The TEA Party: a view from the inside

Christopher Mars

For months now, a large portion of the national media has been attacking the Taxed Enough Already party and making all sorts of accusations ranging from allegations of mental instability to racism. Bryant’s profanity-ridden editorial of Nov. 4, which slandered the tea party and made accusations of bigotry, was no exception. After reading his comments, I’m fairly certain that he’s never actually had a conversation with a member of the party. I’d like to take this opportunity to stand up and address anyone who would like to learn the truth about the tea party from an actual member.

To start, I’d like to address the prolific allegations of “(disliking) Obama because he is black.” It is true that the vast majority of tea party members do not like President Obama’s policies, but that has nothing to do with his race. Since when is having differing political views from those of the president considered racist? I’m sure there are many African Americans who did not agree with President Bush. Does that make them racists?

Absolutely not!

Contrary to popular belief, the tea party actually started as a grass roots uprising against both parties. It is our belief that government has grown too big and too expensive. This has been the result of years of political apathy from a silent majority. Too many people just sit on the sidelines and think that whatever is going to happen is going to happen whether they vote or not. Over the last four decades, only 54 percent of Americans have voted in presidential elections. This number is even lower for midterms. If there is one goal of the tea party, it is to promote political activism among all Americans.

In these few days since the election, some have wondered what the tea party’s agenda is. I’ll try to explain it in a nutshell.

Fiscal and Constitutional responsibility: Deficit spending is not sustainable. What happens eventually if you buy more than you can afford? Washington has been on a spending spree for years. This reckless spending needs to stop immediately. We cannot afford to pass this much debt to future generations. Furthermore, government needs to be kept within the bounds set by the Constitution. Any overreaching on the part of our government needs to be stopped.

Many tea party members oppose the current administration because they do not want America to become a socialist nation. I lived in Spain, which is socialist, for two years. I have seen firsthand what happens when a government taxes and regulates too much. Employers don’t want to hire employees because the red tape and taxes are just too much, and if the employee isn’t so good at his or her job, the process of firing him or her is even more strenuous. Government administered health care is great if you don’t mind waiting in line, receiving less than mediocre treatment and paying astronomically higher taxes in the process.

Gerald Ford said, “Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

What happened in this last election was the voice of the American people telling the government to change course. Bryant would have you believe that Americans casting their votes was a “joke.” I beg to differ and even go so far as to invite each and every one of you to take the time next election and actually research the issues and candidates for yourself, and then go and exercise your right as an American citizen to make your voice heard.

Christopher Mars is a graduate business administration major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].