Free trade and open borders in a lopsided world are slowly but surely undermining the American standard of living. Political earthquakes are sure to follow.
Professor, this is the best analysis to date by an outsider of the tea-party phenomenon, but — this is a compliment, not a criticism — this is your field of study.
Despite Luke Lea’s comment, I don’t think that tea-partiers are too motivated by globalism or free-trade. Rather, their focus is out-of-control spending as manifested in annual deficits and the growing national debt. They want that spending stopped now and will support any candidates who promise to do so and have a record of having done such.
There are a few politicians who seem welcome by the tea-partiers: my state’s junior senator Jim DeMint and House members Pence and Cantor seem to be welcome, a few others are tolerated, but the rest are suspect.
What’s in it for the tea-partiers? I can speak only for a small group of sixtyish folks who thought they’d prepared for whatever may come by saving and living responsibly. With the financial mess we’ve seen our savings collapse and our retirement dreams dashed. We’re going to have to work as long we are able into our seventies, but will do so to get the country back on track so that our kids and theirs can enjoy America’s dream.
All we ask, er, demand is that the elites find honest work and the politicians scale back their spending by ending handouts to all — businesses, citizens, unions, whatevers — and returning civil servants to fair payscales and pensions. In other words fairness to us means not favoring anybody: we want no special treatment, and we expect that others will get none either.
Would David Petraeus, with his consistent and eloquent stands against torture, be able to bring the populists around?
Thank-you, Dr. Mead, for your good analysis. I think you’re right on the economic versus social topic emphasis in the Tea Party movement. I tend to mark the high tide of the previous GOP ascendancy with the Terri Schiavo affair where Congress sought to intervene in a matter of local family law where, quite frankly, the choices were bad and worse. A lot of people took a closer look at the GOP and grew skeptical that these fellows were the right ones to have in charge (just as today large majorities of independents are growing more skeptical of the Democrats after taking a look at how health care is being treated in Congress. The social issues are a mine field that can shred coalitions. Further, the populism in the Tea Parties is profoundly distrustful of Washington and prefers devolution of decisions back to local jurisdictions.
As free trade (especially with China, which manipulates its currency) and mass immigration from the Third World continues, all the fault lines in our society will open up, both vertically and horizontally: between the upper, middle, and lower classes, and between various ethnic groups that compose these classes.
The Tea Partiers represent but one of these faults. They are non-elite members of the white middle-class who do not want to be forced to pay for the health care of lower-class Americans, especially lower-class minorities, with whom they feel little affinity. They do not understand the source of their plight, but that is beside the point. They are experiencing financial stress and downward mobility, which makes them unwilling to sacrifice for the welfare of others.
As Milton Friedman pointed out, you cannot have both open borders and a welfare state. And by the same token (though he was loth to admit it) you cannot have free trade with a low-wage Goliath like China and a welfare state, though in the latter case there is at least the theoretical case to be made that the wealthiest Americans, who are the only real winners, might share their “gains of trade” with the rest of society. But that’s a whole ‘nother fault line that can only get worse.
I do not dispute Mead’s analysis of the death of the blue model. In fact I thought it was refreshingly candid about the true trends in our society. I do however feel that he does not dig deeply enough into its underlying causes, and that he perhaps shies away from their tragic implications for our diverse, multi-cultural society.
The splintering of America is not a beautiful thing to behold. We could use another Abraham Lincoln. Or maybe the second coming of Christ. Amen.
Yes, yes, the populists paved the way for women to vote just as the time, as you point, out that they mandated Prohibition. And what did these newly fired up women and newly wussified, sober men then go out and do? They elected Warren G. Harding and then not one, but two more Republican presidents in a row! What a country.
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Warren Harding “led” us out of the very sharp recession of 1920 by doing nothing…no bailouts, no “cash for clunkers, no “green” jobs, no TARP, etc. Followed by Coolidge. This was the roaring 20’s with unemployment falling to 1.8 in 1926. Unfortunately Herbert Hoover, a progressive, was elected in 1928 and the rest is history.
