The next missions...if the Tea Party will accept them
By Frank Salvato
The overwhelming, message-sending, victory that Republican candidates scored in the 2010 mid-term elections was nothing less than historic. With six pick-ups in the US Senate, 61 pick-ups in the US House and 7 pick-ups in governorships – not to mention myriad pick-ups in state, county and municipal elections across the country – a sea change took place unlike any seen since 1938 when the Democrats lost 72 seats.
To be certain – and without any doubt – the motivating factor, the catalyst for this march away from Progressivism was the advent of the Tea Party Movement. Loyal to the founding tenets of limited government, limited taxation, a strong national defense, sovereignty, self-reliance, fiscal responsibility and a jealous adherence to the US Constitution and the whole of the Charters of Freedom (which, by the way constituted the original platform of the Republican Party circa 1856), the Tea Party exploded onto the scene empowering a new breed of citizen legislator, citizen legislators who were not only ushered into office almost everywhere they existed on a ballot, but who have shaken the very foundation of the good-old-boy, inside-the-beltway status quo in both political parties.
Many who have been burned by the promises of political charlatans in the past remain, even if just slightly so, skeptical as to whether these new citizen legislators, these true Republicans, will survive the onslaught of pressure from the establishment politicians, the Washington insiders, the power brokers and the lobbyists, to remain devout to their campaign promises. As I sniff the political air surrounding this election I hold a great deal of promise that they will.
With leadership like Michele Bachmann and Jim DeMint (who, by the way, would make a sensational and, I suppose it, unbeatable presidential ticket), not to mention John Boehner (who gets little credit for holding the Republican House members in a cohesive stance since the reign of Barack Obama began) and the "Young Guns" in the House, we are witnessing the genesis of an ideological revolution centered on and devoted to Americanism.
Perfect examples of this new devotion to American exceptionalism come in the form of a statement and an initiative.
First, US Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is quoted as saying on CNN's State of the Union, "If ...we don't do what we say, I think the Republican Party is dead." He is also reported as saying that if the GOP returns to the inside the beltway, status quo mentality he would quit the party.
And then there is Michele Bachmann, who is piloting an initiative for freshman House members – and she says all House members is preferred – that would literally create an on-going class focusing on constitutional literacy, the philosophies of Americanism and the tenets of Capitalism.
Both Ms. Bachmann's determination to preserve the integrity of US constitutional history and Mr. DeMint's uncompromising adherence to principle will not only serve as an example for the freshmen House members, they will both provide support for the newly elected citizen legislators when the pressure to acquiesce to the status quo becomes unbearable and provide a measure by which they can recognize the political opportunists lurking the hallways of Congress.
So, with regard to the elected members of government, the Tea Party has done very well by the country; by the Founders and Framers. Certainly, there is much more work to be done, but the die is cast and the model is a potently successful one.
So, besides the continuation of farming candidates true to the Tea Party mold; true to the original platform of the Republican Party, what else can the Tea Party Movement accomplish? Well, for starters, two things... and both are going to be infinitely harder than winning elections.
First, the Tea Party Movement must take on the Progressive cancer that exists inside the mainstream media. Put succinctly, the Tea Party Movement must affect a change targeting a return to true and honest journalism at not only each of the mainstream media outlets – which, in and of itself, will be a monumental task – but at every journalism school in the country.
The Tea Party Movement, in its figurehead-less format, so reminiscent of the US Revolutionary War militias who defeated the most powerful military on the planet at the time, must craft a plan to force the owners of the mainstream media outlets to purge any and all political agenda from their reporting of the news. Partisan commentary and analysis is one thing, but the intentional misreporting and/or convenient omission of the facts of any given story, the overt championing of an ideology and the blatant partisanship in reporting the news cannot continue and should not be tolerated. Whether by the power of the purse – they do exist solely on the revenue generated by commercials – or by lifting tactics from the Progressives' playbook, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, pressure must be applied to expunge the cancer from out media.
As an aside, there will be those who falsely claim that any attempt to influence the mainstream media is to tread perilously close to denying the mainstream media operatives their First Amendment free speech rights. Nothing could be further from the truth. The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads,
No entity or sanction of government is – or would be – stopping, prohibiting or "abridging" the free speech rights of any individual at any news organization. This would be citizens stopping just before crafting litigation based on the Lemon Law and applying it to the product being sold by the mainstream media as "news."
Second, and this is the hardest task of all, the Tea Party Movement must tactfully engage our fellow citizens in an effort to enlighten and educate on the superior benefits of limited government, limited taxation, a strong national defense, sovereignty, self-reliance, fiscal responsibility and a jealous adherence to the US Constitution and the whole of the Charters of Freedom. The Tea Party Movement – of which I count myself a member from its very inception – must pick-up the slack where a corrupted public education system has failed.
It must fall upon each and every member of the Tea Party Movement to talk with their family and friends about American exceptionalism, not in a holier-than-thou manner, not in a lecture, but in a common sense, warm and open approach; a non-confrontational approach that leaves great latitude for those being addressed to save face as they gather knowledge. This can only happen if we, ourselves, are honest enough to admit that we must brush up – and in some cases actually set ourselves to learning thoroughly – about our US History, the US Constitution and the whole of the Charters of Freedom. Once we thoroughly understand the philosophies of Americanism, then – and only then – will we be able to craft a line of understanding unique to each individual that we engage.
While this third task for the Tea Party Movement may be the hardest to execute, it is the most potent and the one easiest to achieve if executed properly.
In a pre mid-term election poll, Rasmussen reported that 52% of likely voters polled think Tea Partiers understand the issues facing America better than Congress does and 47% surveyed say their own views are closer to the average Tea Party member than to the average member of Congress.
So, if approximately 50% of the American citizenry votes – at 310 million people and change that stands at 155 million – and of that number 47% say their own views are closer to the average Tea Party member than to the average member of Congress – that amounts to approximately 73 million people likeminded to the Tea Party Movement – should each Tea Party Movement member seek out and engage just one person disenfranchised by the lie of Progressivism, inviting them with facts and accurate history producing an understanding of American exceptionalism and constitutional literacy, our nation would be well on its way to healing from the ideological cancer provided by the American Fifth Column.
So, one down, two to go. My fellow Tea Party Movement members, are you ready to take it to the next level?
I knew you would be.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.