The rightful masters of both Congress and the courts

Eight years ago, the Tea Party movement began, supposedly sparked by a ranting CNBC reporter.  Unlike the protests that occurred this month around the inauguration of Donald Trump, those rallies began more than a month into President Obama’s term.  It took until September before the first large rally occupied Washington, D.C.

Times have changed though, and power has shifted.  For many, hopes are flying high.  For others, fear grips them.  I have a hard time understanding those who are frozen by fear of the Trump Presidency, but I do not doubt that their fear is real.  The marches against Trump were planned well before he held any power, yet organizers were able to mobilize millions of protesters across the country.  As a veteran of the Tea Party movement, I say “kudos” to them.  They are doing what Americans should do when they peaceably to assemble, and  petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I think that one thing that has created fear on the left is the decimation that they have suffered at the polls over the past eight years.  They thought that they would be the rightful masters of Congress and the courts indefinitely.  They are not.  The incredible shift from an electorate that elected the most leftist President in our history, to one who promises to undo that President’s legacy, is something for the history books.  The left does have reason to fear a Trump Presidency, not because he is an evil man, but because after 8 years of perverting the Constitution, things are going to change.

I have my doubts about President Trump’s concern for the Constitution.  He never mentions it.  Some of his ideas seem contrary to the limits of the Constitution.  Until the power of the Presidency is rightfully diminished, we’ll have to cling to the hope that he is serious about shrinking the power of Washington, D.C.  He’s gone outside the box in his cabinet appointments.  The coastal elites are apoplectic about some of these appointments, but their fossilized idea of government has been rejected by the American voters.  This is the biggest hope for the Trump Presidency, that it is a transformational era, where new ideas are allowed to flourish, while the stagnant failed model of the New Deal, Progressivism, and “wars” on everything are once and for all declared dead.

We will forever have leaders who seek to pervert the Constitution.  Regardless of who is living in the White House, vigilance is a virtue always required of the patriot.  The task of the Tea Party is no lighter than when Barack Obama was President.  When we started this movement, I said that this is a decades long task.  Our problem is not with the leaders who pervert the Constitution, but with the voters who elect them.  These are the minds that we must win over.  This is your task.  Instead of badmouthing the left, we should talk about the power of the model that our founders gifted to us.  By creating more lovers of the Constitution, we can ensure that the road to real liberty is always open.

In Liberty,

Ken Mandile

Senior Fellow

Worcester Tea Party

It is less about Resolutions, and more about being Resolute in 2017

Welcome to Harvard everybody!!After the election, I spoke with a person from the other side of the aisle who asked what I would be doing now that the Tea Party’s mission was over.  He was under the impression, probably gathered from fake news stories, that the Tea Party’s mission was just to oppose Barack Obama.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  

The Tea Party Movement is a grass roots response to the corruption, and incompetence, we have seen at every level of government.  The Worcester Tea Party is an incorporated non-profit dedicated to education focusing on economics and politics.  As an educational organization, those that accepted a leadership roles are given the title of Deans.  The treasurer of our organization is our Bursar.  Previous leaders of our organization that have retired from most active duties are Senior Fellows.  The guidance and counsel of our Senior Fellows is very important to our organization.  I have the honor of being the President of the Worcester Tea Party.  The President is the spokes person and evangelist for the group and I help out in any other way I can.

Our Deans are self starters with a commitment to our core principles of Individual Liberty, Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility.  Deans pursue different projects with the understanding that the goals of our organization are fixed, but the methods that we attempt will change over time.  We have Deans focused on Twitter account, a Facebook page and we are pod-casting with Spreaker.  We also have a YouTube channel a Pinterest account and a WordPress website which are doing well but could be improved if volunteers were committed to them.  There are no limits to the opportunities for volunteers.  

The true strength of the Worcester Tea Party is our members.  It is our members that hold the signs at protests.  It is our members that ask questions of scurrilous politicians.  Our members provide t the donations that pay all the Worcester Tea Partys bills.  2016 has been a year where we have endured painful losses and enjoyed surprising victories.  Through 2016 many of our members have stepped into new roles and have advanced our organization.  It is our members that do all the hard work of citizenship that our group is famous for.  