If you don’t believe me, look it up.
A very interesting and thought-provoking article. I have been following reports about the Tea Partiers and their detractors for some time now, but never attended any of their functions in my area. Now my husband, who never follows politics, has taken the time to find out when and where the next gathering will take place and proposed we might like to go. We will. Because you, and SC Mike in your comments, both give hope that perhaps involvement in this movement might lead our country back to the founding principles that made our country great – freedom to act and personal responsibility informed by moral values. The Tea Party Movement seems to epitomize those principles.
Fine analysis.This is fundamentally about government spending and debt. It’s amazing how many government workers get significantly higher annual salaries and pensions than those in the private sector. Congress and our Presidents seem hell-bent on spending money without accountability. It’s time to take away their credit card, and to get them off of our collective necks.
Those of us who work hard for a living are tired of being host organisms.
The Tea Party movement has already has one major accomplishment, the rejection of Marth Coakley as Mass. senator. Yes, Scott Brown was elected, but the larger idea of getting control back from the parties is the larger item to notice.
The upcoming primary elections can possibly show a large sea change. Tea Partiers are setting the stage for a long term movement by getting involved not at the top, but at the bottom of the political parties. What were considered safe local elected party (not government) positions are now being challenged by a well-informed and organized outside force. The results of this takeover will likely first be seen in the GOP in the swing states, where the division between Republican and Democrat has been blurred, largely to the benefit of GOP leadership, but the detriment of the party itself. Locally, some of the Tea Party leadership is indeed Democrats, who have more of an uphill battle to supplant their leadership, but will be inspired by the success that their GOP brethren will achieve.
The professor is right, but he needs to examine this phenomena from the bottom up. This primary season that is where the battle will be, for the soul of the parties.
Absolutely no real individualist accepts the vague term “populism”. Of course, the term “individualist” needs to be clearly defined too, and I have no intention of undertaking that task here. But your essay is just a little off track, and I think it might help to look closely into the term “individualist” as the Objectivists use it. I find their use of the term quite consistent. I certainly hope that the tea partiers regard themselves as individualists. I think they do, and I think that by and large, they reject the populist label.
The Harding/ Coolidge response to the 1920 depression, for that is what it was with 25% unemployment for a while, was more than just “doing nothing.” They cut government spending by 20% and that was like a bailout but with no debt. Suddenly there was that much more money in the economy. I wish there was more economic analysis of that event. By 1923, the economy had recovered. If Hoover had acted the same way, the 1929 crash might be no more than a footnote.
Thanks Dr. Mead, but I would quarrel with you on one point:
“At this point no national political leader has emerged who seems capable of providing the leadership the new populists seek.”
We’re not seeking leadership; we’re seeking representation. The decentralized organzational structure of the Tea Party movement is purposeful, and reflective of our demand for more policy decisions (e.g. social issues) to be, as you stated, managed by local jurisdictions or viewed as matters of personal responsibility.
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A Washington hating outsider familiar with the ways of DC??? Does Indiana have governor to lend the country???
Yes , it’s Petraeus’ nomination , if he wants it . The military is pretty much the only institution now which works and which the great majority of Americans still trust , save debacles like the Ft. hood coverup
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Harding (and his successor, Coolidge) brought the nation out of recession and ushered in the roaring 20s with tax cuts:
Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge significantly cut tax rates in the 1920s, which caused both the national economy and federal revenues to grow. Harding repealed the World War I excess profits tax, dropped the top tax rate on individuals from 73 to 58 percent and set the capital gains tax rate at 12.5 percent. Coolidge further reduced individual tax rates and inheritance taxes. The Harding and Coolidge tax rate cuts caused income tax revenues to rise 61 percent from 1921 to 1929. At the same time, the economy grew by 59 percent. Additionally, the share of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans grew from just over 44 percent in 1921 to over 78 percent by 1928.
