By Tim Collins
The Tea Party started as a breathe of fresh air in a stale political environment. The thought of everyday Americans having the ability to run for public office was quite enticing. Traditionally, only those who had large sums of money could mount an effective campaign and win election. The political landscape is full of self funded third party candidates who were destroyed by the political establishment. The Tea Party was seeking to change that.
The Tea Party stood for smaller federal government, the return to the Constitution, personal responsibility, individual freedoms, and returning political power back to the states and the people.
It had both fervent support and equally passionate opponents. The Tea Party stated it’s claim as a grass roots movement, but critics point out that the top donors are all heads of corporations looking to relax current regulations. A recent trip to a Tea Party website had a clock counting the time since America had the highest corporate tax in the world. Certainly not something that should be a top priority for families struggling just to feed their families.
As we reported before, all six Tea Party members of the House voted in favor of CISPA, certainly not limited federal government. We spoke with a former Tea Party supporter who voiced her concerns about the movement.
“I got involved almost on day one. I loved the idea of term limits for Congress, restoring the Constitution, smaller government. It was a great idea. In the past year, it just feels like it’s another part of the Republican party. It’s like, they just lost their way.”
Her concerns have been echoed by a growing number of Tea Party members who feel the movement has begun to stray from its original purpose.
The truth is that the Tea Party candidates in Washington have been bought out by lobbyists and big corporate donors. The realities of just how expensive a re-election campaign can be has been made known to them. These Tea Party candidates have grown accustom to the high pay, perks, and privileges of being an elected official. The calls for term limits have faded away and have been replaced with calls to protect big corporations from high taxes, regulations, and the idea that the rich must be protected from tax increases.
The Tea Party, once thought to have the potential to become a powerful third party, has become another leg of the establishment GOP. Many Tea Partiers seem oblivious to the fact that corporations continue to ship jobs overseas. The ones who make it an issue, blame taxes and regulations for the outsourcing of American jobs. An interesting reason behind this view is the fact that Tea Parties in most major cities are primarily funded by local business owners. If these groups spoke out against unfair corporate greed, they would stand to lose major funding.
One shocking aspect of this current election season is the silence of the Tea Party, they have yet to fully endorse Mitt Romney and they did little to rally behind any candidate. Some have questioned whether or not the movement is splintering or just unsure this election season. Even more surprising was the fact that they did not get behind Ron Paul, a candidate who lived up to their cries of limited federal government, personal responsibility, and restoring the Constitution. Yet, few Tea Party organizations have supported him.
The Tea Party could simply be experiencing growing pains as they are a new movement. In reality the signs point to an assimilated Tea Party co-opted by the establishment Republican party. Those who have been elected to office have forgotten their promises and have joined the insiders in Washington.
- Tea Party Organizations in Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean Counties along with Bayshore Tea Party Endorse Ron Paul for President | cnbnews.net (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Borg Tea Party Voted to Kill Fourth (revolutioninmedia.com)
- Gingrich Concedes Tea Party Does Not Have As Much Political Power As It Did In 2010 (mediaite.com)
- Is Ted Cruz Undoing The Tea Party? (masonconservative.typepad.com)