Liberty endangered by the abuse of power

“Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty,
but also by the abuse of power.”

— James Madison 

As I write a few days before you are reading this, I’m having trouble keeping up with the number of politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and reputable journalists that are being brought down for their repulsive behavior.  The sexual harassment claims against men who hold power, whether in politics or in the workplace or in the newsroom, seems to have exploded since  Harvey Weinstein was exposed as the monster that he is.  While none of this is really shocking, what is surprising is the speed at which they are falling.  It is a stunning toppling of powerful men who have abused their positions for many years.

There are a few lessons that we can learn from this wide-encompassing scandal.

1)  There is no limit to the number of hypocrites in the halls of Congress and in Hollywood and in the newsroom.

2)  There are many women who have suffered from abuse, harassment, or even rape, who were frightened into silence by a society that too often made excuses for the powerful. Too many excused this behavior by thinking that “boys will be boys”.  This is a different time though and we are better for it.  Never again should the Bill Clintons and Ted Kennedys of this world be given a pass.

3)  American love sex scandals, even when they involve victims who have been severely harmed.

4)  We love to defend those on our side when the scandals involve “their guy”.  Whether to believe the accuser or the accused too often depends on their politics.

5)  The court of public opinion can often deliver justice that is swift and effective and just when the courts of justice fail us.

These men who are being brought down have been proven to be weak, immoral characters.  So why did so many idolize them before these scandals?   Why are people so willing to allow these kinds of people to lead them or have influence over them?   If anything, we should learn that just because someone is powerful or wealthy or famous, they are no better than the average citizen.  In fact, I would posit that they likely gained their positions because of the faults, not despite them.    They are addicted to power and they used this power for sexual conquests and violence.  When these men have been flushed out, America will be a better country, intolerant of those who abuse the vulnerable.

We should always question the ethics of those who seek power.  A more effective way to protect the vulnerable than this is to seek ways to limit the power and authority of those who lust for it.  A flawed person with no power is of no consequence to us.

I know that many people are reveling in the schadenfreude that comes from seeing the powerful fall.  In the midst of this glee, let’s not forget their victims, women who have suffered alone, often for many years.  They are victims of evil men who abused power.   Let us all be ever vigilant and ready to knock those who abuse power and position from their pedestals.

​In Liberty,
Ken Mandile
Senior Fellow
Worcester Tea Party

Be Civilized Grudges are for Neanderthals

It is with great hesitancy that I wade into the quagmire of this month’s events in Charlottesville and Boston.  Uncontrolled and irrational emotions on both sides seem to have wiped out any chance of civilized conversation about Charlottesville, President Trump, Antifa, White Supremacy, Confederate statues, and other issues that have gripped the news and social media.

 

Read more

How beauteous mankind is!

 

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
— William Shakespeare, The Tempest

I’ve just finished reading Brave New World (when I say “reading’, I really mean listening to on Audible).  Written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World was one of the first dystopian novels, a genre that has gain much popularity in the 21st century, and for good reason.

Read more

How the Tea Party Movement is Like Spiderman (and Who is the Greatest Enemy of the Tea Party Movement?)

ultimate-spider-man

When I was a boy, I read every comic that Marvel Comics produced.  Even the titles lost in the sands of time (does anyone else remember Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur?).  Today, even though I have grown, I still draw from the lessons I learned from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Roy Thomas.  The principled heroics and moral clarity of superheroes is something I try to live up to in my own life.

This vast knowledge of comic books allows me to state categorically that the Amazing Spiderman is the super hero that the Tea Party Movement is most like.  It must seem weird to think of the Tea Party Movement as the Amazing Spiderman but it can be helpful for those out side or new to the movement, who seek understanding.

A radioactive spider transformed the intellectually gifted but physically unimpressive Peter Parker into the athletic and muscular Spiderman.  Likewise it was the sting of the housing bubble bursting and the toxic responses of both the Bush and Obama administrations that spurred many off their couches and into the streets on April 15th 2009 for the first Tax Day Tea Party rallies.

Just as teenage Peter Parker had to learn and grow to become the hero Spiderman, so has the Tea Party Movement learned from the many elections and initiative campaigns that we have worked on.  We are a very young movement, and have suffered some growing pains.  Like Spiderman with each new adventure our strength and skills grow.

A sad way we are like Spiderman is that we too have lost our uncle and mentor when Andrew Breitbart left this world on March 1, 2012.  Spiderman remembers “…with great power comes great responsibility,” we  #RememberBreitbart with all his boundless energy, irreverent humor, and incandescent joy at doing what we can to thwart those that would keep us on our knees.  Every one of us continues the battle in the ways that he taught us.

If we look at Spiderman we see he has fought many super villains but one foe has always vexed him and made his life hard.  J. Jonah Jameson has used his newspaper the Daily Bugle as cudgel to beat Spiderman and call him a menace.  Spiderman can never get credit for any of the good he does because Jameson always blames him for everything that happens.  Even when Spiderman captures bank robbers, the headline on the front page of the Bugle reads “Masked spider escapes! Leaves rest of gang behind!”

So who is the greatest enemy of the Tea Party Movement?  jjonahjameson

The Legacy Media. 

How many times have you read or seen reports that the Tea Party Movement is racist?  The Tea Party Movement has been instrumental in electing dozens of black, Hispanic, Asian, and women candidates to office across the country.  The only black man serving as in the US Senate is a Tea Party supporter.  But that is not in sync with the narrative that the Legacy Media is pedaling.  So they never mention it.

The Legacy Media will continue to print lies about the Tea Party Movement even as it costs them what little credibility they now have.  They are so consumed with pettiness that they often refuse to capitalize the words Tea Party in their stories while they always capitalized the word Occupy in the fawning odes they published about that group. 

Spiderman gives us an example of how we should deal with the Legacy Media.  Spiderman never goes to the offices of the Bugle and tears Jameson from his chair and dangles him from the roof tops of Manhattan.  No Spiderman is a hero.  He doesn’t have time to sweat the small stuff.  Spiderman has rescued Jameson and the Bugle many times.  And he laughs off all the twisted headlines and slanted editorials.  And so should we. 

Since the Legacy Media is willing to fabricate stories to harm our movement there must be something we can do to defend ourselves.  The best course of action for members of the Tea Party Movement is to be on our guard not to fall into any of the Legacy Media’s traps.  More importantly we must laugh at them.

When Ronald Reagan debated President Jimmy Carter in 1980 he didn’t get angry and shout at the distortions of his record as governor of California.  He laughed and sighed and famously said ‘…there you go again.”  Some credit that debate performance with winning Ronald Reagan the presidency.

We are working to save our country that is the most serious endeavor a person can ever attempt.  But we can not let the seriousness of our goal rob us of our joy.  None of us is Spiderman, or Ronald Reagan.  But we can all learn from their example.  We can collect the thorns and hate thrown at us, and hand back roses.  Laughter at the ridiculousness of these blowhards works better than shouting.

Advice courteous of your friendly neighborhood Tea Party Man!