Friday, April 12, 2024

Resisting the Elites: Why the Tea Party Movement Failed and Lessons Learned

By Tim Gamble 
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The Tea Party Movement, which began in the run-up to the 2008 election and gained steam during Obama's first term as President, was a peaceful grassroots movement comprised of tens-of-millions of people (in 2009, polls showed a 40%+ favorability rating with the general public) and perhaps thousands of independent groups and organizations. The primary concern was promoting fiscal responsibility and limited government, but it also touched on other themes such as patriotism and individual liberty. 

No one leader emerged. Groups and organizations were independent of each other. The movement was self-funding, with no single major source of money. It was a true grassroots movement. The main tactics of the Tea Party were holding peaceful rallies and protests, and contacting elected officials by phone, in person, and at town hall meetings.

Ultimately, the Tea Party Movement failed. The size and scope of government continued to increase, as did the national debt. Obama won re-election in 2012. Obamacare was passed. By 2016, the Tea Party Movement was essentially dead, with no rallies or protests being held, and most tea party groups having disappeared from the scene. Favorability ratings in the polls dropped by about 20 percentage points, while unfavourability ratings almost doubled. 

Why The Tea Party Failed

In my opinion, the Tea Party Movement faced three main obstacles:
  1. Open and intense hostility from the news media, leftist politicians, and others, making false allegations that Tea Party supporters were uneducated, racist, sexist, and violent, and that the movement was comprised almost entirely of angry white men. All these allegations were false, but was what the general public was fed on a daily basis. 
  2. A deeply entrenched system which benefited, and therefore was supported by, most politicians, career bureaucrats, corporate leaders, and lobbyists. (Trump would later name this system "The Swamp.")
  3. Politicians who were and remained out-of-touch with the general public, and who were more inclined to listen to pollsters, lobbyists, and deep pocket donors than to their constituents. This included a number of GOP politicians elected in 2010 and 2012 as "Tea Party Candidates" but quickly forgot their Tea Party roots after being sworn into office. 
Because of these obstacles, many Tea Party supporters became discouraged. There was also large amount of naïveté within the movement. Many supporters expected things to turn around quickly after a few rallies and some wins in the 2010 election, and simply gave up when they didn't.

Lessons Learned

Restoring the Republic will not be easy or quick. It took decades for the US to get into its current mess, and it will take decades to work our way out of it. Winning one or two elections will not be enough. This is a generational battle.

Public opinion matters. The Left's control of the news media, social media, pop culture, and academia allows them to control the narrative and to mold public opinion. We must break this control and drive the narrative ourselves. 

The system is much more entrenched then we realized, and most of the wealthy, powerful, and influential are determined to maintain it at all costs. We should expect lies, false accusations, and other dirty tactics (such as cancel culture,  the weaponization of government agencies, and the exercise of "lawfare"). Most importantly, we must be prepared to resist those dirty tactics. 

We cannot depend on politicians or elections to turn things around. We cannot depend on the GOP or even "conservative" politicians. This is no longer about Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Left and Right. Those are false choices. It is about good and evil. Be on the side of good, not on a political side.

We the People must be the driving force behind restoring the Republic. 

Unhumans: The Secret History of Communist Revolutions (and How to Crush Them) is now available for pre-order on Amazon with a "lowest price" guarantee. This book is receiving a lot of hype. Donald Trump, Jr. is talking it up on x (Twitter), and it has been discussed on a number of podcasts and video channels. From the Amazon write-up: "If you don’t understand communist revolutions, you aren’t ready for what’s coming. But this is not a book about ideology or politics. Unhumans reveals that communism, socialism, Marxism, and all other radical-isms are not philosophies but tactics—tactics that are specifically designed to unleash terror on everyday people and revoke their human rights to life, liberty, and property. These are the forces of unhumanity. This is what they do. Every. Single. Time. Unhumans steals their playbook, breaks apart their strategies piece by piece, and lays out the tactics of what it takes to fight back—and win, using real-world examples."

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