Some of the winning primary Tea Party candidates have advocated eliminating the federal departments of Education and Energy. Libertarians like Rand Paul would go further and eliminate Social Security and MediCare and all foreign aid, overseas military expenses, etc.
Was it Paul Revere who said, “Every man for himself”? No I didn’t think so.
The new Democratic strategy for the November 2010 elections is to portray the GOP as a Tea Party party, a party of extreme ideas that are anathema to America‘s ideals. Adolph HItler blamed Germany’s Depression economy on the Jewish people. Making them a scapegoat helped him become their “leader”, and that led to sane, educated German citizens abetting and ignoring The Holocaust.
Today in America, there is a growing syllogism that blames Muslims for 9-11. But what is really happening is the nomination of a scapegoat for our Repression economy. When the economy was booming in 2007, no one would have worried about a Mosque in lower Manhattan. Obama, Congress and the debt are the other nominees.
Most of the Tea Party members have little understanding of the fiscal debt – causes, cures and implications for the future. That said there are sound arguments for scaling back the size of the Executive Branch. President Clinton (under a program led by Al Gore) reduced the Executive Branch by a wider percentage than any president since Hoover. George W. Bush increased the Executive Branch by a wider percentage than any president since LBJ. And Obama is expanding it further.
Some programs, like Education, belong at the State and Local level simply to reduce the flaws of bureaucracy – wasteful spending and inertia. The primary role of the Federal government in the areas of Health, Education and Welfare is to ensure that states provide an acceptable level of support, and to ensure that monopolies do not exist. In other words, the role of the Federal Government is to enforce the US Constitution and provide a buffer for disasters both man-made and natural. The devil is in the details. Few people worry about the fiscal inefficiencies of DHS – the Department of Homeland Security.
Many of the policies advocated by Tea Party candidates are sound. Unfortunately the public leaders of the movement are often duplicitous and disingenuous. Palin, Limbaugh and Beck get rich by exploiting the frustrations of a country mired in deep unemployment. When people lose their jobs, their homes, and their dreams they need someone to blame. Palin, Limbaugh and Beck are master soundbite showmen who monetize this need with media advertising, book sales and $100,000 speaking engagements. None of these three are qualified to lead Lichtenstein, much less the world’s largest superpower and economy. Our world is complex. The problems we face are complex. Sound bites won’t restore America’s competitiveness in the 21st century. A billion people in China and India not only want our jobs, they are building the education and infrastructure to take them.
Ignorance is the scapegoat we need to rally against.