The media is finally recognizing the successes of the Tea Parties. Sen. Michael Bennet’s epic ousting by the Utah GOP last week followed by last Tuesday’s landslide victories by Dr. Rand Paul and Pat Toomey in their respective primaries sent a clear message to everyone in DC: citizens are getting tired of establishment politicians’ frivolous and unconstitutional spending.
The winners of these primaries are living evidence that a real political revolution is brewing in America.
One of my goals as a young author has been to give hope to the older generations that our country isn’t going to become the next fallen Rome. As I’ve talked to concerned Americans across the country, I’ve seen rampant doubt that the US will ever be able to fix its debt problem.
It’s tough to blame them when the projected interest on the debt is predicted to reach $800 Billion by the end of the decade. Without entitlement reform, taxes will have to double in the next 50 years to pay for these programs. The picture is dim.
As a youth, I have to be an optimist; I’m stuck here for the next 70 years. I’ve tried to encourage others by telling them to have faith in our political system that spending habits can change if we elect the right people.
The primaries in the last few weeks have put substance behind my optimism.
I’ve always known that real reform would have to come from one of the two major parties. Everyone knows the GOP is supposed to be the party of fiscal conservatism, but Bush’s eight-year spending spree ruined any credibility the Republicans had.
The Republican Party is starting to change its ways and crawl back into legitimacy, but it isn’t Michael Steele that’s leading the charge. It is the primary voters overthrowing the established pro-spending politicians.
This new wave of candidates all have similarly effective messages centered around spending and the Constitution. If there is one thing almost all Americans can identify with, it’s our love of freedom and the founding concepts our forefathers established in 1776 and 1787.
Finally, we are seeing Republicans running as conservatives. Conservatives are, by definition, the guardians of the establishment. In most cases, this means they want to maintain the established status quo; modern conservatives want quite the opposite.
The conservative movement and these Tea Party candidates are fighting for a different kind of establishment. They are trying to resurrect our original establishment: the Constitution.
The Constitution is the original mandate for small government. In Article 1, Section 8, the founders laid out a set of limited enumerated powers for the federal government. To make sure they were explicitly clear, they granted all other powers to the states and to the people in the 10th Amendment.
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, put it like this: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
Ironically, Madison also warned against exactly what has happened with runaway spending. "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
The Tea Party believes in this federalism, as do the successful candidates from the movement. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonald said in his State of the Union response that, "[a]s our Founders clearly stated, and we Governors understand, government closest to the people governs best.” Rand Paul and most of the other GOP primary winners are on the same page. It’s about time.
The power of the November election could be huge. Unlike the normal majority-changing elections, it’s not the moderates who will give the GOP a majority in the House — possibly even a majority in the Senate. It’s the conservatives with attractive principles who will be the fresh faces in Washington ready to deliver tangible change.
If, and hopefully when, conservatives hold majorities, it will be up to us to govern. While the Democrats have had a hard time shoving European-style socialism down our throats, I doubt it will be too hard to convince the American people to return to the Constitution.