Any organization that believes in itself wants members. The Tea Party is the biggest identifiable group of politically inclined people in the country right now, other than existing political parties. Why not attempt to attract them in order to grow the organization?
Not all Tea Parties are planning to be political in the sense of running candidates and perhaps not all Tea Party members are planning to sign-up with a political party. So, the application of these remarks depends on the reader. Come to think of it, this whole thing applies to current Independence Party members and candidates, too.
It’s nice to be courted but here’s the thing. We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. Of course, Benjamin Franklin’s reference was to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Now, it works in reference to those of us who continue to see the clear wisdom of our Founders and their Constitutional gift.
Philosophically, there tends to be much in common between the Republican and Independence Parties. That is why it makes sense to heed Franklin’s concern and work to build a single juggernaut instead of splitting our efforts.
The Independence Party says Republicans and Democrats don’t get along and their presence will bring the elephant and the donkey together. Baloney. If successful Independence Party candidates believe in the Founders’ vision, they will be as much at odds with today’s Democrats as Republicans are. (I don’t see the lack of bipartisanship being due to a lack of desire to work together; I see it as irreconcilable differences in philosophy.)
Barkley takes pride in his taking 15% of the Minnesota U.S. Senate vote in 2008. His story is exactly what will happen in most of the races in which Independence Party (or conservative independent) candidates run: Democratic candidates will win. Period.
Republicans in Washington were rudderless and “Democratic lite” during the Bush administration. I get that. I was disgusted by it. But Compassionate Conservatism is over. In many places, RINOs are on the run. If more like-minded people join ranks within the Republican Party, it becomes more of what the Founders might think it should be. It’s already happening from the grassroots of existing members.
The First Congressional District’s current definition of an ideal candidate includes commitments to the Constitution, equal opportunity, fiscal conservatism, free markets, limited government, national security, personal responsibility, property rights, and the rule of law. There are no social issues as part of the definition. In the face of an evermore left-leaning Democratic Party, it is time for Republican candidates to adhere to fundamentals. These statements are not made to woo Tea Party members — they’re just statements of fact based on past efforts.
So, Tea Partiers, go ahead, help repeat Barkley’s story in even more elections all over the land of the free and the home of the brave. Take pride in making life easier for the Democratic Party’s march to kill the American Experiment. Or not.