by Will Galloway
I would consider myself an ideological tea partier, meaning I support constitutional limited government, but I do not consider myself affiliated with the Tea Party movement. We cannot continue to win elections by running against the establishment, we must run to change the establishment. We also must stop challenging every senator or congressman or governor simply because they make one or two bad decisions, and even though I supported a right wing challenge to Lindsey Graham, I would not have supported a right wing challenge to Eric Cantor, who was far right before far right was “cool”. The issues I had with Graham, though shared by the tea party, were not unique to the tea party. Even moderate republicans and democrats feel that he has broken, to varying extents, the trust the people of his state had given him. If we are to continue winning elections, we need to stop saying, “Big government is bad” and start saying, “Here’s why small government is better.” We need to stop saying “Liberalism hurts you” and start saying “Here’s why conservatism helps you.” We need to show people that we care about them. The conservative movement has been pigeonholed as a rich old man’s power ploy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We care about working americans and want everyone to have a chance to get ahead. But the sad truth is that our rhetoric usually doesn’t make it seem that way. We need to see a paradigm shift in this country, and the only way we can do that is to show why our principles and policies will benefit the working person.
The tea party needs to stop attacking other republicans and start fighting against the democrats. The democrats have been using the tea party to play both ends against the middle. When members of a party fight too much with one another, the party looses its influence. I recall a fellow South Carolinian, Senator-Governor Strom Thurmond. When he ran for president, it was over a minor disagreement over which direction the democratic party should go. All Thurmond succeeded in doing was forever eliminating the “Solid South” and splitting the democratic vote. Many of the states that voted for Thurmond in ’48 would never again vote democratic. The Tea Party should remember Thurmond, and they should proceed with caution, for while they are ideologically strong in principle, they need to join with the moderate and big business wings of the party if we are going to win elections in the future.