Coolidge applied the increased revenue to retiring the national debt.
FRED THOMPSON. I know he was lack luster in the 2008 campaign, but once you get him going he’s an elloquent guy, he knows Washington, but isn’t an insider, and he’s a Reagan Republican.
Much has been said lately as to what the movement of the Tea Party is all about. Questions like: who is the leader, what do they stand for, what political party do they support etc. I am writing this in an attempt to describe the movement as I see it.
As to the question, “Who is the leader?” I would venture to say that there is no clear-cut leader and nor should there be, I find the movement to be a belief in principles and character.
To the question “What do they stand for?” In my opinion the heart and soul of the movement is fiscal responsibility, without this there will be no America to debate social issues with. It was Thomas Jefferson who said “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” We must rein in the need for government to spend; government must be smaller and be prepared to defend its people at all costs. That is what the movement means to me.
“What political party do they support?” I say we are beholden to no party, but only to the candidates that meet our principles of less spending, smaller government and a stronger defense. Yes that means Democrats and Republicans alike. All too often this country has been in a struggle between the left and the right, gay and straight, rich and poor, believer and non-believer and somewhere along the way we have forgotten that the ability to debate those issues in an open and honest forum is one of the basic fundamental principles this country was founded on. John Adams said “But a Constitution of Government, once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever”.
Folks I say to you now that if something is not done about this debt we will have no country to exercise those rights. In this coming election I would ask all Americans to set aside social concerns and focus on the candidates’ commitment to the core principles of this movement. Don’t get caught up in the hype of the color of one’s skin, sexual orientation, religious belief or some other distracter. Look at their character, integrity their belief in this great country and then and only then cast your vote.
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noahp wrote, “Warren Harding “led” us out of the very sharp recession of 1920 by doing nothing… Followed by Coolidge. This was the roaring 20’s with unemployment falling to 1.8 in 1926.”
What he doesn’t note is that agriculture had entered a sustained depression — one that long pre-dated the Great Depression, and that caused enormous misery in rural America, especially in those areas that specialized in commodities for the global market — particularly the South. That’s why the New Deal was successful — it joined conservative white (agrarian) Southerners with liberal northern industrialists and financiers as well as radical workers for a vastly expanded role of the State in the economy.
Your reference to the historical distrust that Americans have for “doctors, lawyers, bankers, preachers and professors: everybody who presumes that their special insider knowledge gives them a special right to decide what’s best for the rest of us” should have specifically identified the politician class as deserving the top prize as arrogant elites rather leaving them as merely a part of the generic rabble of arrogant know-it-alls.
Having attended more than a few tea parties, I know that the hate campaign to brand the movement as “extremist” is a fraud, an effort to marginalize a ground-swell of sincere and otherwise generally apolitical citizens who have reached a shared conclusion that it has become necessary to actually take to the streets simply to have their concerns heard by the most arrogant, corrupt, out-of-touch politicians to populate DC in at least a lifetime.
These days, with instant communication of events and commentary across the country, the politics of personal attack and destruction of individuals and entire groups seem to make rational dialogue near impossible, and the potential for new leaders to emerge is for the same reason much more difficult that in the past. See, e.g., relentless, vicious attacks on Palin and her family, and the same tactics directed at the tea party participants.
Thank God for elections. The next ones can’t come a moment too soon. I believe my pet dog could beat most of these incumbents, and my pet dog has been dead several years.
You received quite an endorsement by Commentary.
A Blog Post I Wish I’d Written
John Steele Gordon – 02.23.2010 – 11:43 AM
The reactions and denials of the DC elites reveal how completely out of touch our “representatives” and “news analysts” are. The more out of touch they are the bigger the tsunami. WATCH OUT!
