Thomas Sowell is without a doubt one of the most highly respected voices advocating Constitutional conservative principles. One of his most recent articles is a sort of an “after action report” for the conservative grassroots movement known as the Tea Party. He clearly applauds the efforts to highlight the faults and failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) i.e. Obamacare, which truly seem prescient at this point.
But Sowell does admonish the Tea Party Congressional members and supporters to learn from one mistake: the tactical error of inviting the government shutdown.
I would also like to make some recommendations for the Tea Party. First, the Tea Party needs its leadership to coalesce in order to have a more unified strategic vision. Then the Party must have Red Cell unit to war-game the Left’s response and have a proactive communications program and marketing plan that highlights the fundamental principles of the TEA Party in contrast to the corruption of Washington DC. The goal of the Left, and indeed for some within the GOP, is to define the Tea Party as a gang of incompetent amateurs who do not have the capacity to govern or comprehend policy — this is rich, coming from certain current holders of leadership positions in DC.
The Tea Party has to focus on solutions and stressing what they are for, not droning on about what they are against. Be strategic and play chess, not reactively playing checkers.
Another point of order that Sowell makes is whether the Tea Party will stay focused on its original goals or let itself become preoccupied with fighting other Republicans. I like the military metaphor: stay away from the circular firing squad.There are many who are considering running primary contests against each other within the GOP. Mind you, the mainstream media will never highlight when the Far Left targets and takes out conservative Blue Dog Democrats — former Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) comes to mind. Sowell uses the example of the 1860 presidential election where abolitionists ran a single-issue candidate who almost tipped the election to pro-slavery candidates. Lincoln won that election with just 40 percent of the popular vote. Sowell counsels, “Whatever your principles, you have to weigh the human consequences from whatever you do in the name of those principles.”
If America is to survive the disastrous presidency of Barack Obama and the onslaught of progressive socialism, it will require a unified loyal opposition — not a fragmented internal food fight. The Republican party cannot win by being a lesser version of liberals, there has to be a clear delineation in principles.
Those principles are rooted in our Constitution and promote the individual, not the collective. They encourage economic growth and opportunity, not dependence and welfare nanny-state expansion. Our principles inspire entrepreneurship and the free market, not government sponsored crony capitalism. We advocate equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes by way of social egalitarianism. We support traditional values, which strengthen our society, not abandon our faith heritage and redefine foundational values. And finally, we defend our nation’s honor and safety by peace through strength, not acquiescence and weakness by leading from behind.
The GOP was established to secure the promise of Jefferson: individual liberty and freedom for all. Then, it was against the physical chains of slavery, today it is against the metaphysical chains of economic servitude.