Over the past year and a half millions of Americans from coast to coast, including my wife and I, have participated in rallies simply known as TEA Parties. I’m not sure when the acronym caught-on, but it is widely accepted that TEA stands for “Taxed Enough Already,” to which I heartily add my consent. Nevertheless, the main stream media, indeed many within conservative circles, fail to fully grasp the scope of the TEA Party movement. It is not, as some would argue, merely a libertarian backlash to tax and spend policies, which have driven our nation deeply into debt. It is, instead, a resurgence of the American Spirit, fighting for values and ideals that make America, well, America.
As I mentioned, I’ve attended a number of these rallies myself. Each time I’ve come away with a sense of pride in America’s goodness and virtue. None of the rallies I’ve attended promoted fiscal responsibility to the exclusion of social principles. In fact, as many folks have noticed, the lines that draw the loudest applause are those affirming America’s Christian heritage. Some folks are perplexed by this assertion, as they’ve missed the point of the TEA Party movement altogether. This movement isn’t about complex job creation bills, or exclusively restructuring the tax code. Instead, it has simply sought to bring America back to her founding ideals, which are steeped in the Judeo-Christian Ethic.
As I’ve asserted on many an occasion, the protection of private property is inexorably linked to the protection of personhood. To revoke the right to life is to revoke the right to pursue happiness. You can’t protect folks’ farms and not protect their families. The protection of one necessitates the protection of the other. The only way to ensure that free-markets flourish, and that Capitalism succeeds, is to reduce the size and scope of government. This can only occur when a free society is willing to take responsibility for its own. This responsibility is manifest in church and charity, which strengthen our communities by meeting the needs of the afflicted. This responsibility is manifest when families take care of their own, as opposed to leaving them to the mercy of the state.
A resurgence of America’s core Judeo-Christian Culture must be realized before economic prosperity and personal freedom make a come-back. We can never afford to abandon America’s soul in the name of her wallet. If we do, we’ll quickly realize that we’ve forever lost both. I propose that we think of the TEA Party movement as more than “Taxed Enough Already.” With regard to American Culture and values, we should probably say “Trampled Enough Already.”