I agree with and support Tim’s thesis 100 percent. – Ed
by Tim Baldwin, Liberty Defense League
Governor Mike Huckabee recently said, “in politics, when you have an all or nothing, now or never mindset, you’re going to get nothing and you’re going to get it forever.”
Huckabee’s statement came in response to what some Tea Party purists are demanding that Republicans do in Congress in the face of impossible victories, knowing conservatives have little or no power to change political direction because of their lack of force in all branches of government.
Huckabee explains a fundamental problem with TEA Party purists as it relates to accomplishing good for liberty.
By all appearances, TEA Party purists have declared war against anything not TEA Party, but in reality, they operate more like a religious cult and as such, harm the liberty movement.
TEA Party purists are ignoring the science of war (and politics), which demands using sound tactics given what catastrophes result when the strategy is careless. Alexander Hamilton said,
“War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perseverance, by time, and by practice” (Federalist Paper 25).
Hamilton further said,
“It requires no skill in the science of war to discern that uniformity in the organization and discipline of the [soldiers] would be attended with the most beneficial effects” (FP 29).
If TEA Party purists are conducting politics as war, they must consider the truth of needing uniformity among soldiers, in addition to having a plan to win the war. However, neither essential ingredient to this science exists among TEA Party purists.
What military general would refuse to add persons to his army that have a common goal of eliminating the common enemy? Likewise, what liberty-loving American would deny the science of politics in conducting his strategy to preserve liberty?
Politics in a democratic republic requires numbers (a majority) at every juncture and in every process to pass or defeat laws. When a particular political party or persuasion does not have the necessary numbers to enact or defeat law, they cannot make dogmatic demands and act as if their opinion equates to God’s will.
But TEA Party purists reject this science and treat politics as a religion, as if God Himself has ordained their political dogma.
They expect every American and politician to be as pure in constitutional mind and deed as they are, and those who aren’t are “enemies of liberty.” Yet, the Founders never believed such certainty existed in our Constitution. For example, James Madison candidly admitted,
[N]o skill in the science of government has yet been able to discriminate and define, with sufficient certainty, its three great provinces the legislative, executive, and judiciary; or even the privileges and powers of the different legislative branches. Questions daily occur in the course of practice, which prove the obscurity which reins in these subjects, and which puzzle the greatest adepts in political science (FP 37).
Yet, TEA Party purists would have everyone believe that our constitutional system is as simple as 1-2-3. They leave out the variables and pressures of human mind, existence and nature, not to mention the different expressions of liberty articulated by philosophers and statesmen.
Huckabee thus sees their error of political purism, warning them, “politics is not theology.”
That politics is a religion to TEA Party purists is seen by their outlandish statements and behavior.
They say, politicians should be tried for treason who do not uphold the Constitution. Of course, they will be the judge of that, and anyone who would justify a view different than theirs should be tried for aiding and abetting treason. In short, they desire a cleansing of all constitutional and political views they find objectionable.
Similarly, TEA Party purists are so strict that even if a politician believes the same principles as they but uses different tactics, he is denounced as an enemy to liberty and constitutional government.
This pharisaical approach to politics, like a religious cult, is dangerous to liberty’s movement and misunderstands politics’ nature.
In truth, it is harder to accomplish “good, better and best” in the face of “bad, worse and worst” than it is to simply say “No!” Denying foreseeable consequences of not applying science to politics shirks one’s duty and allows a disease to corrode the political body faster and does not deter its spreading.
This may be considered “evil” by TEA Party purists, but like government itself, this is a “necessary evil,” just as the science of war requires that we ally with others whom we may not ordinarily treaty with in, say, commerce.
Political decisions are forced on all of us by the nature of life and politics and the circumstances that affect those things. Wise people make the best of these forced, yet undesirable decisions.
TEA Party purists have made great attempts at raising awareness of certain problems that have existed in our political system, some since the 1800s; but they reject the reality that a ship as large as America cannot change its direction overnight and without much planning and time. Trying to force monumental change in a political society such as the United States too quickly is unwise, unrealistic and even dangerous (assuming dire necessities do not dictate change regardless of human planning).
However, significant change could be accomplished in America if the States used Article V (an amendment convention) to redefine the constitutional rules that allow the federal government to regulate and tax as it has.
However, given the nature of their constitutional worldview, TEA Party purists do not accept the fact that amending the Constitution is necessary, despite the Founders’ anticipation that it would become necessary.
They see the Constitution like the Bible: all you have to do is follow it (according to their interpretation, of course) and “you shall live.” To them, the(ir) only problem is politicians, lawyers, masons, globalists, and everyone who does not think like them, and purists are more than willing to purge these derelicts of their sins, while firmly believing they are doing God service.
