Arthur Schaper: It’s Pirate Time, GOP!
Friday, August 30, 2013
The TEA Party movement of 2009 to today originated from Boston Tea Party of 1773. A group of Boston Rebels, dressed up as Indians, boarded a ship owned by a British subsidized Tea Company and dumped the tea into Boston Harbor to protests taxation without representation. The retaliation, from the Crown was immense, leading to the American Revolution and freedom for the Thirteen Colonies.
Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan has exhorted her discouraged conservatives: "It's pirate time!" Indeed, it’s time to raise the black flag and hold nothing back into taking back our state, our country, and our liberties.
A Change in Tactics
Unfortunately, the TEA Party has neglected the "pirate" element of their colonial predecessors, and so has the GOP Establishment, wasting time seeking love and acceptance instead of commanding respect and standing true to their values. Pirates do not care what other people think of them. Unrestrained by the opinions of others, not worrying about losing, they step in and win.
Even today, TEA Party ideas are bold, but the tactics which they have employed maintain the mainstream, and thus they remain a marginal force. Consider New Jerseyans respect Republican Governor Chris Christie because he believes what he believes honestly and in an integrated manner, even if every policy does not line up with the research or the rhetoric of the Republican Party. US Senator Rand Paul, who in piratical form took to the floor of the US Senate, and filibustered the confirmation of John Brennan for almost thirteen hours. By the way, "filibuster" original refers to a pirate taking over a ship. Yo Ho Ho!
Bold ideas and bold maneuvers are in order. The GOP grassroots got the first part right, by pushing an outraged reaction to outrageous government overreach. Unfortunately, the rhetoric and the reforms have to be upbeat as well as over the top.
The Republican Party in Rhode Island (and everywhere else) must push the biggest ideas, demand the real reforms, in some cases appear to the left of the Democratic Party.
George Will, among other sober conservative columnists, has never shied away from a fight with the Republican policies. He demanded the draw-down of American forces in Afghanistan. He moved "to the left" on an issue which a growing number of conservatives agreed with, but were unwilling to share. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) shared that most Republicans in private support decriminalizing marijuana. Retired Congressman David Dreier (R-CA) shared that same sentiment, the very year that he was leaving Congress because of redistricting.
TEA Party candidates have the radical ideas, but they have not used radical implementation to press their ideas. Their methods have been reactionary, and so people react with disdain or scorn. US Senate candidate Todd Akin’s calm, cool, and collected approach failed to push back against the media juggernaut following his "legitimate rape" comment. Akin should have come out swinging, just as Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich tore up John King during the 2012 South Carolina President Primary debates in January of that year.
2012 US Senator Scott Brown wasted time trying to ingratiate himself to the Massachusetts liberal elites, instead of hammering the wholeness of Tea Party limited government. The same holds for Richard Tisei, who coasted on "I'm gay, I'm not John Tierney, and I might raise your taxes." These ideas were not bold enough.
The GOP Can Lead
The GOP has the chance to lead on substantive, populist issues, like defederalization of marriage and controlled substances, or on breaking up "Too Big to Fail Banks", or bringing down "Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Farm, Big Labor" and other "Big Special Interests". Breaking up Big Banks would mean freeing up free market forces once again in the financial sector.
Another thing about "radical implementation." -- Just like the Tea Party of 1773, the TEA Party of today must coordinate its outrage. It's not enough to stage a rally studded with yellow "Do not tread on me!" flags. It’s definitely not good enough to yell or demagogue the other guy. The impression indicates a manic hysteria, at best. Why waste your breath shouting against Big Government if you don’t have something better? Pirates do more than resist. They take over. When they fail, they try again. North Carolina Republican Pat McCrory fan for Governor the second time in 2012. He thought through his positions, calculated his responses carefully, avoided hitting heavy on social issues, and reached out to all voters, giving them the same upbeat, respectable jobs-and-growth message that they wanted to hear, which the Democratic leaders were not delivering.
Another idea: the RI GOP needs to break out then break into Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, including his Thirteen Rules for bringing down the opposing parties. Too many Republicans fear that resorting to such tactics is "beneath them", but when you have the law and the facts, there is nothing wrong with pounding the table, too!
So, Rhode Island Republicans (and limited government activists everywhere), do you believe what you believe, or not? If so, then coordinated, yet unorthodox methods are the order of the day! It's pirate time, GOP! Time to put the “party” back in Tea Party!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more at Schaper's Corner , waxmanwatch.blogspot.com/ and As He Is, So Are We Ministries. Also, find him on Facebook.
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