“The gap in education and skills between the ‘peasants’ and the elites is not as large as it used to be, and so when the ‘peasants’ are unhappy they can move much more quickly than they used to.” Let’s make special note of the role of the Internet in enlightening the “peasants”, as we have fast access to facts and opinions not promoted by the traditional media. When frustrated with the opinions of the elite, people don’t just “turn to guns and religion”; they discover virtual communities of shared beliefs. There’s a technological reason, as well as many political reasons, why this transformation is happening now.
Thats all we need. Another from the military-once industrial but not now complex
Where was the Tea Party in 1999 when Congress passed Gramm-Leach-Bliley and deregulated the banks?
Where was the Tea Party in 2002 When Bush and the Republican congress dropped the pay-go rule to make room the Bush Tax Cut and soaring defecits.
Where was the Tea Party when Bush signed No Child Left Behind into law and put the federal government in charge of schools instead of states and local school districts?
Where was the Tea Party when Bush invaded a country that never attacked us, committing trillions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of lives to fight an unnecessary war?
Face it folks, we didn’t see the Tea Party until an African-American family moved into the White House.
I’m a tea party er and glad to see a revolution. Some are saying Scott Brown might work with democrats as they try to take over your doctor patient relationship. I don’t believe for an instant he would do that. It’s just people in the media trying to out do themselves. Barack is mindlessly set on taking over 1/5 of the US economy, and cap and trade when global warming is something that occurs naturally ever year (It’s called summer).
The Tea Party is here to support and RECALL those representatives that support the present health care plan and cap and trade.
Those folks will leave us early…Why should they stay in office for the rest of the year?
Recalls must start immediately if health care is crammed down our throats.
This meeting tomorrow with the Prez and the Republicans is a trap and a farce.
What’s this I keep hearing about tea partiers being uneducated? Has somebody surveyed them and determined their educational level? Even GOP leaders in unguarded “sympathetic” comments let slip that “although the tea partiers are not very educated they are onto something.” The snobbery among politicians and journalists is incredible.
I’m a tea party sympathizer and I, for one, have an MBA and the only two other tea partiers I know also have college degrees. The tea party at its core is libertarian, anti-tax, anti-statist. Fiscal conservatism happens to be a plank of the GOPs platform, and so we get billed as “conservatives,” but I tell you the social conservatives and anti-immigration folks are just along for the ride – and their ideas are not the engine that powers the tea party movement. So this is not a plebeian, backwards-looking uprising against an educated elite. It is people outside the Washington and liberal social circles realizing that our government is corrupt and ever-encroaching on individual liberties.It has been building for decades and it took a big-government Republican regime followed by an ultra- statist one to bring it to a head.
Good comment by Luke Lea. Taking it one step further, just as the “tidal force” of the Industrial Revolution in GB fractured the US into two increasing distinct and divergent parts, similar tidal forces unleashed by globalization are having similar effects. The “Tea Party” is one symptom. We are not all that far from a second civil war — not further than the US was in 1848 (and on one was expecting one then).
Thank you Dr. Mead for this thoughtful, fair analysis of my tea party movement.
The wackadoos will be present in every political movement, but we tea partiers are defined above all by our rejection of the expanding leviathan, of the Blue Monster, and of the suicidal debt our nation is accruing. While it cannot be denied that this is properly characterized as a populist movement, we are not anti intellectual (as many critics like to say). We are discriminating about the intellectuals we embrace. While we reject Dewey, Alinsky, and the post modernists, we celebrate the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Hayek, Rand, and Friedman. And we would welcome a Walter Russel Mead!
Anyone that’s working against Obama has my support. I don’t really care what elements are at their fringe; show me a movement free of fringe element. Obama is the single greatest danger to this country in 100 years. Even if well meaning, he is arrogant, inexperienced, and incompetent. He is the fault of the great unwashed, the politically handicapped, who elected him based on charisma and looks. People really are stupid, it seems….
