Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Coherent Vision

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain
According to Washington Post, Howard Kurtz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, predicts that the Tea Party “will die out.”

I can’t decide whether Graham is merely a Nietschean (“God is Dead” – German philosopher philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The statement first appears in a publication called The Gay Science ) or the emperor in Star Wars, gleefully cackling to Luke Skywalker that his pitiful rebellion has failed.

He charges the Tea Party with having no coherent vision for governing the United States. Actually, we have an extremely coherent “vision” – it’s called the U.S. Constitution, which those currently in charge of governing of us have been derelict in following.

They’ve violated the very first principle of the original Founding Fathers – a small government. Perhaps the concept of freedom is simply too pedestrian for the illustrious senator to grasp, to wit, his support of the bank bailouts, climate change, and immigration reform.

Congress was not designed to be a law-making factory. Since FDR’s reign, the size of the government has grown exponentially, choking away America’s freedom, the way a vine takes hold of a tree, gradually choking off its oxygen and its water.

He and other critics charge the Tea Party with having no central authority, no central message, no national leader. Good for us. We leave each other alone. If they don’t know what the Tea Party message is, it’s because the Tea Partiers allowed themselves to be badgered out of carrying their signs.

If I were the national leader of the Tea Parties, my first charge to my followers would be: Get those signs back up!! Laying them down would the same as soldiers in the Continental Army laying down their muskets.

My second “command” would be to get those horrendous pieces of legislation – Obamacare and the newly-minted Financial Reform bill – repealed, right away. There is a huge thicket of socialist legislation choking our country and it has to be hacked away. Obamacare and financial reform are the outermost tentacles of this monster.

The Tea Parties do represent many messages beyond the obvious economic concerns. We are being confronted by an enemy that attacks us on many fronts. Never fear, though, we are up to the challenge.

As long as we are under attack, the Tea Parties will forge ahead. We’re not going anywhere. We’re not a “fad” or a gimmick. We reject the pejorative images of racist crazies. We’re well-educated, well-informed, and well-prepared for a lengthy battle.

I would “command” my followers not to fear the media’s cameras – the 21st century equivalent of the Revolutionary War cannon. This is a hard edict for average Americans to obey. Naturally shy and reticent, they’re not accustomed to the spotlight, as legislators like Sen. Graham know very well. They see what happens to those who fall into it, and for the young, in particular, it’s a formidable weapon.

Above all, the Tea Partiers should not give up or think all is lost because of the cacklings of a moderate like Graham. His greatest weakness is that he forgets himself. He comes from a largely Democrat state and thinks himself safe. Perhaps he is. He votes close enough to conservative lines to satisfy South Carolina’s Republican machine, but is liberal enough with government welfare for all to get himself elected by South Carolina’s voters.

But his fellow legislators don’t necessarily enjoy that same safety, or arrogance. Critics accuse us of being shrill and alarmist. We mustn’t upset the boiling frogs or they might just leap out of the pot. Graham’s attitude is, apparently, once they’re boiled, what can they do about socialism? Nothing, as 60 or 70 years of history have proven. And the Tea Parties will die. They’ll be boiled out.

The Tea Parties are beginning to realize that the Lindsey Graham’s of the government are merely puppets in this play. They’re insignificant compared to the power of the voter, for all their money and expensive suits. Unless Graham finds a way to outlaw our currently legal right to assemble peacefully on our town squares, and even in front of Congress, we’re not going anywhere.

We may be insects in the view of this lofty senator, to be squashed under the heel of his expensive shoes. But we can make a lot of noise. And we can sting.

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