America Alone, by Mark Steyn, is one of the most important books written in my lifetime. In it, he writes:
Our enemies have made a bet that the West in general and the United States in particular are soft and decadent and have no attention span.
Steyn also stated simply that those who act are the ones who will shape the age in which we live. That’s not complicated. If you want to have an impact, you have to move. The political left is in motion. The Republican Party for the most part is the very definition of moribund.
The political right, made up of Americans who live their lives wishing to be left alone by government, haven’t been in motion until 2009. Sure, here and there were pockets of worthwhile activism that helped get conservatives elected to public office.
But despite all of those wonderful conservatives who won on election day, where are we today? Moving towards limited government? Upholding the culture and morality that is absolutely necessary to have a vibrant, opportunity-filled economy?
Here in Tennessee, I lost count of how many times I heard variations of this conversation with new acquaintances:
I’ve been concentrating on my work/career/raising my kids (etc.) but for the last year I’ve been terribly concerned about my country… I’ve never attended rallies or gotten involved politically until now…
The Republican Party has let down these people in a big way. As one convention speaker said, they’ve been doing right by their family and their work but now they are realizing they have to step into the political and governmental fray.
While the economic issues are said to be the unifying theme, it seems clear to me that the social issues are on the minds and hearts of most of the tea party people I’ve spoken with or heard speak. One of the convention leaders, while emphasizing limited government, said — good behavior doesn’t come through legislation — it comes through character.
Good luck having a good economy with a rotten culture.
At the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville all the right themes were addressed. Among them:
- This movement shouldn’t be about forming a third party.
- Rallies and protests aren’t enough — the goal has to be electing better people.
- The groups don’t have to agree on everything but should avoid vitriol and being disagreeable.
- Complaining isn’t enough — we have to elect better people — and that takes serious effort by a lot of committed people.
- Best practices and accountability within the movement are key.
- We need honest leaders in this movement who are motivated not by money or career but rather by the desire to advance the principles.
In my view, the Tea Party and 9/12 Project movement is about making up for the deficiencies and outright failures of the Republican Party.
If you read the GOP platform you discover the tenets of those who comprise most of the attendees of this convention. Now, they’re off of the sidelines and onto the field. The Counterinsurgency is underway.
Up next: Sarah closes out the convention.