- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Does California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger know what he’s talking about when he says of the “tea party” movement, “It will twinkle and disappear”?

When Thomas Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” he might have had in mind what we now call “tea party activists” who are out to restore a government that “derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Not all revolutions are bloody. The Revolutionary War was an armed revolt, but the 1994 Republican Revolution was not. For the tea party to become a revolution, it must have ideas fresh enough to transform itself from a protest into a constitution preserver.

The Founding Fathers did just that. They transformed the Boston Tea Party protest into the opening act of a revolution that drafted the Declaration of Independence, liberated them from Britain’s strangling yoke, and eventually crafted a Constitution for posterity. They understood that, because it is the nature of government to put its interest above principles, its powers must always be restrained. By creating this republic, they institutionalized those founding principles to ensure their longevity.



The tea party is transformational on three fronts.

First, it has moved into electoral politics — by forcing DeDe Scozzavafa out of the election in New York; by giving conservative Marco Rubio a double-digit lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida; by fueling GOP gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia; and by helping with Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.

Second, by rallying against President Obama’s march to socialism, this movement not only stopped “Obamacare” in its tracks, but also forced Democratic congressional leaders to consider using the budget reconciliation to revive it. This willful disregard of the will of more than 75 percent (CNN) of the people is tyranny. It is no surprise that the approval rating for congressional Democrats is at 10 percent and that only 21 percent of voters nationwide believe government has the consent of the governed, according to the Rasmussen poll. This puts in question the very legitimacy of Mr. Obama’s administration.

Third, by participating in CPAC, it formed a philosophical alliance with movement conservatives. Adoption of the Republican National Committee platform at the Tea Party Convention indicates this movement agrees with Republican principles. By supporting the RNC’s recent Platform Fidelity Resolution, it understands that holding Republican candidates and officeholders accountable to our principles is essential to defending freedom.

Today’s freedom movement could end the Democrats’ one-party rule in the House in November by supporting candidates who run on its legislative agenda: the contract from the grass-roots America. It also could curb the Republicans’ tendency, when they are the majority party, to abandon principles for political expediency. Finally, it could arm patriots with a Republican officeholders accountability tool.

One pitfall of the 1994 revolution was lack of a mechanism to keep in check Republican spending and corruption. There was no mechanism to challenge the Republican majority’s ideological inconsistency. Politics was substituted for principles. There was no accountability for the party leadership’s broken promises.

The Republican National Conservative Caucus — made up of 24 members of the 168-member Republican National Committee — developed a platform survey tool based on the RNC Platform Fidelity Resolution.

The platform survey tool asks a federal or state candidate to declare with which platform principles he agrees or disagrees. Once the candidate is in office, the grass roots can create a scorecard by matching the officeholder’s voting record with their platform statements and forwarding the results for publishing and distribution to the RNC, National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and appropriate state parties for funding decisions or encouragement. This same tool also will serve as a positive feedback for good performance.

Building a four-legged chair for freedom will institutionalize this movement. It should remain an independent force while uniting with Ronald Reagan’s three-legged electoral base required for electoral success: social, fiscal, and national security conservatives.

It says to social conservatives that the babies you have saved in the past 20 years, this government wants to enslave, so let us work together for their freedom. To fiscal conservatives, it says without morality, capitalism fails and there is no prosperity, which leads to government takeover. To national security conservatives, it says the way this government spends our money, we will not have money left for real defense; our national debt puts America national security at risk, so let us join efforts to fight deficit spending.

This full-spectrum conservative unity approach changes the old way of defending founding principles by single issue or single leg. It empowers the movement to compel a new Republican majority to defend founding principles in their entirety and deliver on its campaign promises.

The Republican Party has allowed winning elections to substitute for vision. Today, some GOP politicians continue to place self-interest above principles. Political calculation has replaced conservative ideology. But more powerful force than any group of politicians is the self-interest of a vast majority of patriots to preserve freedom. Politicians self-interest will be restrained by unleashing the force of those who love freedom.

Restoring the consent of a free people is the way to preserve this republic.

Solomon Yue, an Oregon businessman, is an elected member of the Republican National Committee and a founder of two unprecedented conferences within the RNC: the 24-member Republican National Conservative Caucus and the 96-member Conservative Steering Committee.

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