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Tea Parties: What Comes Next?

Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009 03:09 PM

By Phil Brennan

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"Now that we're organized, what do we do next?" was the caption on a ‘70s-era cartoon. It's a question that is very much relevant to today's nationwide tea party movement.

Hordes of angry citizens, appalled by the insanity of the federal government's squandering untold trillions of dollars to bail out an economy crippled by the previous actions of the same federal government will gather in a series of tea parties Wednesday, evoking memories of the event in Boston Harbor in 1773.

That the numbers expected to participate are staggering can in no way be attributed to publicity in the odious mainstream media which can devote gallons of ink and expensive broadcast time on protests by small handfuls of left-wing groups opposed to the Iraq war or promoting gay marriage but can't find time or space to cover the birth of a genuine and spontaneous nationwide citizens movement honestly.

Given the fact that the nationwide event is the elephant in the room that can no longer be ignored, the media will no doubt resort to questioning the absence of the tea party's clearly defined goal beyond voicing mass discontent with the government's out-of-control spending and the inevitable crushing tax burden it will impose on this and future generations.

For once they will have hit the nail squarely on the head. This is a clear example of being organized with no clear purpose beyond staging a mass nationwide protest. The tea partiers need to ask themselves, Now that we are organized, what do we do next?

Unless they ask that question of themselves the event will be a one-day wonder. And that will be a tragedy — the waste of a glorious opportunity to stop the federal government's determined march towards a totalitarian socialist society financed by a totalitarian system of taxation that rewards indolence and punishes hard work and initiative.

Realizing that finding common ground on every issue among those participating in a movement of the size and complexity as this it is important to the success of the movement that some clearly defined goals upon which all concerned can agree be established. Without such goals the movement is powerless.

Despite the assurances of the movement's promoters that the tea parties are apolitical, politics — defined as the art of self-government — is at the heart of the movement.

If its aims are not political — not meant to change a political system gone awry — it is a gallant but empty gesture.

In order to reform that system, it is imperative that we get rid of those who have manipulated and corrupted it and replace them with men and women devoted to the principles that founded this republic, or convert them to acting in behalf of the tea party movement's unspoken goals.

That's politics pure and simple. Tea parties will cover vast areas of the United States, and thus will take place in scores of congressional districts.

To be successful, they must convey to the incumbents, be they Democrats or Republicans, that they must either change their ways or face certain defeat in the 2010 congressional elections.

Simply put, it is important to scare the pants off them. They need to be reminded that they are our well-paid and pampered employees. They work for us.

Changing their ways means reforming this unjust system of taxation. Perhaps we could replace it with a fair or flat tax that spreads the burden equally and reduces it substantially.

We need to end the current spending squadermania, revoking much of the budget's provisions that add billions to our national debt on Marxist programs, lifting the crushing burden of ecological regulations that put insects and animals above humans while wrecking the economy in the process. And we need to put an end to a system that favors the moneyed interests above those of the American people.

Finally it should say loud and clear those fighting words heard in 1776: "Don't Tread on Us."

Surely these are goals upon which the overwhelming majority of tea partiers can agree. And agree they must if the movement is have any significance in a time of peril.

Phil Brennan writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He is a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers. He can be reached at pvb@pvbr.com.

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