Tea Parties, Libertarians and, Paulites _ America’s Only Hope

Approximately a year ago, I opined in a post here at CoF that Conservatives and Libertarians should join forces. I argued that the areas where the two factions agree were more important than the areas of disagreement. Off and on since then, I have engaged with several conservative and libertarian bloggers to see if I could drum up some interest in pursuing a dialog on the fusion of the two groups. I was disappointed to find very little interest. The majority if both camps wanted nothing to do with the other. I was reminded of this sad fact by a comment on one of my posts last week and it caused me to rethink how I view politics in America.

Instead of seeing the American electorate as Republicans, Democrats, Independents and, a smattering of small third parties, I now see the electorates as being made up of two groups.  The biggest group, in my opinion, are those that promote and believe in Big Government (BG). To my way of thinking, the BG includes the so-called independents. Independents vote either for BG Republicans or BG Democrats. The second and smaller group of the electorate support the constitution and the rights of the individual. In essence they support Small Government (SG). Let’s take a look at the SG part of the electorate.

The SG faction is made up of three movements, which are growing and that’s a good thing.

  1. Libertarian Party _ The Libertarians obviously promote their own candidates to run against the Republicans and Democrats.  Because there is a growing dissatisfaction with both of the principal political parties, the  Libertarian Party (LP) is growing. From what I read, that growth is coming more from disaffected Democrats than from Republicans. Although the LP nay be a long way from being able to win the Presidency, they will in time be electing members of the House and the Senate and they can be counted on to vote SG.
  2. Paulites _ I do not use the term “Paulites” any pejorative way. I just don’t know what else to call them. They are part of a movement started by Ron Paul and are effectively libertarians who are working within the Republican Party. The Paulite movement is growing and very motivated. They are working at the grassroot level to infiltrate and in some case control the Republican Party machinery at the local and state level. They will be seeking and supporting like-minded candidates to run on the Republican ticket. When successful, those office holders will vote SG.
  3. Tea Parties _  The Tea Party movement is the largest and, to date, the most successful of the SG movements. Like the Paulites, they are working within the Republican Party.  The have successfully removed a few RINOs from office and have elected a number of conservatives. To be sure, they have made some mistakes; but they are learning and improving. Most Tea Party members in the House and Senate vote SG most of the time. Maybe some day they will vote SG all of the time. Also, like the Paulites, they are working to take control of the Republican Party at the local and state level.

Changing demographics and the increasing number of citizens dependent on  government, are working in favor of BG. The chance that the three SG movements can over come this trend are small. It will depend in large part on how many of the SG electorate get intimately involved in these movements. The more and more people get involved with these movements,, the greater are our chances of reaching a majority of SGs in the House and Senate and some day the Presidency. At best, it will take four, five or six election cycles to get there. That is why this humble observer, sitting on the outside looking in, wishes all the success in the world to the Libertarian party, the Paulites and, of course, to the Tea Parties. These three movements are our only hope.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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34 thoughts on “Tea Parties, Libertarians and, Paulites _ America’s Only Hope

  1. Jim,

    I believe you are a conservative. I am too. The problem with the GOP is that it doesn’t stand for anything, much less conservatism. Libertarians like myself see the GOP as just part of that giant mongrel dog party that masquerades as two.

    There is a tremendous difference between being a true “conservative” or a member of the GOP.

    Look at Romney. The guy is a banker, he dodges taxes, he dodges issues, he stands for nothing except more of the same. I can’t believe people are even considering this man. More government. This is our “choice” instead of Obama?

    I see no reason why REAL conservatives and libertarians cannot blend. What we cannot do is blend underneath a GOP banner as it exists now. The party stands for nothing.

    1. I have given up on the idea of the two groups ge tting together, Brian. That’s why I’ve decided to root for them all. I would like to live long nough to see a majority of SG politicians in Washinton and it makes no difference to me if some have an L after their name and others have R after their names.

  2. I think the most important thing for small government people to do is affect change at the state and local levels, first. Then move on to the federal levels. It’s been obvious by the grassroots level of the tea party that affecting change at the bottom, will affect change at the top, eventually.

    Of course the time is wrong for concentrating on change at the bottom. We have to get Obama out! If we don’t band together to get him out, I think the damage an Obama second term will do will be almost irreversible.

    I’m not opposed to the Paulites or libertarians – I have many of the same views as they do. We have to concentrate on what we have in common and not what makes us different from each other if we are to get Obama out of office. It’s that simple. It’s the same goal we all have – the difference is how we want to go about getting him out.

