Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why am I not in the Tea Party?

I've found myself over the last 18 months of its rise, apathetic toward the Tea Party movement. With the primary victory of Rand Paul, I've actually thought about the party for the first time.

Here's what I found for the mission statement on the Tea Party Patriots website:

Tea Party Mission Statement

It sounds like what I believe. So, why can't I jump on board immediately?

I think it's because of the reason I've been apathetic toward them all along. It seems like it's the same drones that have been following right wing talk radio for years. I'm not convinced that they really believe or understand what the movement is saying. I also think it may be because the left has been successful in their propaganda and smear campaign. This is to the extent that I don't really want to be associated with "those kind of people" like those teabaggers.

I'll have to stew on this one a little.

Tea Party, Libertarianism, and Christianity

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook yesterday:

How Christian is Tea Party Libertarianism?

I do not have anything to do with the Tea Party, but do consider myself to be a libertarian. I wasn't aware that libertarians ever proclaimed any interest in being Christ-like with regard to government.

That being said, there is an interesting point to debate about people who claim to be Christians being in the Tea Party - that they are being hypocritical by having a political conviction that is opposed to their religious one.

I reject this argument. Government can be secular, impartial, and unemotional, allowing the individual to be the opposite of all of those in any way they desire. In fact, I think this inherently allows an individual to be however they want and co-exist with others that are different.

I also reject the constant accusation of racism as a core element. I am not so naive to think that there aren't people negatively motivated by a black president, but I truly don't believe this is a motivation of significance at large. I see the political philosophy as having more of a haves vs. have-nots element - a matter of socio-economics and not race. Although the demographics are changing somewhat, the haves are still overwhelmingly white. To me, that's why the movement is overwhelmingly white. Labeling someone or a movement as racist makes it easy to dismiss them. Also, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.