One of the most persistent and convenient punching bags for the demented left has been the Tea Party movement. Last week, perhaps the most conflicted individuals with a primetime cable news show, Chris Matthews, displayed a level of ignorance that, unfortunately, has become all too common among those clinging to the notion that what they have to say really matters.
Mr. Matthews attempted to demean Tea Party adherents by saying that those who believe in balanced budgets, Constitutionally limited government, free markets and strong national defense could not—no, would not—have been successful saving those unfortunate Chilean miners. The sins of those who believe in the principles of the Tea Party? They are focused on individuality and lack the sense of community necessary to mount heroic efforts to same groups of people.
Mr. Matthews, clearly having lost his way during his educational upbringing, could not be more wrong. Tea Party folks, above all else, are more focused on community than on anything else. That is because a sense of community is one of the four strengths clearly outlined in our Founding documents, and Tea Party folks believe in the Founding.
Chris Matthews is correct in identifying the fact that Tea Party sympathizers believe in the individual. They do, indeed. They believe in individual opportunity, individual responsibility and individual accountability. The focus on the individual is derived from the idea that each person is given free will and born with unalienable rights.
These rights—natural rights—are given to us by our Creator, not by man or any manifestation of man. What Mr. Matthews fails to consider, however, is that these same “right wing extremists” believe in the Constitution, and the very word connotes community. In fact, the Constitution codifies the agreement among members of society and between those members and their government. Without community, there would be no America. How could someone get this so wrong?
The current legislature and administration residing in Des Moines clearly think like Chris Matthews and hold the individual, and communities, in utter disdain. Witness the countless initiatives that coddle and support special interests while at the same time diminish any support to those things that make communities strong.
Where are the school choice programs? Where are the initiatives to bring businesses to Iowa? Why has the tax structure of the state not been addressed? Why has the mandate for individual healthcare insurance not been rejected? Where are the initiatives to protect Right to Work? Where are the efforts to restructure state pension plans and to diminish the influence of public unions? Where are the individuals who will push back against the continual intrusions of the federal government? Where is the ultimate expression of support for the family in allowing the people in Iowa to vote on the definition of marriage?
In our little part of the state, we have some highly competitive races for the Iowa house and senate. When I try to be the objective political scientist, I see some interesting trends. So far, the Democrats have done nothing to bring their collective case to the people. One gets the idea that they are depending on registration and early voting to make up for their lack of engagement.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have been out in full force, doing all the things good candidates should do. They’re making the rounds door-knocking (a very Iowa thing to do), putting up signs, holding rallies, going to all the forums and making sure they are getting their names out there.
We have seen virtually nothing from the Democrats. The one Democrat who has come on the air so far has played a game of rope-a-dope that is fooling no one. In response to a question on who the next majority leader should be, he stated he would vote for Mike Gronstal. I don’t think anything else he might say could be so indicative of his true sentiments. Without a change of majority—and thus leadership—we are in for the same pattern of the state picking winners and losers with the people being those on the latter end of the spectrum.
With a little over two weeks to go before the election there is still a lot of work to be done. We each need to talk to our friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances and get them to the polls. The choices are very clear. Do we work to get Iowa back on track to gaining prosperity or do we continue to allow the arrogant elite of the democrat party to continue to dig the state into a deeper hole. On November 2, we can take the shovels out of their hands.
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