Monday, September 21, 2009

The Plight of the Protesters

The Tea Party and its many allies are leaving their mark on the political landscape. Approximately two million subdued the nation's Capitol on the weekend of September 11th and tens of thousands have attended events nationwide. Their list of grievances are long, ranging from excessive spending, pork barrel programs, high and counterproductive taxes, bureaucracy, abandonment of common sense when it comes to the environment, and more. Underneath all of these issues, there is the fundamental belief that it is time for the government to do what it is suppose to do. Nothing more or less.

I believe that this group, however, is more sophisticated than those activists of 1994 that led to the US House and Senate being ruled by Republicans for the first time in decades. Millions of Americans were mad at a liberal President (Bill Clinton) and an irresponsible Congress, and found the answer in electing a large number of Republicans. Many of those Republicans went back to work on a slower road to serfdom than their colleagues across the aisle. One in which there was more "thought" in the process, a frequency of detours, but definitely on course towards a command economy.

In 2009 it appears that voters have truly had "enough" and their anger transcends parties. After years of being abused by Democrats and neglected by Republicans, those who consider themselves friends of liberty have grown tired of the "lesser of two evils" and have concluded they are merely the "evil of two lessers." This leads to a serious problem in 2010 because of the temptation to do nothing, since there seems to be very few candidates who are serious about their Constitutional mandate or equally impotent to vote for pure principle candidates outside of the poor choices provided by the "Republicrats." The argument is simple: voting for someone other than the Republicans or Democrats is an investment into a new, viable, third option. Maybe, but our entire political system makes it very difficult for viable third parties. Furthermore, how much time do we have to spare in light of the current regime and members of Congress? The options for those who believe in limited government, free enterprise, a strong defense, and traditional values are fairly limited:

  • Not participate and attempt to blame the left for the direction this country is going. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" quote by Edmund Burke rings true here. Criticism alone is not an option.

  • Vote for the most conservative among the two main parties. Again, this tends to feel futile since the vast majorities of these "lesser of two evils" fail to fulfill their constitutional obligations. There has to be a better way.

  • I think we should aggressively support the best (AKA constitutionally sound) candidates in primaries and if they fail to get the nomination than support candidates outside of our district monetarily and/or voluntarily if they are close enough geographically.

This approach would have a profound impact on the best candidates, would attract better candidates to run, would provide desperately needed discipline to the GOP, and would have more immediate gain then the approaches above. Unfortunately, in the short run, we may be a political minority, but we will be a minority that matters and one much more politically pure. Instead of trying to make a third party that hasn't work, constitutionally minded people could profoundly impact the GOP and make it relevant again to the majority of voters by simply forcing candidates to obey the constitution they swear to defend. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2010, but those who are concerned about our future do not have the luxury of doing anything that amounts to nothing.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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