Monday, August 30, 2010

Where I parted ways with FreedomWorks

Let me start off by saying that I still frequent the Freedom Works website.  I recently read an interview on there that made me rethink my views on the organization and the Tea Party movement.

In the interview, some higher up from the organization (I forget who) kept mentioning that the organization is currently trying to "take back the Republican Party."  Well, here's a few issues I have with that.  The first is that the organization has consistently said that it does not take stances on issues like gay marriage, abortion, foreign wars, etc. because it is focused on fiscal and financial freedom.  Fair enough.  But by not taking a stand on these organizations, and supporting a party which largely does, Freedom Works implicitly supports the Republican status quo stance on these issues, which offends my sensibilities.

Second of all, before overtly coming out as a a movement to "take back the Republican Party," the Tea Party movement and Freedom Works were a sign of hope for real, systemic change.  By supporting any candidate, Republican, Libertarian, Democratic or otherwise, who agreed with them on the issues, the Tea Party movement and Freedom Works represented a real threat to the Republican Party as it was.

In an odd way, openly trying to take over a political party strengthens that party, even the parts of it we don't like.  By encouraging thousands of Tea Party and Freedom Works activists to become active in the Republican Party, the organization is implicitly supporting the Republican Party.  Yes, they may put a lot of fiscally conservative Republicans on ballots and even in office.  But when one of the RINOs they are trying to stop gets nominated, they're also encouraging people to vote Republican, and that RINO will get elected.

What candidates, organizations, and movements trying to change one of the two major parties need to do is show their willingness to give up on that party.  Freedom Works should be encouraging voters to vote Democratic, or especially Libertarian, IAP, or Constitutional, in races where the Republican candidate is not up to par.  By showing that voters are willing to leave a party they don't think represents them, they put real pressure on the party to change.  By trying to change a political party from within, we just show the parties that they need to have barely enough candidates, barely far enough to one side of a couple of issues, to keep Tea Party activists voting.

So instead of trying to take back the Republican Party, show them who's in charge around here.  If the candidates don't meet your standards, look at third party candidates.  Look at independents.  Maybe even take a glance at the Democrat running.  Show the Republican Party that being "better than the Democrats" isn't enough.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you get a chance to read some of my blog comments. I think I understand the Tea Party. They are, with the help of Fox News, shifting blame for the economic meltdown to the borrowers and the unemployed. Santelli ripped the borrowers in his rant. Stossel ripped the unemployed just tonight on O'Reilly. The problem is, the problem was the huge ponzi housing loan scam created by the banks. This was planned, and the banksters should be in jail, not given more freedom. I could go on. But read the blog, if you can. And while you are at it why can't I go under name and url on this blog? Since I can't do that here is the blog: