PHILLIPS: Milton Wolf’s campaign and the problem of liberty

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The tea party movement burst onto the scene in 2009. When it did, words like liberty and freedom became words that Americans spoke on a regular basis.

Freedom means not only the right to speak, but also the right to form your own opinion. One of the dark secrets of the tea party and liberty movement is there are a lot of people in that movement who believe in liberty, as long as your opinions coincide with theirs.

The Tea Party Express is on a tour through the United States, making campaign stops in various states, where there are competitive races. The tour ends Thursday in Minnesota.

One of the great things about the Tea Party Express tour is the organizers of the tour organizers believe in liberty. The Tea Party Express has stops in some states where they have endorsed candidates. Even if the Tea Party Express has endorsed a candidate, competing candidates are invited to speak and all candidates are treated fairly.

On April 27 and 28, the Tea Party Express stopped in Kansas, making two stops. The Tea Party Express has endorsed Milton Wolf in the Kansas Republican Senate primary. He is opposing incumbent Pat Roberts.

On April 29, I wrote a column in the Washington Times entitled, “The Great Kansas Divide.” In that column, I spoke favorably of both men.

For some in the Wolf campaign, it is not acceptable that a conservative dared to disagree with the “party line” and not demonize the incumbent who is being challenged by someone who has been declared the “Tea Party candidate.”

In an email, Wolf campaign manager Ben Hartman wrote to me directly and said, “Yet your article, after two of what I understand to be the most successful stops of the TPX tour due to the number of enthusiastic Wolf supporters who turned out, essentially provides Roberts with the cover he so desperately needs.”

Oh how dare someone have a differing opinion or even worse, write about it on a national website!

The most fundamental principle of the tea party movement and the most cherished tenant of liberty is the right of an individual to make up their own mind.

If the Tea Party movement stands for liberty, then it stands for the right of the people to make their own decisions on candidates after they have studied the issues.

Wolf’s campaign manager is hardly alone in his actions. One of the most consistent criticisms of many of Ron Paul’s supporters in the 2012 election is that they would not tolerate the opinions of others if they disagreed with Ron Paul.

Liberalism is a collectivist ideology. When is comes to a differing opinion, modern liberalism shows all of the compassion of a Stalinist commissar. Conservatives say the difference between conservatism and liberalism is that conservatives tolerate a difference of opinion.

If the conservative movement moves to the point where dissenting opinions are not tolerated, then conservatism is no better than liberalism.

Perhaps that is a message someone should pass along to Milton Wolf.

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About the Author
Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in ...

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