But make no mistake: TEA Party purists refuse to amend the Constitution based on political pragmatics.
They oppose the most fundamental political remedy in the Constitution because they cannot foresee or they deny the political victory. Thus, they demonstrate that only they can speak out both sides of their mouth and use pragmatics in that political situation while denouncing others for using pragmatics in other political situations.
TEA Party purists are not statesmen raising the flag of liberty. They are like religious cultists whose political ideas are absolutely true, right and pure only because that is the way they see it and anyone who disagrees deserves political death and hell.
If they do not repent, the TEA Party will fade with time like the Anti-Mason Party of 1831.
There are some good points in your article. I admit to being a purist. I also know we have to adjust our position somewhat, but…BUT,,to speak in defense of all the other 'purists' out there, we have reached our 'line' in being up to our elbows in NON-PRINCIPLED politicians who no longer seem to find it 'necessary' to follow/protect/preserve our constitution.
We are losing our morale compass in this country because our politicians would much rather fill their pockets, and 'play the field' for votes rather than fulfill their promises and responsibilities. The level of debt, violations of the constitution, a president that simply side steps congress (with what appears as their approval) and re-writes and implements 'laws' as is convenient. And more than half of all new candidates that state they will fulfill their oath of office, wants to 'clean up Washington' ends up swimming with the rest of the rats in the sewer.
I think it is safe to say that most Patriots would/could be more flexible if they could see more candidates with more intregity, ethics, honor, and loyalty to their constituents.
I would like to see the states take full control of the salaries and benefits and operating budgets of their respective senators/congressmen. Include with that single term limits in both the House and Senate. Add an Amendment that FORBIDS any business, PAC, or SuperPAC from donating to any candidate; only the AMERICAN CITIZEN AND LEGAL RESIDENT of the particular state may donate to that states candidate to a yearly maximum of $2500 (spread out to one or more candidates of choice).
This accomplishes two very important things: !) that Senator/Congressman is not completely dependent on his states constituents (the people he/she is supposed to work for and answers to), and 2) It is now possible for EVERYBODY/ANYBODY in that state to run for public office…. not just the wealthy and well 'connected'. Cuts down the risk of corruption by A LOT. Every two years the constituents get to vote by ballot whether or not the politician gets a raise in salary and/or budget. I.E. A) PASS, B) 1%, C) 2%, or D)3%. LESSON: When their salary/benefits are controlled by their constituents…. they will actually do their job and 'work for the benefit of their constituents'.
Ah! Flexibility is sooo good! Principles schminciples! Tis a fine and honored liberal position, perhaps the most honored principle of liberalism.
But seriously, Mr. Baldwin has probably written good articles. Even in this one he tries to support his points so we know his reasoning. In my opinion, however, he has simply created a caricature of Tea Party people, beginning with dubbing them "purists." Certainly he has not presented the views accurately of any Tea Party person I've met. Not to say there is not a Tea Party person somewhere as stupid as Baldwin suggests but I think there are too few of them to multiply.
I am on the Board of the Bozeman Tea Party and I have never met a Tea Party Purists, what ever that is. Please give some specific examples. I am sure there are a few out there and my guess is that , in your opinion,it is any Tea Party Member that has a different opinion than you have.
Article 5 Convention, bad idea, won't work. There are lots of Constitutional scholars out there that are way more knowledgeable than Rob.
Nullification is the answer, read Tom Woods information and book
I have considerable experience with the Tea Party, at the local level, at the State level, and at the National level. I, too, would like some specific examples of these Purists. And, I would like Mr. Baldwin to provide a list of references to Tea Party people that he spoke with, that served as the foundation for his argument. Anyone can sit on the sidelines and pick the most egregious examples, in an effort to buttress their viewpoint.
I won't bother to address each of Baldwin's points. I'm sure a number of us have already done that replying to his other articles supporting an Article V convention. My main principle is that I don't compromise my principles. I don't compromise my rights or the rights of others for all the same reasons Carole Wood, the first to comment, stated. Bottom line, some of us won't be sold on the Article V snake oil elixir being pushed by the legal profession.
A lucrative profession that thrives on the number of rules, codes, statutes and yes, "laws" it manipulates legislators into passing. My trust of Congress adhering to the constitution may be low but my trust in the state legislatures is lower. Fixing a leaking boat by draining the pond just enough so the boat rests on it's bottom isn't my idea of saving the USS Republic.
I can support State unification to nullify unconstitutional Federal acts, bureaucratic agency rules and regulations, to mandate that the Feds adhere to the chains of the Constitution. Or better still for the States to recognize and a support the return of the authority and power to investigate government oversight and corruption to the People's Grand Jury, on it's own initiation.
Brand me with whatever moniker fits your predetermined agenda, but I for one will stand firm. Period