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 Party’s 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
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.
M&P Conservative Media Network CEO
Worcester Tea Party Dean of Journalism
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.’
|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).
Since 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.
“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
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:
| “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!
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.
“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 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.”