  3. Anything but the Democratic/socialist party and their best friends the Republican/Big Government/compassionate conservatism/socialist party. Please. ;Anything but those two (which are in reality the same party.)

  4. Ron Paul is really a libertarian. He runs under the Republican banner because our two-party system is just too tough to crack.
    I think a lot of independents are not big government or small government. I believe a lot of them are folks that skim the surface of issues to pretend to themselves they are “informed” but frankly don’t want to bother too much with politics until its time to vote. They are actually a dangerous lot because they know just enough to get the country in trouble but not enough to save it with their vote. Frankly, I’m getting a bit tired of hearing “We have to woo the independent voter.” (sorry if I’ve offended independents). Some of course are lucky enough to be from states that have open primaries, so they don’t have to be registered with a party to vote.
    And as far as where the libertarian party is building its numbers? From disaffected Republicans as well as Democrats. Honestly, if it weren’t for the primary issue I spoke of above, I’m ready to declare myself a libertarian.

  5. I agree with you but such an alignment will never happen. I am now convinced we are destined to crash, and even then there will be venal politicians and stupid people who vote for them screaming at anyone who defends the status quo.

    1. What boggles my mind is the patient is bleed profusly and one Party wants to put a small band-aid on the wound and the other Party wants open the wound larger. In other words, nobody gives a damn.

  6. I prefer the Tea Party to the others, they’re the more mature and sensible bunch who want small government but don’t want to just tear it all up and let anarchy and mob rule set it.

  7. I think you are right on the money Jim.If somehow these three forces could come together we would be on the right path.It may eventually happen naturally as all three have the same goals and will likely support the same type of candidates. It will take time but we are seeing the Tea Party have some effect, I just hope there is enough time.

  8. At least things are looking up a bit about getting rid of Obama– how much better who knows, but it will be a lot easier on the eyes. I agree– you are on the money IMHO.

  9. I think these groups have the same goals, just different vocabularies and knowledge bases. I consider myself a member of all three groups, but I guess I’m more of a Paulite, just because of my knowledge bases. I started blogging firmly in Tea Party camp, because of my views on defense. But now I know that those views were based in ignorance – I didn’t understand how the sausage in the defense industry was made: They search out enemies and threats (via think tanks) to justify on paper spending billions to their defense companies (where the interlock is huge) and then vote on it with their paid minions in Congress (who often get lucrative positions from these same people after they leave office.). Yeah, that ain’t the Gen. Patton version of the military that I thought this country had.

    I can say that pulling for Paul at a Tea Party-centered forum has gotten me called a “druggie” “dirty” , “stupid” etc. It’s hard to break through to the average talk radio listener because they are very dismissive and condescending when you give them facts that they aren’t “programmed to receive”. If Shamity or Levin hasn’t told them about it, then it isn’t real. It doesn’t matter how many charts and graphs and witness testimony you share with them, if the leading “conservative blogs” and talk radio aren’t talking about it, then it’s a non-issue.

    I would say the Tea Party is unsuccessful because they don’t understand the rules of the game. They don’t recognize boss cow in the herd. They think the enemy is liberals and socialists. But from my study of history, the socialists they despise originate from the Wall Street they’ve been taught to revere as the bastion of capitalism. It’s poetic in a way.

  10. Observations. Our local Tea Party group consists of a blend of Paulites, Libertarians (who in our group are one and the same), and the otherwise described traditional small government people who are fed up with abuse of government. (an interesting demographic within that is that the Paulites and Libertarians are generally younger than the other Tea Party types.) On the military, the Tea Party people, those I know personally, are for a strong military/defense but do not approve of the “perpetual wars” or “nation building” being conducted by our government. So I would say, from my experience, these three groups Jim describes are closer in philosophy than they are apart. Here, locally, the three groups are working together under the umbrella of the Tea Party, finding candidates they can agree on and allowing for individual choices on the presidential race.

    The Tea Party is successful, to the degree that they can be, as a grassroots organization not having the big money that the Socialists / Liberals have. Tea Partiers do know the rules of the game and are trying to change those rules from cronyism back to grassroots level politics. That, in itself, is a huge mountain to climb. I think people are becoming more aware of the Wall St. problem, at the same time supporting capitalism in its former, more pure, form. The Tea Party doesn’t have Wall St. money behind it (that I know of), and is attempting to get that form of cronyism / corporatism out of the government processes. The Tea Parties are not establishment Republicans supporting Wall St. abuses, as RM above seems to indicate above. It is the Republican / Wall St. / establishment politicians and RINOs the Tea Parties are trying to eliminate from the Republican Party. I don’t think there is a chance in hell that the Democrat Party is salvageable. I’m not sure on the Republican Party. The jury is out.

