Read Paul's bio and previous columns
April 27, 2009
Freedom: What the Tea
Parties Are All About
Most Americans understand the significance of the Tea Party movement. In
fact, recent polling shows that the majority of Americans view the tea
parties favorably. Yet there remain certain segments of America – such
as CNN and MSNBC anchors whose desperate minds can only rationalize the
events in sexual terms as they fight for a distant second in the cable
news race – that don’t seem to comprehend why over 500,000 people took
to the streets on April 15.
Hence this public service column: In an insufficient few hundred words,
I will explain to my liberal friends what the tea parties represent, and
why we support them.
God (or, if you prefer, Barack Obama’s retroactive influence) created
free men. After thousands of years of experimenting with their societies
throughout the world, they finally managed to get it right in a land
called America. Triggered in great part by the Boston Tea Party, they
overthrew a government that dominated their lives, deciding to form just
enough of a government to enforce contracts, build roads, resist crime
and fight off foreign threats. They were free men who delegated a small
amount of their power to government in order to protect the freedom they
valued to the death.
But somewhere along the way, the freest country in the world
began to falter. Instead of enforcing contracts, the government started
writing them. Instead of building roads, it began building gargantuan
social experiments that transferred wealth and created dependency. And
instead of resisting crime, it created corruption among politicians.
In the process, the government has forcefully taken away more
power, wealth and freedom from Americans who are now seeing the America
of 1776 slipping away in front of their eyes.
Thus, because the principles on which the country was founded
were intended to be permanent, tea partying Americans do not approve of
paying a third of their income to the government. They do not approve of
politicians chasing popularity by forcefully taking fruits of labor from
the few and giving it to the numerous. They do not approve of a
government that tells them what they can eat, whether they can smoke or
with whom they can make contracts. And they do not approve of a
government that is putting them trillions of dollars in debt simply
because its politicians know they'll be gone when it’s time to settle
There are around 190 countries in the world where such big
government madness has been running rampant. But this is exactly why
America is a nation of immigrants. With the exception of slaves and
their progeny, virtually every single American came or is a descendant
of someone who came to the United States precisely to escape worse
conditions in these other countries.
And having been born in a country where freedom was a theory,
I too came to America for liberty. So if America becomes like the
countries from which we escaped in the first place, where are we
supposed to go next?
The socialists can always find a home in Europe, the
theocrats in the Middle East. The monarchists and communists still have
reliable options throughout the world. Big government is plentifully
available in every flavor. But where would a hard-working,
reward-seeking, free-willed American go if America discouraged hard
work, eliminated rewards and eradicated choices? There is no other
country that embraces such principles, and it is why America has been,
by just about every measure, the greatest country in the world.
People from around the globe have coalesced in America not
because she grants them freedom – but because she does not infringe on
the freedom given to every person by God and nature. Yet now that this
liberty is being infringed upon by the same government designed to
protect it, we cannot acquiesce through silence.
Men and women of all ages, many of whom had never
participated in a protest before, made creative signs, took time off of
work and school and joined tea parties that simply asked the government
to stay out of their lives and pocketbooks. They didn’t demand political
favors, and didn’t blindly embrace deceitful politicians. (It was seldom
reported that several big-government Republican politicians were
fervently booed purely for being present at the parties). And though
hundreds of thousands attended nearly 1,000 protests, there were zero
serious disruptions – almost a statistical impossibility considering the
sheer number of people involved.
And this is what the tea parties are all about. We want to
return government to a minimal structure that merely protects our
inherent freedoms from encroachment. We want to rediscover the same free
market and capitalism that has made America the most prosperous, the
most innovative and the most dependable land of opportunity in the
entire history of the globe.
And in an era where our principles are considered potentially
terroristic by the same government that we created based on these
principles, our protests are as indispensable as ever – and our quietude
as destructive as ever.
© 2009 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback
about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
This is Column # PI163.
permission to publish here.