Marco Rubio remember that name, because he just may be the one that the Tea Party is looking for
I have looked on the Tea parties and seen nothing but mindless rabble. They know nothing about science or what truly built this nation to endure. They cannot organize. Witness the recent conventions where they turn to the crazies (Beck, Demint) or the truly feeble minded (Palin),
They blame government for THEIR troubles, making them nothing more than helpless whiners. Then they want GOVERNMENT to GIVE them jobs, never seeing the contradiction to their free market rligion. They hate deficits but gladly spent themselves into traction while supporting mindless and endless wars they never demanded be funded.
I dare this writer and his ilk to produce a study of the demographics of the Tea Poopers. You would find the dregs os society. They are impotent natives from a a primitive land. I could care less about what befalls them and fear them not at all.
The little dogs bark but the caravan moves on, as a much wiser Arabs once siad.
Dr. you are on to the thing. Gov employees including teachers at all level are hogs at the trough. They are too many, too lazy, to rich, too retired in short too much. Halve their numbers, halve their pay and halve their retirments and they are STILL too much. Cut spending now. Vouchers, end welfare, close the borders, waterboard terrorists and tell Putin et al to shut up.
And I’m a moderate. MSM can’t figure that twice as many self id’d conservatives means they are left wing nuts.
At the risk of sounding like a communist/socialist–I read this in “Rethinking Marxism” a journal of ecnomics, culture & society–By Graham Cassano “[He] (Marcel Mauss) conceives the social whole as a totality in which individuals are bound together through a web of mutual obligations,–he believes that unregulated capitalism and the “egoism” it produces, has distorted social morality, producing an anomic, sick and decadent social structure. [For Mauss], the key to restoring the health to this structure lies in the development of a moral capitalism, a capitalism that justly compensates workers for their contribution to the whole. Notably, he underscores the function of the state apparatus in producing this redistributive scheme.”
Now, if we can all agree, that this is an accurate asessment of where we are as a political analysis, then can we agree that “the state apparatus” has a critical function to perform in terms of the redistribution of capital (It could take the form of repealing the “Bush Tax Cuts” which distributed the wealth from the “workers” to the wealthy for the last 8 or 9 years). Unfornately, what the average person hears from the MSM soundbites of the “Tea Partiers” is their “irrational screams & screeches” against the President and Government entitlments. The very fact that [they] look to the like of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin for inspiration, makes it very hard to take them serious.
The real movement, of which the Tea Partiers are apart– that must be considered in any political calculation, are the “Independents” who are presently “non-aligned” and out number Democrats and Republicans. What we are talking about here, is who can persuade the great middle, with a broad and bold vision for the remaking and retooling of America.
That post by John Steele Gordon (“A Blog Post I Wish I’d Written”) can be found at http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/gordon/243841 … it’s worth a look.
In response to John Freeland, It may not have been called a Tea Party, but the end result was the same: Bush and the Republicans were booted out of power as a result of the deficits and war. And please don’t try to project your own racism on the rest of us. We oppose Obama not because he is Black, but because he is Red.
The American people have never been Governed by an Elite in the White House and Congress that has so much contempt for them. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the most of the Elite left truly think average working Americans are too stupid to be trusted with freedom, democracy, and keeping their own money. They are working first on getting control of most of the money. Then, when we’re all dependent on the Goverment our freedom and democracy will be next. We have one chance to add balance to our Government in Nov. After that we may not have time to recover!!!