With a new president in Washington, change is inevitable but our core mission will not change.  The core mission of the Worcester Tea Party is to educate voters about the importance of sound fiscal policy and limited government. This mission has not changed with the changing of an Administration in Washington.  Our faith in the principles of our nation’s founding and our commitment to the truth will not change.  2017 will surely present the Worcester Tea Party with new opportunities as well as new challenges.  I am confident that we will meet these challenges and take advantage of these opportunities as we’ve done for all the years that the Worcester Tea Party has existed in the beating red heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  May 2017 bless us with prosperity and peace and I hope to see you at our next Free Education Event

In Liberty,
Matt O’Brien
President
Worcester Tea Party

 

When bad men combine, the good must associate

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I have to admit, as much as I dislike Senator Elizabeth Warren’s politics, I enjoyed her grilling of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.  It appears that the bank put extreme pressure on employees to use questionable policies to meet sales goals.  First, over 5,000 lower level employees were fired, as if the buck stopped with them.   Then, one of the major players got booted, but was given $100 million on the way out the door.  All John Stumpf got was a grilling by Senator Warren.

There was something distasteful about the Senator’s berating of Mr. Stumpf though. She is just one of a long line of lawmakers who have used their committee seats as sanctimonious soapboxes. It wasn’t until I read a commentary from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) that I realized how hypocritical Senator Warren’s moral outrage was.  (Note, Senator Warren was a TARP administrator when Mr. Stumpf was given a $25 million bonus after the 2008 financial meltdown.)

“Though Warren may “speak truth to power” to Wall Street, she often turns mute on some of the worst abuses of government.  Like most statists, she sees the speck in her brother’s private eye while failing to see the beam in her own public eye.  A whole manner of sins, it seems, are forgiven once one is “serving the public” in government.”

Senator Warren has no monopoly on hypocrisy in Washington though.  From far right to far left, those who have the inclination toward power are, for the most part, always willing to sacrifice consistency, logic, ethics, and fairness to kick an opponent or to protect their power.  It is inherent in the nature of politics.

Supporters of Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz have expressed their dismay at the apparent compromise of their candidates’ principles.  Congressmen regularly trade favors with their adversaries in hopes of claiming a political win.  Campaign promises are quickly forgotten on the second Wednesday of November.  Can you name a single national level politician that hasn’t lied to us?

Are these people somehow less principled than the average citizen?  Have they lost their ethical compass?  Are they the evil power mongers that we (myself included) make them out to be?  Some (many!) are, but most are just ordinary people with extraordinary egos.  Let’s not lose sight of that fact by putting them on undeserved pedestals.

At the same time, realize that someone needs to do the dirty work of politics.  Our friends and family who join campaigns of imperfect politicians are doing important work.  Some of us may find it distasteful, but without allies working on the inside, there is little hope of winning important ideological battles later.

Edmund Burke said “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” more than 200 years ago, yet the nature of bad men and the need for the good to work together remains unchanged.

Fight for liberty in whatever way moves you, and have respect for those allies who choose different weapons and tactics.  We’ll never agree on what tactics are best, but we must learn to work together for common goals.  Let us always remember who the real enemies of liberty are.

In Liberty,
Ken Mandile

The most useful of modern discoveries

When you think about the events in human history that have transformed the very fabric of society and have spurred on the evolutionary, technological progression of the world we tend to think in terms of tangible items like vaccines, electricity, automobiles, telephones, etc. Asked to think deeper we might mention nuclear power, landing on the moon or cracking the human genome. But if we go deeper, think not of something tangible in the immediate, nor a monumental historical event we find that the most fundamental, life altering (for the world), all encompassing discovery and utilitarian event in modern human history was the discovery and development of oil.
Mechanization made the work day easier, shorter, cooler, warmer, safer. Travel became quicker, safer. Food became less contaminated and could be shipped across Continents. Today, a wounded soldier in Afghanistan (however seriously) can be airlifted and in ICU within a few hours. Each, and every step of the way, because of the development of oil.
Third World, abjectly impoverished nations are the worst hit whenever a climate related disaster takes place. Western economies can handle such things because of our use of oil. It is not the use oil (causing Climate Change) that creates death and destruction in such areas it is the lack there of. A drought in Ethiopia kills millions. A drought in California means grapes cost a dollar more. A flood in Sir-Lanka creates a refugee crisis. A flood in Ohio and Serve-Pro arrives.. Like it never even happened.
The benefit of oil is there for us all to see. The risk is also there for us all to see. But the former outweighs the latter and we can mitigate those risks. Conversely, abandoning our use of oil is unproven, problematic, un-foreseen, un-knowable and fraught with risk. Risks we neither know how to mitigate if we can at all.
Oil is in every facet of our lives so much so we cannot fathom it, yet enjoy it’s abundance. Oil removed from every facet of our lives is abundantly un-fathomable.
In Liberty,
Christopher Maider
M&P Conservative Media Network CEO
Worcester Tea Party Dean of Journalism

America has a 240th Birthday and we get the gifts

The Constitution of the United States of America, the longest lasting written constitution in world history – is a document written over 200 years ago, during the time of many competing philosophies of which Rational (based on facts or reason) and Empirical (by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic) are but two. Well-reasoned and intelligently thought out, it is a document for the ages with goals that are fairly simple and straightforward.
Row of USA Flags 2 (2)
The time of Rationalism (also known as ‘The Enlightenment’) gave us scientific and political revolutions and changed the world, hurtling us into Modernism; it was during this time that our Constitution was born. Based on what was happening in many nations in Europe, our Founders were determined to create a better government, designed to “secure the ‘blessings of Liberty’ to ourselves and our Posterity.” In the Declaration of Independence, the Founders stated:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Based on the failures of government by Oligarchy, Monarchy, or other Authoritarian Rulers at that time, and to prevent a Tyrannical Government, the Founding Fathers, fearing tyranny in every form, created in the Constitution a 3-pronged approach to keeping Freedom and Liberty: the Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and Federalism so that Tyranny could not be easily established.

Our Constitution is a Gift from those who came before and is our only protection from those who wish to impose their Tyranny upon us; we must work to make sure it is properly upheld from within, or face the dire consequences. If you are not already involved in ensuring Liberty within the United States, please join with us in doing so and to protect the government ‘of the people.’

In Liberty,
Marla Stone
Dean of Letters
Worcester Tea Party
Moses-Our Original Founding Father

Moses-Our Original Founding Father

This year, the Jewish Passover falls at the end of April (4/20-4/30).  Passover traditionally begins with a Seder, a ritual meal full of symbolism and the retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This is the story told in The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible (what many Christians refer to as the Old Testament).

mosesSince the original story of Exodus, the same story has been lived out many times, by many people, in many lands. People seeking freedom from tyranny have suffered hardship and death over and over again, even to this day. Just like the Israelites of 3,000 years ago, refugees from the war scarred 20th century sought liberation. Today, we see the suffering of Iraqis and Syrians fleeing ISIS and Assad. We see refugees from war and terrorism seeking a better future for their families. Three thousand years after Moses, the thirst for freedom and safety remains unquenched

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams proposed that Moses be on the Seal of the United States.  They considered him to be our real Founding Father. A quote from Moses appears on the Liberty Bell. The Pilgrims considered their story to be similar to the story in Exodus. Harriet Tubman, who just this month was chosen to appear on the $20 bill, was called “The Moses of Her People”.

Many of the “plagues” of today are easy to show on the evening news. It’s very graphic and heart breaking to see women and children driven from their homes. There are other plagues which are not so easy to visualize. For these plagues, we don’t see blood being spilled or bombs dropping or children being beheaded. They are no less of a threat to freedom. These plagues are propagated in legislatures and voting booths; in campaign headquarters and courtrooms; in newsrooms and college lecture halls. These are the places from which come the threats to freedom in much of the world.

Perhaps we could wish for boils and frogs and locusts to descend on Washington, D.C. to convince our modern day tyrants to set us free, but I’m afraid that part of the Exodus story won’t be repeated. Moses isn’t coming to help us this time. There is no Moses running for President this year, although Bernie Sanders may have been around for the Exodus.

The Jewish tradition of retelling the story of their liberation from slavery gives them an opportunity to give thanks for their liberation and to remember their suffering. We all should remember the bitterness of oppression and seek to eliminate it. It may take another 3,000 years, but it is our responsibility to carry on the legacy of those who worked for liberty before us and for those who will follow us.

Jews conclude the Seder with a hope for their Messiah “L’shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim hab’nuyah!”- “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem!” It’s in recognition of an imperfect world, but a world in which next year may bring them closer to spiritual perfection. We do live in an imperfect world, yet this is the best time in the history of mankind to be alive. With your help, I know that the future will be better and freer. We don’t need Moses to continue the struggle for freedom that has been fought through the millennia. That struggle has been left to us.

 

Principles

Principles

“Independence is my happiness,
and I view things as they are,
without regard to place or person;
my country is the world,
and my religion is to do good.”

Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

 

When Thomas Paine wrote these words in 1791, he was writing in opposition to Edmund Burke’s defense of the aristocracy and the corrupt system that they had built for their own benefit.  In a previous 100 years, the taxes imposed by the English government had increased almost tenfold (from 1.8 million pounds to 17 million pounds). By comparison, the budget of the U.S. government has increased to 14 times the U.S. budget of 100 years ago (after adjusting for inflation).  Much like U.S. citizens of the 21st century, English citizens were oppressed by a government gone wild.  The aristocrats were shielded from the taxes and regulations that were causing much grief among the lower classes.

Paine pointed out how useless the aristocrats were:

“The aristocracy are not the farmers who work the land, and raise the produce, but are the mere consumers of the rent; and when compared with the active world are the drones, a seraglio of males, who neither collect the honey nor form the hive, but exist only for lazy enjoyment.”

 Paine believed that the national character of the English had changed over the previous century and that this was why they put up with the abuse:

“It would have been impossible to have dragooned the former English, into the excess of taxation that now exists; and when it is considered that the pay of the army, the navy, and of all the revenue officers, is the same now as it was about a hundred years ago, when the taxes were not above a tenth part of what they are at present, it appears impossible to account for the enormous increase and expenditure on any other ground, than extravagance, corruption, and intrigue.”
Like the English of the 18th century, has the national character of Americans changed such that we continue to believe the lies put forward by Progressives for the past 100 years? Dismally, it almost looks so.
Many freedom loving Americans are confounded by the 2016 Presidential campaign.  If the polls are to be believed, we are headed for one of most bizarre choices in the history of Presidential politics.  How did we get here?  It seems like far too many Americans have lost sight of some of the most fundamental aspects of liberty.  We are being driven by personalities and policies, but lack the rudder of principle.
Thomas Paine was a man of principle, who had suffered much by the end of his life because he refused to compromise those principles.
“To me, who have not only refused offers, because I thought them improper, but have declined rewards I might with reputation have accepted, it is no wonder that meanness and imposition appear disgustful.”   
Some of the choices offered to us for President this year seem to be lacking principle altogether.  Can we survive?  Yes!  What is important is that the citizenry adhere to principles based on limited government, a free market, and individual rights.  These are the principles that the Tea Party movement sprouted from.
Do not worship those who fail to acknowledge the most basic principles of liberty, of the free market, and of our natural rights.  What is the most important characteristic that you are looking for in our next President?  Is it only that they beat the other team?  Is it that they are the least offensive?  Or, is it that your choice has the resolve to defend liberty?
As an organization, the Worcester Tea Party does not endorse candidates, but we do ask that you consider their belief in our principles.  Are they for limited government, Constitutional rights, and a free market?  It’s a tall order, but you should not settle for less.
Central Truths

Central Truths

      “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”    Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Anyone that studies politics and history understands that mankind has fought culture wars since the dawn of civilization.  Culture wars are fierce contests of ideas.  Religion vs. secularism. Socialism vs. capitalism.  Democracy vs. tyranny.  Judicial activism vs. restraint.   There will be no end to the culture wars.  And this is how it should be.

In its most basic form, the culture war is a battle between those who seek to protect and retain what came before and those would discard it and force something that is promised to be better.  It’s not a battle solely for political power. It is a battle to control the direction of society.  Will society be allowed to adapt to new ideas on its own or will ideas be forced onto society for its own good.

Perhaps Emerson described this never ending war best in his 1841 lecture at the Masonic Temple in Boston:

“The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man’s bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities.”

 20th century conservative political philosopher Russell Kirk explained it this way:

 “The conservative thinks of political policies as intended to preserve order, justice, and freedom. The ideologue, on the contrary, thinks of politics as a revolutionary instrument for transforming society and even transforming human nature. In his march toward Utopia, the ideologue is merciless.” 

So much of liberal ideology espouses ideas that are contrary to human nature.  Their economic proposals are based on emotions of envy that deny property rights.  They fail to recognize the inherent need for people to defend their own property and lives.  They try to silence differing ideas and crush religious freedom in the name of their own religion of secularism.

This battle between conservatives and progressives is healthy and necessary for our society to advance.  When one side gets an artificial advantage, and seeks to silence the other, much damage will ensue.  Today the forces flanking from the “left” have weapons forged in academia, in bureaucrats’ offices, and in courtrooms that have given them a huge advantage.  It’s created a dangerous imbalance.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan said correctly that “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society”, but 21st century politics is crushing the normal adaptive nature of culture.  Too many have fallen for demagogues who proclaim that politicians will determine the success of our society.

These are worrisome times in the culture war. It may seem that there is little room for our values.  History has taught us that new is not synonymous with better.  We can be secure in the knowledge that in the contest of ideas the truth shall be the ultimate victor.  That security does not allow us to passively standby.  It requires us to commit to the truth and join the contest.  Each of us has an important contribution to make in this contest.  Vote, Debate, and Participate, until we win!

