Monday, October 4, 2010

The Tea Party won't save us

To many, the Tea Party looks like the ideal weapon to extinguish the ruinous policies of the establishment.  But as Lew Rockwell explains, this won't happen.  First, many Tea Party members hold inconsistent views on liberty. 
Its activists tend to be good on specific economic issues like taxes, spending, stimulus, and healthcare. They worry about government intervention in these areas and can talk a good game.

But just as with old-time conservatives, there are many issues on which the Tea Party tends toward inconsistency. The military and the issue of war is a major one. Many have bought into the line that the greatest threat this country faces domestically is the influx of adherents of Islam; in international politics, they tend to favor belligerence toward any regime that is not a captive of US political control.

On immigration, the Tea Party ethos favors national IDs and draconian impositions on businesses rather than market solutions like cutting welfare. On social and cultural issues, they can be as confused as the Christian Right, believing that it is the job of government to right all wrongs and punish sin.
Then there is the problem of what happens to defenders of liberty when they win an election:
They are leaned on by their new colleagues, the party elites, related financial interests, the press, and the entire system of which they are now part. Are they going to make themselves enemies of that system, or are they going to work within the system in order to achieve reform, and not just for one term but more terms down the line? Doing a good job means being part of the structure; doing a bad job means being an enemy of the very system that they now serve.

Which choice do they make? The same choice that everyone else in office makes (Ron Paul being the lone exception in all of human history). It is for this reason that newly seated "revolutionary" politicians will betray those who put them in power. It happens like clockwork, same as day turns to night.
Rockwell concludes: "We can state with confidence, all else being equal, that even the best electoral outcome will not lead to actual cuts in the power of government over our lives." 

No comments: