Understanding the Tea Party

There is an excellent piece by Nolan Finley in the Detroit News describing what the Tea Party movement is about and how it has been vilified by the Democrats. I have anger at the part of the movement that continues to fight battles they have already won, who want to win the whole war in one battle. The United States did not get into this mess overnight and it is going to take a series of legislative endeavors to grow our country out of its financial dilemmas, coupled with a cultural attitude adjustment of “what can I get from my country” to “what can I do for my country.” Those days of John F. Kennedy are long behind us, yet we must strive to revive them if we hope to maintain, or some would say regain, our world prominence.

Hey! Look at me, I’m on my soap box.

Let me get back to the article. Nolan begins the article with:

Democrats have effectively turned “tea party” into a pejorative, making the words conjure a rigid, uncompromising movement that is at the root of Washington’s dysfunction.

Yes, the Democrats have been successful in accomplishing this, only because of the over-zealousness of a few Tea Party members of Congress. They were indeed unyielding and refused to compromise but in a manner which brings to my mind a phrase from the I-Ching:

Punishment and retribution come swiftly and thoroughly to the person who continues in wrong behavior. Even though it may seem overly sever, it will effectively bring about reform.

One thing that cannot be argued is the Tea Party movement has brought a new attitude to government. Their single-mindedness has been a good thing, something that needs reminding. Nolan effectively compares the Tea Party to environmentalists:

Are they single-minded in their mission? Sure. They don’t compromise, and they don’t forgive politicians who break their promises.

In that sense, they are most like the environmentalists who lead the Democratic Party around by its nose — but less destructive. Nobody has lost a job, at least not in the private sector, because of tea party activism.

Compare that to the pain wrought by the unyielding environmental movement, which has put light bulb makers out of work in Kentucky, coal miners out of work in West Virginia, oil riggers out of work in Alabama, and on and on.

The Tea party is still young and is still trying to find the proper footing. A difficult achievement when you consider the predominantly negative coverage the movement receives.  In the end, it is important to remember the final goal of the Tea Party is to make government live within its means.

Is that really a crazy desire?