Beyond harassment by the IRS, tea partiers and activist Republicans face a longer-term hurdle — the perception that they are mere conservatives protecting a political and economic establishment.
Their portrayal as ones constantly reacting and complaining does little justice to the positively framed planks in tea party charters.
The tea party might consider seizing the initiative, as have pro-lifers. Consider the pro-choice view that abortion is OK until the fetus is a person. The personhood perspective on babies assumes a fragmented view of human nature and treats the human body as expendable. In contrast, pro-lifers hold a holistic view of human nature as an integrated unity. Pro-aborts are exclusivistic; not all boys and girls make the grade. Pro-lifers are inclusive, as if to say, You’re a member of the human race, so you’re in, as Nancy Pearcey explains in her book, Saving Leonardo.
In other conflicts, too, conservatives and Christians have advantage. Gaze upon the rainbow. The gay lobby, as single-minded as Gollum, has taken custody thereof. Yet the rainbow is a Christian symbol. It tells of God’s promise to Noah and his seed that He would no more punish the human race by such a flood. The rainbow foreshadows a Savior who will save every tongue and every tribe.
What about the word sustainable? Don Casey in a March 16 Chattanooga lecture on the dangers of regionalism explores “sustainability.” The concept is not vegetarian, fresh-grown and airy. It is as heavy in rebar and concrete as a strip mall. It is a picture of totalitarian control, of a life- and worldview drilled into every pore of the citizenry by propaganda and regulation and the absence of autos. The megatrend of decentralization — driven by the PDF, the Internet, 3-D printing, the rise of local economy, the end of statist cartels such as the media — suggest U.N. global governance is unworkable.
So, what is sustainable? The free market.
Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West says the tea party doesn’t want simply to be seen as reacting. It must do more than simply point out the evils of national economy, that seeming subsidiary of Uncle Sam. We’ve heard much of foreign wars, Obamacare, ATF atrocities of innocent gun owners, surveillance, conspiracies to plug gaps in union asset portfolios, debt limit increases. Rather than wail, friends of liberty are arguing positively — and locally. A statement often made by economist Gary North — that you can’t beat something with nothing — affirms Mr. West’s perspective.
Tea partiers, dispirited Republicans, politics-weary Democrats and lovers of personal liberty should consider that most positive concept: local economy. That is the independently humming non-system, directed by no party, no company, no benefactor or overseer, no commissar, in every hometown. The self-rising internal marketplace.
The positive message of local economy will let activists make their argument for liberty with lococentric positive content.
➤ Local economy makes no special appeal to politics. Its gaze is not northward to magnificent capital domes in Nashville nor Washington. Politics are likely to hurt local economy, tempt it to continuing dependence on the handout. Buy local, invest local, connect local — great concepts.
➤ The solutions in local economy are not only apolitical, but also well in another direction; they are religious. Strengthening of these religious commitments won’t forestall national collapse, but will do much in the remediation, which may last for decades after Washington and New York have been put into their place by realities (moral and financial) long ignored.
➤ Local economy allows people who love liberty under law to bypass increasingly misleading or inaccurate categories. Left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, statist vs. libertarian, Democrat vs. Republican. With economic decentralization and Uncle Sam’s discredit, local economy grows as a valid concept.
David Tulis hosts Nooganomics.com, a talk show 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays on 1240 Copperhead AM that covers local economy and free markets.
This essay was first published at Chattanoogan.com, and is used by permission.