    As to success, in our last primary locally, sadly, we lost three races between grassroots candidates against incumbents who had that corporate money behind them. We have runoffs in several races and won some as well. It is a real battle out here and we need more grassroots support to pull it off. So Jim is right….this is going to take several election cycles. That is…..if this madness is even fixable.

    1. I’m so glad you came by today with this information on your Tea Party, Cheryl. I am really pleased that, in your case, the three groups are working well together. Your point about funding highlights a big problem. Winning in politics has a lot to do with money. How do you all raise money?

  11. Jim, It is a valiant attempt to compartmentalize the factions to the right of the Republican establishment. I enjoy it. Thank you.

    Let me just add that the Tea Party is the only one with any kind of success in the influencing of the powers that are. It undoubtedly is because, as you state well, they are not really a separate ‘party’ but a faction within the Republican Party.

    The Paulites, as you call them, have only a partial success, and whatever this small success amounts to is because of the same reason as the Tea Party; they are working as Republicans. Their numbers from the primaries are important (10-12%) but not enough to represent the possibility of power on their own. They, however, insist in spoiling this partial power by their antics, and their immaturity combined with unsavory tactics against their fellow Republican candidates. It limits their influence in the final election.

    The Libertarians are the least important of these groups because they insist in going it alone. They are not working within the confines of the Republican Party and they go one step further, they actively attack Republicans, and sometimes with the same tactics as the Democrats – not true facts. They make themselves irrelevant by this.

    Conclusion: it is only the Tea Party that has relevance.

    1. “They, however, insist in spoiling this partial power by their antics, and their immaturity combined with unsavory tactics against their fellow Republican candidates. It limits their influence in the final election.”

      Young people are inclined to want instant gratification. They eventually grow-up.

  12. Two words of caution – if I may?

    1 — Be careful not to fall into the trap of a cult of personality. It is easy, and it is almost always ruinous.

    2 — Be careful to make allowances for the shortcomings of libertarianism. I am NOT attacking libertarians (I am a Classic Liberal, myself), but I understand the reasons that the Articles of Confederation failed, and they are still present in modern libertarian ideology. So, all i am saying is be aware of these weaknesses and be ready to make account for them if you would succeed in your quest.

    🙂

      1. I hope that it was not taken as an attack, because neither was offered in that spirit.

        Personally, I am sympathetic to the Libertarian cause, but – having studied history – I understand it tends a little too far in the direction of anarchy. I offered my comments in hopes that some resolution might be found. barring that, I have to accept that our founders seem to have found the best resolution yet devised by man – don’t you think?

        🙂

      2. From what I have been told, the paulites and the Tea Parties are working well together in many cases. The Libertarian Party folks, however, have no interest in trying to reform the Republican party. I understand that. If the LP is successful some day in electing people to the House and the Senate, I will welcome them with open arms for they will suppoert the move toward a consitutionally limited federal government.

  13. Better late than never … I came by to let you know I’m continuing the fusion project. My latest is a more hard-hitting piece, but I’m certain you’ll understand. Some things need to be said.

    The ballot box won’t, no, can’t bring change until “We the People” first change ourselves. We have to think differently, act differently, strive for different things … otherwise SSDD.

    http://the-classic-liberal.com/no-conservative-movement/

    black3actual,

    I’m with you on the ancient Israelites and their decentralized system of judges, but then again, that argument really eliminates any arguments for the state (fedgov), doesn’t it? Remember, God punished them with a king (central authority). It was a rejection of Him. I think for too many Christians today, the fedgov has become their golden calf.

    I think too, that if you read the writings of the anti-federalists, they won! All of their fears have come true. The Constitution failed.

    I’m libertarian*. A Paulite. Not young (Jim!). And you’d be hard pressed to find me in a cult for anything. I think you greatly misunderstand libertarianism. Plumb-line libertarianism in the non-aggression axiom. There is nothing more Christ-like in all of political theory.

    Libertarianism is a political philosophy only. Ascribing anything more to it is a fallacy, misunderstanding, and/or cheap strawman argument. I prefer my morality comes from my church, not politics. As a Christian, I have a problem with lumping together Christianity and government. God said the earthly king was a rejection of Him. But closer to home, whose theology? Mine? Yours? Can one be a Christian if he demands of others down the barrel of a gun? Do the Commandments apply to the state? Thou shalt not steal? Thou shalt not kill? Covet? Envy? Can a state even exist without killing and stealing?

