By John Pickerill Montgomery County GOP Party Chair
Do you know how you can tell if you've won a debate with a big-government liberal? They call you a racist. Today's politics has become that silly. Instead of having a civil discussion debating the merits of ideas, too often it degrades to sensational accusations that don't enlighten, but merely play on the emotions and fears of the public. But in a way, limited-government conservatives should bear these insults as a badge of honor. If they insult us it means they see us as a force to be reckoned with. We have arrived.
This is particularly true with the Tea Party movement. Citizens spontaneously rose up to made their dissatisfaction known that they had reached a breaking point with the bank bailouts, trillion-dollar deficit spending, skyrocketing national debt, destruction of the dollar, federal government encroachment into our lives, violations of our Bill of Rights. Citizens were no longer going to sit idly by. It is one of those moments in American history that gives you hope the common man can make a difference. And just look at the results: The 2010 congressional elections - the Tea Party revolution - swept into office more than 40 new representatives and five new senators aligned with the Tea Party. By 2012, more than 50 House members identified themselves with the Tea Party. This wasn't the result of some top-down nationally-organized campaign. This was small groups of people popping up everywhere in America. They weren't driven by lust for money or power. They were driven by their sense of civic duty to take a stand, to make sure they preserved the American idea for their kids and grandkids.
Its success has gotten under the skin of the big-government liberals. And true to form, they call the Tea Party racists whenever they can. When the public figured out there was no truth to it, the worshipers of all-things-government resorted to calling the Tea Party "radicals," "extremists," they even went so far as to call them "domestic terrorists." It was whatever they could do to play on the emotions and fears of the public to undermine Tea Party support.
These acts of desperation are understandable once one realizes the Tea Party is a major threat to the liberal's plan to solve every problem of society with a government program. The Democrats know if they fail to drive a wedge between the Tea Party and the Republican Party, they will likely lose the U.S. Senate and the White House in the next two years. And the Tea Party has been amazingly resilient against these constant attacks. Its staying power and relevance was proven recently by the stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by a relatively unknown Tea Party backed challenger. That has put Republican Party leadership on notice to return to its limited-government principles.
Maybe the reason big-government advocates have such a hard time with this is, their not used to citizens thinking for themselves. Every Tea Party group is home grown. Each one determines its own principles to follow. For the Montgomery County Tea Party, the individuals of that group made it their mission to use citizen activism to restore limited government, fiscal responsibility, and accountable representation. That mission aligns 100% with the Indiana Republican Platform and we Republicans are truly blessed to have them. They have changed the nature of politics for the better in Montgomery County.