In an ongoing effort to be more informed and a tad less reactionary to those points of view that I may not necessarily be simpatico with, I spent some today time trying to better understand the workings of America’s Tea Party Patriots. After a few hours of dissecting their website and reading through the posts of their blogging minions, I came to the conclusion that, with the exception of some additional descriptive language and a few new labels for your foes, the rhetoric of the republic has not changed all that much in the past two hundred and thirty-four years—on either side of our political quarrels.
Quite frankly, it is hard to argue with those expressed core values of the party that call for fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets. I haven’t met an American yet, no matter what their political leanings were, that hasn’t demanded the same from Washington if it was in line with their own particular issues and self interests.
But then there are those days like today, when millions of gallons of Gulf crude are about to devastate habitat, destroy life and disrupt the economic livelihood of thousands of people—that one realizes that a little more regulation and intrusion on the free market is a good thing. Had the Federal government required a remote control acoustic shutoff switch on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, as is the case in other countries, this environmental catastrophe may have been averted. And although the well-intentioned corporate citizens at British Petroleum will supposedly be picking up the tab for this environmental nightmare, I suspect that American taxpayers and consumers will pay dearly for this disaster—effectively driving another stake through the heart of fiscal responsibility.
In order for the Tea Party to realize its dream of a “government-free laissez faire libertarian world,” human beings would have to prove themselves capable of responsible moral and just self governance. During my American journey, I have experienced that possibility only once.
While researching a recent article about The Inn at Millrace Pond, which is located in the eighteenth century Moravian village of Hope, New Jersey; I spent some time delving into the history and philosophy of the people who settled there. Moravians guided by the principles of charity for all people, fellowship and understanding, built successful independent self-sustaining communities. Both their individual and communal lives were governed by a simple creed: “In essentials, unity; in non-essential, liberty; and in all things love.”
Like those that served the cause of 1776, they understood that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was about We the People—and not me the people!
Posted by: Chris Poh