GOD ARE YOU A JERK, IGUESS WERE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE THE COUNTRY BACK FROM JERKS LIKE YOU. WHAT SPECIAL INTEREST DO YOU FALL UNDER. 8 YEARS OF BUSH AND THE REPUBLICANS . NOW THIS PBRAIN AND HIS MARXISTS. WE WILL TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK AND WE DONT WANT TO GO BACK TO OZZIE AND HARRIET. WE WANT TO GO FORWARD. BUT NOT WITH THIS SPENDING.LIKE I SAID YOUR A JERK
“Face it folks, we didn’t see the Tea Party until an African-American family moved into the White House.” – John Freeland
Hey John Freeland – F you, you ignoramus! Correlation does not prove causation. The Tea Party movement was born when Bush, Paulson, Geithner, Bernanke & Obama started using extra-constitutional & extra-legal (or unconstitutional & illegal) means to bail out Wall Street – and even worse, foreign investors like Deutsche Bank & Soc Gen. That’s when people like Rick Santelli lost it. By buying $1.25 trillion of Fannie/Freddie paper, Ben Bernanke has contravened the explicit laws that govern the Fed. But no one cares. We changed from the rule of law to the rule of men (and an ad hoc ends-justifies-the-means approach to governance). For all the flaws of the GW BUsh era, at least the errors were made democratically – including the authorization to invade Iraq and the Medicare drug benefit. The Tea Party Movement did not spring up then because we had met the enemy & he was us (or our fellow voters). Lately we’ve had Bernanke & Geithner acting as though they are utterly above he law. They should both have been arrested, but were, instead, re-nominated by Obama.
A significant minority of Tea Party people voted for Obama – or at least didn’t vote for McCain. Prominent Tea Party promotrs like Karl Denninger voted FOR Obama http://market-ticker.denninger.net/ McCain had halted his campaign to rush back to DC to personally push the mother-of-all-bailouts (TARP). A significant minority of people who voted for Obama did so because they were repulsed by Bush’s spendthrift ways, thought Obama couldn’t possibly be any worse (depsite his voting for TARP) and hoped he might be like Clinton, who at least ended welfare as a perpetual federal entitlement. Obama even named Paul Volcker to be a prominent advisor. Where’s Volcker now? Nowhere to be seen. Instead of getting a fiscal moderate voters got someone whose spending spree makes GWB look like a piker.
The independent voters (and even GOP voters) who elected Obama have changed their minds. And when he’s thrown out on his butt in 2012, it’ll be despite the shrill brayings of morons like you who will fail to convince 2008 Obama voters that voting against him in 2012 will prove them to be racists.
REPLY TO: John Freeland – February 23, 2010 @ 7:17 pm
Can you not recognize scholarly discourse, or do you have a reading disability?
America is now in the 21st year of the Ivy League Captivity of the presidency. Is the middle class better off today than in 1988? Are the Ivy League boys and their fellow travelers better off than in 1988?
The veneer between order and chaos is paper thin. One day the Ceaucescus were absolute rulers and the next…. I don’t predict another Romania but I suspect it will get mighty uncomfortable for the nomenclatura when the middle class figures out they don’t give a fig for them or democracy much less the Constitution.
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Well, this is a well written article which seems to have a difficult time making clear what point it is making. It is long and it doesn’t clearly shows its purpose. Have you heard of, tell what you are going to tell, then tell them, then tell them what you told? Anyway, on the matter of elites, they often miss a very important trait: common sense. Common sense is what keeps people from spending what they don’t have. Last year, for example, the stimulus package (aka recovery act), thought that promoting big government was a way out of the troubles of the economy. It did not work. On the progressive side they point out one or two items that did help job growth, but for the most part it was a pork barrel liberal package. And we know how well it worked, don’t we? And now we hear often times those who were for it (by the way, including governor Crist of Florida, who still want to justify his support) say how wonderful it was! But from the white house web site, and from a number of reports, the stimulus package was a liberal set of programs, which, always fail anyway.
To Freeland, Your insinuation is obvious and shallow. Ask yourself, if Colin Powell had run and won a few years earlier would a Tea Party have occurred? I’m not a Tea Partier, but responses like yours are likely to only increase their numbers. This about policies, not race. The growth of government at all levels is unsustainable.
If anyone is interested in reading a brilliant book about the absorption of the “Boston Tea Party” by a myriad of political organizations over the years, I heartily recommend Alfred F. Young’s book The Shoemaker and the Tea Party.
