Tea Party Adieu … Jefferson Sought Reasoned Argument And So Do I


by Bill Golden
JeffersonConservative.com aka Bill4DogCatcher.com

I wish the Tea Party well. Have met many fine people, many smart and concerned people. But it is time to say adieu!

America needs more than concern. America needs leadership. The Tea Party has become a form of anarchy that is undermining our Republic.

It has become anarchic in that many of its members feel free to attack almost every aspect of our republican democracy without also feeling compelled to state what policies they would pursue. Reasoned debate within Tea Party online discussion areas quickly degenerates into red, white and blue flag waving without regard for fact or real debate. This is not me.

The three core concerns of the Tea Party (Patriots) are my concerns:

  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Constitutionally Limited Government
  • Free Markets

As a Jeffersonian I will continue to embrace these issues.

If Jefferson were alive today I do believe that he would have become active in the Tea Party movement. And I believe that Jefferson would have also moved on to seek other ways and groups to pursue fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and debate about the best way to establish and to sustain those elusive free markets.

We need to debate and to seek solutions together as Americans. Jefferson and Madison and the many other founders of our nation were absolutely brillant in the path that they created for us to follow as a nation going forward.

Our forebears also realized that times change. Circumstances are never the same. ‘We the people’ may not agree with the prior generation of ‘we the people’.

Thomas Jefferson constantly was concerned that government was becoming too powerful, yet he also looked to the people to decide for themselves — realizing that the choices of his fellow Americans may not be his choices.

    Jefferson, 1788: “We are now vibrating between too much and too little government, and the pendulum will rest finally in the middle.” — written to Samuel Smith, 1788.

    Jefferson, 1792: “Every people may establish what form of government they please, and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential.” — Anas, 1792

    Jefferson, 1815: “Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and I am sure…we both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves.” — written to P. H. Wendover, 1815.

    Jefferson, 1817: “Ignorance and bigotry, like other insanities, are incapable of self-government.” — written to Lafayette, 1817.

    Jefferson, 1820: “We exist, and are quoted, as standing proofs that a government, so modeled as to rest continually on the will of the whole society, is a practicable government.” — written to Richard Rush, 1820.

    Jefferson, 1824: “I have learned to be less confident in the conclusions of human reason, and give more credit to the honesty of contrary opinions.” — written to Edward Livingston, 1824.

Again, I have met many fine and justly concerned Americans in the Tea Party movement. I am moving on because largely the Tea Party has not embraced that great Jeffersonian conversation and debate about where America could and should be going. The Tea Party has become largely a loosely organized anarchy against government in general without ideas or proposed policies, and most certainly of all there is very little potential for honest debate under the Tea Party banner except privately among individual members.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Tea Party Adieu … Jefferson Sought Reasoned Argument And So Do I

  1. Anything specific that makes you believe the movement has become a call for anarchy?

  2. Excellent essay, Bill. I am impressed with your analysis of the situation with the Tea Party Concept. While many of us embrace those same concepts, the Tea Party seems to want to be exclusionary. They don’t own patriotism, better government, and low taxes. Many would have us believe otherwise.

    I see Tea Party, for the most part, as just pissed off Republicans.

  3. I fear reasoned debate disappeared behind the anonymity of the Internet.

    Then again, I could just be overly pessimistic today.

    Oh, crap… I know what my problem is… no Merlot or coffee yet!

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