A cofounder of the St. Louis Tea Party lays out his vision for a
Imagine that the "tea party" movement continued to expand in size
and influence. At some point in the future, tea partyers, regardless
of political party affiliation, would dominate the executive and
legislative branches of federal government. Our influence on the
courts would increase. In this scenario, the tea party would
eventually change the face of the federal government.
What would America look like then?
Before we answer that question, remember that no single person
speaks for the tea party movement. Tea partyers hold political views
that run the gamut from traditional Christian conservative to
libertarian. We can't describe a tea party future without answering
the question, "Which tea partyer are you talking about?"
If we select the most common points of agreement, however, we can
paint a fairly accurate picture of the changes tea partyers would
likely make to our government and how those changes could alter your
relationship to Washington. First let's look at the most common
themes among tea partyers.
While many local tea party organizations involve themselves in
local or state issues and races, the movement's primary interest
lies in Washington. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans distrust the federal
government, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. Among
tea partyers, that statistic is closer to 9 in 10. That's important
because it highlights a very important common theme: a libertarian
view of Washington's role.
Tea partyers would reduce the scope of federal power in two ways.
First, we would trim federal legislation, reducing the Federal
Register - the daily publication of federal rules, regulations,
orders, and notices - from more than 69,000 pages to, say, 10,000
pages, as it was in 1950. Second, we would eliminate the legislative
power of federal departments and agencies. The Environmental
Protection Agency would no longer be able to declare the mud puddle
in my backyard federally protected wetlands citing nothing more than
For you, this means that Washington would have less direct
influence over your life. You could plan for the future knowing that
your property is your property. You would not need a Washington
bureaucrat's permission to paint your house blue or to put in a
swimming pool. You would not have to buy government-approved health
insurance or drive a government-made car.
This change will significantly increase your personal political
power. Today, Washington has undue influence over your life. And
changing federal law is nearly impossible. You either have to hire
an expensive team of lobbyists or convince at least half of all
Americans voters to support the candidates for Congress who support
your idea of reform. Do you have that kind of time and money?
Tea partyers want to restore the balance of power in America,
making state and local governments more important than the federal
government, as was intended by the US Constitution, and which was
the case for the first half of US history. Under this arrangement,
the number of people you'd need to influence to change the law drops
quickly. Federalism and a smaller national government means
individuals carry more power.
The Constitution lists a very limited number of activities that
the United States may perform on our behalf. The tea party movement
would implement a plan to phase out those activities, departments,
and agencies that came about outside the amendment process of the
Constitution. Expect to see the departments of Education, Health and
Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs
disappear over time. Homeland Security, which comprises some
legitimate activities, would be splintered into more manageable
If we want to hold on to an existing department whose mission is
beyond the constitutional roles of government, then Congress and the
states would have to adopt a constitutional amendment to establish
that new power. …