    *More accurately, I’d have to say I’m an anarchist. I believe the state is Satan’s realm. I believe the state creates chaos. Do you have a blog? I’d love to discuss/debate the topic with you. If not, I’ll happily publish your thoughts on my blog. Let me know. Maybe Jim wants to host us. 😯

    1. CL, I am so glad you came by today. First, I owe you an apology for not trying harder in the past to get this message to you. Ever since we first discussed the idea of fusion here, I have had problems with your blog site. When you did your post on fusion a year? ago, I left a long comment; but when I returned the next day to see if you had responded, not only was my comment not there but neither was the other comment. Numerous times when I visit your site, the latest post is weeks or months old. When I se links to your posts at CH2.0, for example, I click and read your latest work and to test if things are working again I click on “home” and go right back to the same very old post. Last week you left a link here and I clicked it and read it and left a lengthy comment along with the the other two already there. Again, when I went back the next day, not only was my comment not there but neither were the other two ( I believe one of them was from”republican Mother”). Something very strabge is going on at your place, my friend.

      Re: black3actual. He has been blogging at The Rio Norte Line blog.
      http://therionorteline.com/

      But, he is in the process of starting his own blog, The Road to Concord
      http://theroadtoconcord.wordpress.com/

      I will let him know your interest in discussing/debating the subject of libertarianism.

    2. OK, well, first, God established the first constitutional republic. Remember, this is the first govt. form the Israelites had after leaving Egyp and before the Israelites demanded a King (they were not ‘punished,’ they demanded it). Furthermore, the govt. God set down through Moses was not ‘theocratic’ in the sense that modern anti-religious types would argue, but it was intimately tied to a strong sense of faith – precisely what our founders told us would be required to maintain a free and self-governing society.

      I think we find some ‘push-back’ from “Libertarians’ on this issue because it DOES open the door to some social control of moral issues. It is necessary to maintaining social order and is the primary area where I believe the Libertarian and ‘American conservative’ differ. but then, this is my opinion. it isn’t something anyone can definitively ‘prove.’

      “I think too, that if you read the writings of the anti-federalists, they won! All of their fears have come true. The Constitution failed.”

      Understood and agreed. You probably have not followed me on the RNL, but — many times – I have bashed my ‘conservative’ friends over the head with the warnings from the Anti-Federalists. At the same time, they were farther to the right than the Articles of Confederation, which failed too. I believe the Constitution was the best possible compromise possible (still is), we just stopped following it. Do you see how that leads to the result the AF’s warned against? It is also how they were able to predict it would happen: they understood human nature.

      “Plumb-line libertarianism in the non-aggression axiom. There is nothing more Christ-like in all of political theory.”

      I’ve always thought I understood libertarianism pretty well. case in point: the ideology tends toward pacifism to the point of suicide. Remember, there were AF’s who didn’t want to fight the Revolution, or any of the wars that followed which preserved this nations early survival. Additionally, from a Christian perspective, pacifism is NOT what Christ taught. There IS ‘just defense’ in Christ’s Gospel. Too many seem to miss this. So, while I would agree that we should not have our troops meddling in the affairs of others, I also believe there ARE just cases for defense. In the case of Paul, he is so anti-war he refuses to even recognize one of th greatest threats this nation has ever faced; a threat we have faced since the first day of our foundation. Islam.

      As for your objections to religion mixing with govt. I UNDERSTAND! But I would suggest you might want to revisit Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy again 🙂

      Also, anarchy is the very definition of chaos, so I would offer a word of caution here 🙂

      Our discussions would fit on The Road to Concord or The Rio Norte Line. Take your pick. The first is mine and deals with the principles of liberty, the latter is a friends but I co-moderate and it runs the entire gamut.

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

  14. Jim, I’ve tested for the problem. Try reloading the page and/or clearing your cache. The best I can tell (I’m no coding expert) is that my cache and your browser aren’t communicating properly.

    Black, thanks for stopping by my blog, I wouldn’t necessarily expect you to comment. We’d need 84 hours per day each if we commented everywhere and every time we wanted. And bloggers would have no time left to create posts.

    A light went off when I realized you blog at The Rio Norte Line! … anyway, here’s a response to your comments.

    http://the-classic-liberal.com/church-state-anarchism/

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