The progressive movement has eroded the foundations of liberty in the United States over the course of decades by putting the onus of proving good intentions onto conservatives. Always on attack and never in retreat, progressives have eaten away at the resolve of the defenders of the American system to positively articulate their principles. By corrupting the language and perpetrating false or empty values, always criticizing the "status quo" and never being forced to articulate a practicable solution to the nation's problems, the left has prepared an ideological terrain that entraps those who advocate reason and American values.
This can and must change. The tea party movement de facto has the majority of Americans on its side, but it has been hindered by a leftist-driven public relations campaign that paints it as a reactionary opposition devoid of positive ideas, productive solutions, or contemporary political thinking. With an awareness of this public relations pitfall, a bit of imagination, and a modern reformulation of ideals, we can turn a fledgling opposition movement based on America's founding ideals into a broader-based modern political force that is here to stay.
The moderate and self-described independent opponents of the tea party movement see it as negative or outmoded. If this image problem is redressed, we will not only bring so many backers into our ranks that it will be politically impossible for the left to stop us, we will forge an undercurrent of positive thinking that will carry it through all obstacles.
So while the tea party movement has been defined as opposition to illegal immigration, climate change, higher taxes, bailouts, the stimulus package, and reckless foreign policy, we must now pivot in time for campaign season to revise these positions and recast them in positive form. After all, we would not oppose these policies to begin with unless we had a positive articulation of American values in our hearts and minds. We need to air our powerful and visionary beliefs as expressed in the nation's founding, in modern political language. The following are examples of what we can do to persuade more Americans as to the justness and necessity of our cause.
1. Illegal immigration - We stand for legal and responsible immigration. We believe that America is a great country that attracts immigrants from around the world and we want them to take part in this nation as fully legal and co-equal members. The current policy of allowing immigrants to come to America unchecked denies them the legal rights and protections all American citizens should enjoy. Such immigrants need to become stakeholders in this country by partaking in their fair share of taxes and allowed to hold their heads high as proud Americans. The current policy of open borders undermines American security, the economy, and the dignity of immigrants. We are for lawful and orderly immigration.
2. Climate change - It is a fact of nature that, with or without human beings, climate changes. It is always imperative for man to adapt to change. We advocate a vision of humans not as unnatural beings corrupting the environment, but rather natural creatures that utilize their minds and technology in order to survive. While we do not deny that pollution is a consequence of some particular activities, we must also recognize more broadly the tremendous benefit to human life that comes from technological innovation. To suggest that taxation of industrial civilization as a whole will provide solutions to pollution overlooks that law is the proper instrument for redressing damages to the public. We advocate a responsible and prosperous economy, unfettered by centralized planning writ large and one that addresses environmental problems as they arise on a case-by-case basis. We are for a prosperous and responsible economy.
3. Taxation - We are not anarchists. We recognize that taxation has a proper place in our Constitutional republic. But taxation, and the spending that justifies it, must not be endless. Though there are many worthy causes worth funding, we believe that using coercion to fund all seemingly noble projects is a recipe for corruption and waste. Furthermore, we believe that too much coercion and taxation undermines the economic base that produces the wealth that has so many positive benefits in this country. We believe in the human dignity that comes from self-reliance and we support policies that lead Americans to self-reliance as effectively as possible. We are for a government that spends within our means.
4. Bailouts - We desire an economy founded on success, and we believe that bailouts reward unsustainability and failure. Taking money from American workers to give to big businesses and large banks is not only immoral, it damages the economy. We are for successful sustainable businesses, and meaningful employment within a market framework.
5. The Stimulus Package - We are for businesses and government that take responsibility for their actions. We are for clear rules in an economy, and believe that risk is a part of life. We believe that all enterprises must accept risk as an aspect of reality.
6. Foreign policy - We believe in "peace through strength." We believe that weakness invites mischief. We are not for aggression, but for justified self-defense. We are for defending ourselves against those who have openly declared war on us.
There may be more and better ways to articulate our views in a positive manner, and this is just an exploration of this suggestion. The above is a "middle ground" formulation that attempts to neither deny our fundamental guiding principles, nor shock moderates with end goals that are more consonant with the value of liberty. We must begin to flip the game on our opponents before pinning them down.