Hot drinks in cold weather

By Eli Gottlieb

Let us discuss the Tea Party movement, a movement originally founded by civil libertarians and fiscal paleoconservatives. Since it began in 2007, its grassroots efforts have been watered by aristocratic Republican backers, and its enemies have ridiculed it for taking in anti-Semites, white supremacists, Christian fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists. As jobs have evaporated, however, the Tea Party movement has attracted many ordinary Americans angry at the alliance between government and big business. They have become an undeniably solid political force, and a Wall Street Journal poll released in mid-December showed more support for the Tea Party movement than for the Democratic and Republican parties. Since only 28 percent of Americans trusted the Republican Party to take America in the right direction (versus 45 percent for the Tea Party movement), I honestly think that the latter could replace the former as a real political party. This would totally reconfigure the American political spectrum, and I’d like to tell everyone how I hope to see it go.          

The Tea Party will stand for the freedom of Americans to live without anyone reaching into their wallets. They will support the use of violence in defense of one’s self and one’s nation. They will stand against deficit spending and for balancing the federal budget – though I wish to remind them that Clinton did. They will stand for allowing free markets to take their course by letting even the largest corporations die when they so mismanage themselves so as to lose everything. They will stand for reforming the tax system, most likely supporting the Fair Tax proposal or some other flat tax, so that everyday Americans need not suffer extra tax burden for failing to fill out proper forms, and tax cheats among the rich and large corporations will find themselves with nowhere to hide from paying the price of civilization.

Still, as much as I’d like to see the real Tea Party devote itself to fairness in business and noninterference in government, I honestly can’t believe that the party will form without the support of the established Republican base. Somehow, the dirty money of neo-feudal businessmen hungry for taxpayer dollars always seems to creep into free-market movements in the United States, and that brings the Republican foot-soldiers, the self-proclaimed “army of Christ.” It doesn’t matter to these people that they make markets less free by passing taxpayer money to large corporations nobody likes over smaller businesses who satisfy their customers, as long as homosexuality and abortion remain legally condemned. The Republican Party of the Bush years has shown us that only by facing a powerful opposition party can the sensible folks within the Tea Party movement contain the influence of these self-aggrandizing moralists.

Thus, I propose the formation of the Coffee Party to oppose the Tea Party. Where the Democrats have betrayed progress in favor of pretending to be Europeans, the Coffee Party will stand on Enlightenment values and the solidarity of working Americans. We of the Coffee Party will support some positions of the old Democratic Party, like national health insurance and environmental protection, because we know they can work. However, we will proclaim that all Americans are “Real Americans” deserving of representation, no matter what educational degree they have. We will also have the guts to say what nobody today says: We can’t defeat terrorism by giving up liberty, free speech entails free offense, American schools can only be fixed by letting better students learn more and a strong economy requires saving and exporting more while borrowing less.

The common consensus between the Tea Party and Coffee Party will define the coming political era. In the new consensus, both parties will stand for the right of citizens to live according to the dictates of our consciences, and both will stand for nationalism and the sovereignty of the American voting public over that of big business or foreign opinion. Most of all, both parties will stand for hot drinks in cold weather, and right now America could certainly do with some of that.

Eli Gottleib is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]