In light of the recent revelations about the Boss Lonegan-dominated cabal responsible for vicious attacks on several Tea Party groups both in and outside of the Garden State, there can be no question in the mind of any rational Tea Party members who value the autonomy (and survival) of their organizations that the time has come for the Tea Party movement to draft a manifesto or statement of principles that clearly and unambiguously defines what the movement is and what it seeks to accomplish.
In that vein, permit me to offer a few thoughts and suggestions:
The Tea Party Manifesto
The Tea Party Movement today traces the inspiration for its formation to the famous “rant heard ’round the world” by Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago stock exchange in February 2009. It is a true grassroots movement comprised of ordinary citizens dedicated to the proposition that the reach of the federal government has far exceeded the grasp established for it by the Constitution of the United States.
- The mission of the Tea Party Movement involves minimizing government through less spending, lower taxes and fewer intrusive regulations while maximizing personal and economic liberty;
- All Tea Party groups that manifest the letter and spirit of the mission statement ought to be recognized by other Tea Party groups as kindred and an inseparable part of the Tea Party movement;
- All true grassroots-organized Tea Party groups – regardless of their size – are autonomous entities and therefore inherently free to pursue the agenda set forth by their members without hindrance or interference from any other Tea Party group;
- As autonomous entities, all Tea Party groups owe no allegiance or fealty to any advocacy organizations or political parties and are inherently free to decide the scope and manner of their association with any organization or political party that is in accord with spirit of this manifesto;
- As an attack on one group may rightly be seen as an attack on all of them, Tea Party organizations ought to come to the defense of sister organizations that are under attack;
- All Tea Party organizations ought to strive to obey the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a sister Tea Party group.”
It’s a start. I’d love to hear what Tea Party leaders think.