While I have suspected that many or most of the tea party crowd are actually or have been actually disinterested in politics but are nonetheless conservative but primarily just angry, maybe it’s all a clandestine movement by libertarians (or is that Libertarians with a big L) to break into the mainstream as a third party challenging the Democrats and Republicans.
I say this somewhat seriously as the result of Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, winning the Republican Party nomination for Kentucky’s U.S. open Senate seat in Tuesday’s primary election.
Rand Paul is a tea party (and is that upper case Tea Party?) activist, and is really a libertarian (as I understand it) as is his Dad — who also is officially a member of the Republican Party, but who is a known advocate of libertarianism and was once the Libertarian candidate for president. The elder Paul also ran in the Republican presidential primary last time, and was once the Libertarian Party candidate for president. He is a Texas congressman now.
I have always thought (well, almost always) that libertarians have sound ideas and seem to be the most sincere in pushing for personal freedom — they really do want the government out of their business, whereas the Republicans want government for business and Democrats have a long history of using government to run everyone’s business.
(I don’t care for the ultra-libertarian views against public education and against public police forces or public parks, among other things.)
My observation up close and personal with some libertarians in the past has left me with the impression that they are usually a little eccentric (to say the least), and in fact some of them are just nut cases, and then some of them may be said to be quixotic.
(And for some reason they are often doctors. Rand Paul is an ophthalmologist and his dad is a medical doctor. And I have known a couple of others who were doctors.)
Ron Paul is somewhat eccentric, but he often makes a lot of sense too. He found it necessary to register as a Republican I guess to hold and maintain public office.
And I asked a Libertarian candidate for president once how he thought his party could ever break into the mainstream. He admitted his candidacy was kind of quixotic (I’m not sure he used that description, but that is what he meant), but that what really needed to be done was for Libertarians to gain a foothold in local and state offices and work their way up.
It seems to me that the tea party movement is made to order for libertarians (big or little L).
Libertarians are not conservatives in the sense of the traditional movement in U.S. politics and certainly they are not neo conservative. But even though they are super liberal in some of their stances (for personal choice — that is not against women making their own decisions, anti war for the most part, pro civil liberties, pro homosexual rights, as examples), they are not considered liberal (they are pro gun rights). They are conservative about government power and taxes and super liberal on issues of personal freedom.
I don’t know how the average tea bagger feels about libertarianism, but I would think that libertarian principles square with tea party values, such as they are, more than the dyed in the wool establishment ones of Democrats and Republicans.
Look at it this way: what is the difference between Republican George W. Bush’s massive taxpayer bailout for the rich and Democrat Barack Obama’s massive taxpayer bailout for the rich?
Yes Bush and Obama are miles apart on a lot of things, as are the Republican and Democratic establishments. But then again, they both basically support a top down form of government or at least that is what results from their efforts.
I don’t know what the tea baggers would offer or would come up with if they elected candidates, but Libertarians would really come up with something different.
Would people be pleased? Don’t know.