Andrew McCullough's Blog

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The "tea party" crowd

November 8, 2009

This morning's Salt Lake Tribune featured, on its front page, one of several articles I have seen over the last several days on the "far right" of the Republican Party, and their efforts to challenge the "moderate wing" of their party. Of particular interest in this regard is the Conservative Party candidate for Congress in New York last week who forced the official Republican candidate, a relative liberal, out of the race, and ended up throwing it to the Democrat. The other main story in that regard is the conservative who is campaigning for Senate against the Governor of Florida. And here in Utah, of course, there are three more conservative canidates who are trying to oust Senator Bennett, even after our conservative Attorney General withdrew from the race last week.

Those who are on the right of the party are designated as the "tea party" group or crowd, and feature some who have been active in rallies and demonstrations protesting Federal taxes. They have been heard to boo both Senators Hatch and Bennett for not being conservative enough.

First, let me set the record straight. The "tea party" movement was started by members of the Libertarian Party, and has only recently been co-opted by conservative Republicans. Libertarians do not like taxes, not even slightly, and we have been having small protests on April 15 for many years. Now that the Republicans have been ousted from power, and only because of that fact, conservative Republicans have started making noise and have pretty much taken over. Well, those who fight against taxes are welcome, but this is not a "conservative" movement, at least from the beginning. We Libertarians were not very pleased with the recent Republican administration either. The Bush administration needed lots of tax money to wage wars and to spy on our own people. Frankly, having Republicans join, and take over, the tea parties makes me very uncomfortable. I have been fighting Republicans for years, because they have been preying on fear to create a survelliance state, which is decidedly less free than I want it to be.

I attended a "tea party" event this summer in Salt Lake. I had been promised, as Libertarian Party Chair, that I would get to speak. Then they changed their minds; but it was not the simple anti-tax rally that I had hoped it would be. It was filled with the kind of narrow minded propaganda which we hear every day from Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Senator Chris Buttars. These are not my people, and I was not comfortable there. One speaker actually quoted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which makes all people born in this country natural citizens. The comment brought loud boos from the anti-immigrant crowd, who accused the speaker of being stupid or crazy. Well, guys, that is what the Constitution says -- read it for yourself. No amount of yelling can change that.

Some see the Libertarian Party as the far right. While we do support anti-tax protests, we hopefully have little in common with people like Chris Buttars, and other members of the "far right". It is important for us to exist, as we have a genuinely different view. While many Libertarians supported Ron Paul last year, he ended up endorsing the far right Constitution Party's candidate for President. Personally, I disagree with as many of his positions as I agree with. If you are looking for an alternative, but are not in the market for the religious right which is seeking full control over the Republican Party, you might consider us.

Where do I differ with conservatives? Here are some examples: Get out of Iraq. End the war on drugs. Repeal the Patriot Act, and stop spying on our citizens. Get out of people's private lives -- if gays want to marry and can find a church who will perform the service, it is none of the government's business. Traditionally, marriage is a religious rite. the government should not be involved. Want to learn more? Join the party which truly fights for freedom, for everyone.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Politics blogs blog search directory Politics Top Blogs