Let the tea partiers explain themselves - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Let the tea partiers explain themselves

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Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:21 pm

A somewhat condensed restatement of tea party principles taken from teaparty.net follows:

Tea party members share similar core principles supporting the United States Constitution as the Founders intended, such as:

1) Limited federal government

2) Returning political power to the states and the people

3) Individual freedoms

4) Personal responsibility

5) Free markets

6) Balanced budgets

Let's take a look at each.

1 & 2) Limited federal government and returning political power to the states and the people:

These principles imply that the federal government has become more powerful than the Founding Fathers intended and to reverse this situation, power must be taken from it and given back to the states and private citizens (does this include corporations?). There can be no dispute that the central federal government has more power today than ever before. But has this power been taken away from the individual states or ceded by them through action of their elected representatives? Where so, how can it be ceded back?

Perhaps the best most recent example of centralization of power started with the 1960's civil rights movement. State-controlled militias were nationalized in order to force Alabama Gov. George Wallace to admit blacks to college. Federal housing legislation was enacted to compel landlords to contract equally with citizens of all races. Lunch counters and city bus services were desegregated such that all citizens had equal rights and protections. A voting rights act stopped pole taxation which was demonstratively enacted to deprive the minority voter of the opportunity to exercise that right.

What was wrong with the South (and in some less well publicized instances, the North, too) such that federal action was needed? Didn't the 14th Amendment clear up the ambiguities in equal rights treatment left by the Founders in that 4/5ths language still in the Constitution? And haven't there been other examples unrelated to equal rights which have motivated our representative federal Congress to enact laws to create solutions?

Let the tea partiers explain themselves!

3) Individual freedoms:

This principle implies that citizens have less individual freedom today that in 1790. Where in 1790 we all had a right to bear arms so that well ordered militia might be organized, today we could be physically disabled from participating in a militia (and none exist) yet still have a right to bear side arms for personal defense. Where in 1790 women could not vote, today they can. Just what individual freedoms have been lost? Perhaps the right to pollute our air and water, and to burry toxic wastes in Love Canal or scatter toxic oil on the streets of Times Beach?

Let the tea partiers explain themselves!

4) Personal responsibility:

Implied in each and every constitutional right is a personal responsibility to exercise that right responsibly. Is carrying a 30-round magazine in a Glock in a Tucson Safeway parking lot responsible? Shouldn't that right be responsibly monitored?

Let the tea partiers explain themselves!

5) Free markets:

Should Wall Street investment banks and insurance companies be allowed to freely market near Ponzy like assets? Don't we need some oversight and limitations put in place in what is otherwise a free market? There is a huge difference between free and laissez faire markets.

Let the tea partiers explain themselves!

6) Balanced budgets:

Did the U.S. maintain a balanced budget during the Great Depression and into World War II, during Vietnam, during the Iraq/Afghanistan war? Or must we force ourselves to sacrifice economically and contemporaneously when we declare war on others? When was the last time the U.S. sold war bonds to its sacrificing citizenry? Hey, this might be a great idea to balance a budget!

But let's still have the tea partiers explain themselves!

Dale Whiting is a resident of Chandler

 

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