Understanding the Tea Party II: What Lies Beneath

This is part two in my attempts to understand the motivations of the so-called Tea Party. It is based on a very limited look at what they're saying, and of course, my own personal experiences with Libertarians.

Yes, Libertarians. Though I suspect it will upset both groups of people to make the claim, I have yet to find any evidence contrary to the theory that the Tea Party is motivated by an overlapping set of ideals as Libertarians*.

What are those ideals?

  • The government shall hold no powers not expressly outlined in the Constitution of the United States.
  • America is built on capitalism, and the law should maximize those effects: particularly by taking as little in the way of taxation as possible. Notably, taking more money from the rich is biased and unfair.
  • Furthermore, the use of taxed money cannot be used for programs which the people do not individually support. Doing otherwise is stripping people of their freedom of choice.
  • Private industry should never have to compete with public works.
Put even more succinctly:
  1. Federal government is too large.
  2. Federal spending is out of control.
...That's my attempt to be as fair as possible. But here's what I hear, every time people make these arguments:
  1. Stop taking my money.
...I've decided to ignore a lot of the arguments I highlighted in the previous post. Most of them struck me as being ad absurdum arguments (ie: "His actions are tyrannical despotism") or speculation ("the health care plan will put us $1 trillion further into debt"). I wasn't surprised by these fallacies (even Liberals were using them during Bush's administration), but they're easily dismissed with a little rationality, so I've left them out.

It's also worth noting that there is likely underlying-if-unacknowledged-racism (particularly to justify his lack of claim to the presidency) and hypocrisy (if they were equally upset with Bush, why not march on D.C. in the last eight years?), but I'll leave these points to those better-suited to addressing them.

* I have not found confirming evidence, notably, of the argument that taxation is, in fact, abuse. Libertarians are quick to claim that taking a person's money is, in fact, an assault on that person, period.

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