Why the Tea Party is essential to reform in 2014 and beyond

America's greatest strength has always been its values. (Photo by U.S. Capitol)

HONOLULU, March 31, 2014 – A growing sense of helplessness and frustration among voters may tip the balance of power in November midterms towards Republicans. The last six weeks of fundraising emails from liberal organizations are filled with the spirit of defeat, with seeimingly self-prophetic subject lines like “humiliating loss,” “shocking defeat,” “our nightmare,” or “embarrassed.”

Before conservatives start mounting brooms to their pickup trucks to celebrate clean sweeping Democrats from office, they should carefully consider the dangerous and enlarged powers that a Republican majority would inherit.

Low interest rates at the Federal Reserve combined with massive government spending have changed national attitudes towards the role of government and given incredible power to special interest groups who thrive on easy money. History shows the temptation to “use the System” rather than abolishing the infrastructure of self-serving policies is often too much for those in power to resist.

As John Adams wrote, “When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards … The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less stead, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.”

One of the key advantages of the Tea Party over other U.S. political movements is that a large number of its supporters believe social corruption is a key element in American decline. It is impossible to maintain a republic – that is, a nation of laws – without moral order. If a nation has no moral foundation, all of the institutions built on that social structure, however worthy, will collapse and shatter.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1978 warned Harvard graduates that one of the West’s key weaknesses was its declining morality, which led to mercenary attitudes towards money over social responsibility and courage. Solzenitsyn blasted American moral decline, saying “Very well-known representatives of your society, such as George Kennan, say: ‘We cannot apply moral criteria to politics.’ Thus we mix good and evil, right and wrong, and make space for the triumph of absolute evil in the world. On the contrary, only moral criteria can help the West against Communism’s well-planned world strategy. There are no other criteria. Practical or occasional considerations of any kind will inevitably be swept away by strategy. After a certain level of the problem has been reached, legalistic thinking induces paralysis; it prevents one from seeing the size and meaning of events.”

More than anything else, evil is winning in the world today, and that cannot be vanquished or uprooted without righteous might. Violent crime, terrorism at home and abroad, and social upheaval are all symptoms of evil unchecked. The Tea Party’s greatest strength is its overwhelming desire to see America restored to sensibility, justice and accountability. These are unpopular values to have in politics, let alone in a corrupted society, but they are tough medicine necessary to ensure the survival of America’s place as a leader among nations. What is needed is not just “a different party” in office, but a different mindset towards America’s past, present and future.

One should not hastily assume that the victory of Republicans in November will mean reform if there is no moral pressure to demand rollback of the last two decades of corruption, greed, entitlement and narcissism in Washington. Like J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional King Isildur who defeated evil only to keep the ring of power, voters should suspect similar cowardice from newly elected members of Congress in November if the Tea Party does not rise up.

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Danny de Gracia
Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs standing committees as well as a former minority caucus research analyst at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, he has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. He has two doctorates in theology and ministry, a postgraduate in strategic marketing, a master's in political science and a bachelor's in political science and public administration. Writing on comparative politics, modern culture, fashion and more, Danny is also the author of the new novel "American Kiss" available now from Amazon.com.
  • RGZ_50

    Danny – good points, well stated. My own personal approach to ANY politician who’s name appears on my ballot is … guilty until proven innocent. The voter can’t assume their job is finished after they’ve cast their vote. The fact is that is when their job of holding their feet to the fire is just beginning.

    • DannydeGracia2

      Thanks for reading! Agreed!

  • For What Its Worth

    I can almost guarantee that should there be a “clean sweep” in November, there will be no substantive changes to policies or party direction because the argument by the Establishment will then become, we have to wait until we win it all in 2016 in order to effect “change” of direction our country is on. Meanwhile government continues its unbridled growth, crony-capitalism jumps for joy and the American citizen continues to lose it freedoms and wealth! Gramsci and Allinsky will still be happy!

    This thought that Republicans taking control of the Senate will have any substantial bearing on changing things in DC is nothing but happy hogwash because you know as well as I, there will never be a “cultural” change within the party unless it is forced by the grassroots. The same grassroots that the RINOs are at war with right now! Don’t drink the kool-aid that is going to be offered after such a victory but rather double down on forcing these people to do the right things for a change! Stick to the principles that the party once stood for (I.e., small government, balanced budgets, strong “self” defense and personal responsibility).

    These values are what will be needed, not more of the same “happy hogwash” that we are getting from Washington today (from both parties). For what the article states, the Republicans will only react to intense pressure to change and that pressure must embrace “regime” change by purging itself of the moderate, go-along to get-along, moribund leadership and replacing it with a fresh principled and visionary group of new leaders. If it doesn’t happen soon, the Republican party will have the same relevance that the Whig party had just before it folded its tent! For what its worth!

    • DannydeGracia2

      Thanks for reading!