the neo-cons need the Ron Paul/libertarian
Republicans to win elections. If we stay home or vote for other Candidates, the Republican has a lower chance of winning. Then they are left to the whims of independent voters and their vacillations. They need to compromise with us and follow the Constituion, not the other way around. When the Conservative Party in the U.K. failed to win a majority in the recent elections, they needed to compromise with the
Liberal Democrats and adopt some of their platform to get them to form
a government and allow David Cameron to become Prime Minister. The same way Cameron had to compromise with Nick Clegg to get the gavel, the neo-cons need to adopt some of our policy goals. Instead, they
say, “We need to get the Republicans in power and then we can worry about the Constitution later.” That’s not how it works, though. This is all very ironic when you consider their rhetoric.

All of the “don’t tread on me” and “live free or die” stuff are just slogans to
the neo-cons. I think the under-40 crowd take them to heart a little more. Look at things like the Free State Project. The neo-cons talk about socialism and how awful it is and how Obama is a Marxist and a collectivist. Then when you ask them why it’s ok to violate the Constitution in the name of “terrorism” for “the greater good” — that is socialism! The greater good, that’s straight out of the Communist Manifesto. One of the planks of the Communist Manifesto is free education provided by the state. I’m sure many of the neo-con tea partiers are cool with free public education. That Marxism is ok.

At the end of the day, I do not think either side will ever compromise and the end result will be the same old, same old. The endless cycle of swinging back and forth between liberal and conservative Congresses and liberal and conservative presidencies. Most of the neo-cons won’t even talk about most of these issues. Hoyt is always telling me that if we talk about legalizing pot, people will “walk away from us.” I don’t see why. People didn’t “walk away” from Milton Friedman. In fact, I think he is considered one of the most influential conservative public figures of my lifetime. He won a Nobel prize! People didn’t “walk away” from William F. Buckley Jr. Lots of people I know read the National Review, the magazine he founded. He wrote many articles in National Review about legalizing pot. William F. Buckley wrote God and Man at Yale! Congressman Tom Tancredo, who I think Jason and Tom like, supports legalizing pot. Go to YouTube and search Tacredo and drug legalization. You will find videos of him
explaining it all. Barry Goldwater, the man called “Mr. Conservative,” supported legalizing pot and gay marriage. Did people “walk away” from
Barry Goldwater? Neo-cons will never embrace the classical liberalism of the Founders like Madison, Jefferson, and Mason, not to mention Patrick Henry, another guy they love to quote. I don’t know how to change things if we can’t even talk about it.

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