 

Banish the Darkness

Banish the Darkness

December is a month where much of humanity defies the frigid darkness by celebrating what may be our most joyous holiday.  Christians and non-Christians alike have taken to the spirit of Christmas to celebrate in their own ways.  Words of peace and joy and good cheer are shared with all.  This year though, we enter the season with a darkness spreading like the Shadow of Mordor across the free world.
Years of a foreign policy based on hubris and naive talk of containment have put the civilized world at risk in ways not seen since the Cold War.  This combination of neglect and malfeasance have given the enemies of modernity and freedom the time, money, and brazen confidence to wreak death and fear across the globe.  The world has realized that the once steady leadership of the United States is in shambles and they doubt our will and ability to confront evil.  This holiday season, instead of wishes of Peace on Earth, the talk is of war.

A greater danger comes not from the terrible but unlikely act of a terrorist, but from more certain threat of a government which would respond to every crisis by eroding our freedoms.  Those who are familiar with Robert Higgs’ book, Crisis and Leviathan, know that governments use fear and war to implement new laws and restrictions.

Often, the proposals are sold as only temporary, as the French are doing now with their three month state of emergency.  Personal computers in France are now subject to administrative searches without a warrant.  The internet is being censored.  Other searches are now done at the whim of the police.  If history is our guide, many of these policies will continue when the emergency ends.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Either we believe these words or we do not.  If we meekly retreat and hide, then these are not real principles, but just pretty words to be discarded out of convenience.  It would give the terrorists a veto on our rights.  Fear should never be a justification for the abandonment of our rights.

In times like this, we need our reason, and our principles, and our faith.  We need to prudently respond to security threats.  As we respond, we need to be cautious about overreacting and calls to hand over our rights in the name of security.  We must destroy evil with resolve, and we must also defend our liberty with that same resolve.

In this season nearly one third of the population of the Earth will celebrate the Light of a Savior.  In this season the Jewish faith celebrates the light of the Maccabees’ oil.  Many other faiths choose this time to celebrate the promise that the sun would bring warmth and light.  We must not let the shadow of terror eclipse this season of light and joy, and we should pray that our country finds the courage to allow our light to banish that darkness.
Earth Day for Conservatives

Earth Day for Conservatives

 

“Society…is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; 

a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection.

 As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, 

it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, 

but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”

Edmund Burke, Reflections,

 

 

 

     Edmund Burke lived just prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution, but the words of the founder of conservatism remain as true as the day he wrote them.  Conservatives see themselves as part of nature.  We value the natural and man made treasures handed down by our ancestors.   We see ourselves as caretakers of the order of society and nature that have been carefully developed over time.  Included in this respect for the existing order is respect for the Earth.     Despite the common wisdom, there is no divergence between true environmentalism and classical conservatism.  The divergence is really between progressive environmentalism, which is really a disguise for Marxist economics, and real action to protect the environment.  So much of what we call environmentalism is really hatred for human advancement and an unthinking acceptance of nonsensical myth. 

     Today’s society has been fooled into accepting feel good-knee jerk efforts to “save the planet”.  Simple things like paper bags vs. plastic bags vs. reusable cloth bags go unquestioned.  The idea that not printing out an email will somehow save the planet is accepted as common sense, when it really has zero effect on the environment.  Recycling is accepted as good citizenship, without a thought to the wasted time, energy, and resources needed to reprocess our trash.  Renewable energy is given a pass for the multiple ways that it endangers the planet.  Electric cars (“coal burning cars”) give owners the sense that they have a pious superiority over the gun toting pick up truck driver.  It just isn’t politically correct to question the science behind the manufacturing process of green cars, solar panels, and windmills.

     Go through any northern liberal urban area and you will see how big government has scared our planet.  Trash filled wastelands, tarnished by unsightly public housing and government offices, weed filled highways and neglected infrastructure make huge areas of our country ugly and unnatural.    Look at almost any mega-environmental disaster, from the destruction of the Aral Sea by the Soviets, the Three Gorges Dam by the Chinese, the multitude of military wastelands generated by the U.S. government, the waste of water resources in the U.S. West, and we see that big government is the biggest threat to our planet. 

    The growth of capitalism,  social order brought about by unleashing individual liberty, and the squashing of monarchy, oligarchy, and despotism have allowed humankind to advance in ways never seen in the many thousands of years of organized society.  Fossil fuel freed us from the pollution of dung and wood fuel.  It gave us the ability to travel and relocate and communicate in ways that were unimagined 200 years ago.  Yes, we had a period of waste and uncaring pollution, but now, the free market is what is making our air and water cleaner.   Don’t let the progressives fool you into thinking otherwise.

     Conservatives should support thoughtful conservation of resources.  We are but caretakers of the planet.  The gift of wondrous natural beauty and treasure was passed onto us by those who came before.   We have a duty to leave our planet cleaner than we found it so that future generations can enjoy it.  As Edmund Burke said, “it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”