This modern-day “Tea Party” movement isn’t doing anything different than “Tea Party” movements of the past. What they have behind them, however, is the heft of major media organizations like FOX News; the power of the Internet to disseminate their message; and the incredible ability to, as you suggest, simplify their message to appeal to working-class people who feel angry and helpless.
The irony, of course, is that the original “Boston Tea Party” was an act that flipped social norms on their heads and that disrupted order — it was mayhem and anarchy, and those people who were involved in it did not, for many years, even want to be identified. Now, groups like “Tea Party Patriots” claim that “that there exists an inherent benefit to our country when private property and prosperity are secured by natural law.” My understanding is that this was exactly the opposite of what those men who dressed as Indians and threw tea into Boston Harbor in 1773 believed themselves.
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Here are my two cents:
Not only is the Tea Party movement trying to shut out birthers, they are working to muzzle social conservatives. The idea is, that it will broaden the appeal of the Tea Party by making it look more “sane” or legitimate.
Here’s why: the Socialists who are running the Democratic Party are fighting a war against our country on two fronts: 1) undermine the economy, 2) undermine our society’s moral framework. For the Tea Party movement to ignore social conservatism, is as much as to say, “We’ll only fight you in Western Europe. Take the Soviet Union and Asia, we don’t care about them anyway.”
What I forsee the Tea Party doing in the name of expediency will ultimately doom them to short-term notoriety.
Mead: After reading your opinion piece on the Tea Parties I was sure that I had found a fabulous political comedian with dry acerbic wit.
Unfortunately I have since disappointedly realized that I wasn’t even half right.
It is truly frightening to discover that there are live; (mouth) breathing beings existing that are as totally disconnected from reality as you appear to be.
I do want to congratulate you however because I never expected to find in my life-time anyone who could actually attest to veracity of Spiro Agnew’s evaluation of intellectuals such as yourself. Wow! Amazing!
I recommend that you take a few minutes to read the Constitution of the United States. It is a fascinating document that explicitly defines the legal authorities and responsibilities of each branch of the federal government.
It will doubtlessly confuse you to realize that so very little that has been done by the federal government over the past 60 years (and virtually nothing done over the past 9 years) actually complies with the strictly limited powers delegated to the federal government by the Sovereign Citizens via the COTUS.
Hopefully such an experience will enable you to actually understand what the Tea Party Movement is all about. Rather than a call for a return to the Stone Age that you suggested, it is a call for the restoration of Constitutional government in America.
Let me close with another piece of good news for you. As you may deduce from your reading of the COTUS, there are really only two types of people in America today: those who love and honor the COTUS; and those who need to move elsewhere.
As bright as you appear to consider yourself, you should have realized from reading the COTUS that we elect a federal government solely to meet it’s Constitutionally enumerated responsibilities; and to ‘preserve, protect, and defend the COTUS: only this and nothing more. Nowhere will you find any authority to ‘fundamentally transform the USA’ (which ironically actually appears more like treason more than some laudable pursuit).
Fortunately there are more than 200 countries in the world where you and your ilk are free to live un-encumbered by the COTUS: it’s just that the US isn’t one of them.
If the Tea Party Movement is successful in restoring a Constitutional America, you will feel so much better living elsewhere. Just remember, Delta is ready when you are.
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Ask.com recently discussed this topic. You focus on another aspect. I share your perspective on this. Terrific point.
I’ve examined a lot of spectacular details at http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/02/21/tea-party-off-the-rails-or-straight-to-the-top. Worth social bookmarking for the purpose of revisiting. I wonder the level of effort you place to build this type of stellar explanatory web-site. Carry on with the good work!
And maybe not. Martha is pushing ObamaCare and defending sweetheart deals to union members at such a pace, she may end up sodisgraced and disliked that the only place shell feel safe is the National Witless Protection Program.