In 2010, Tea Party backer Dick Armey stated, "This is a leaderless movement. That is its strength." Unfortunately for Republicans, the Tea Party is now led by the belief that it's been abandoned by establishment conservatives. The Cliven Bundy saga is a good example. At first, media personalities like Sean Hannity and Republicans fully supported the disgruntled rancher. When he became a political liability, however, even Sean Hannity cut and ran from armed ranchers accusing the federal government of tyranny. The truth is that Dick Armey, Glenn Beck and others in 2008 thought they could utilize and inflame the passions of extreme conservatives without paying a price. This debt, now in the form of indignant concession speeches and anti-GOP rhetoric, is the result of the Republican establishment's Faustian bargain with staunchly ideological voters. When analyzing the words of Tea Party candidates and Tea Party websites, it's obvious there's only one solution to the dilemmas passionate conservatives now face: A third political party in the United States.
Chris McDaniel bemoaned his recent loss to Thad Cochran by claiming, "Today the conservative movement took a backseat to liberal Democrats in Mississippi." Before Cochran won, Mitch McConnell beat his own Tea Party rival and confidently declared, "I think we are going to crush them everywhere... I don't think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country." In response to his loss to McConnell, Matt Bevins believed the Senate Minority Leader "betrayed conservatives to give Obama a blank check." John Boehner also defeated his Tea Party challenger in Ohio and with GOP Congressional leaders firmly entrenched, concessions on immigration, debt limits, and other issues are likely in the future. This is not the ideal scenario for the Tea Party movement, especially when compromising with President Obama and Democrats means abandoning certain cherished principles.
Aside from Dave Brat's shocking win over Eric Cantor, the Tea Party hasn't been able to unseat politicians who are susceptible to, "once again compromising, once again reaching against the aisle." While GOP lawmakers are always aware of the Tea Party's influence, establishment Republicans like Cochran, McConnell, and Boehner usually overwhelm their more ideological challengers. Even in the conservative state of Texas, incumbents like Sen. John Cornyn beat Tea Party opposition, protecting the GOP establishment in the region. Therefore, when push comes to shove, the mainstream Republican Party (as stated indignantly by losing candidates Chris McDaniel's, Matt Bevin's and others) has no problem playing dirty against a movement that brought the GOP millions of votes.
So, when Tea Party candidates can't even win heated races in Mississippi or Texas, there's an answer for voters who think Thad Cochran is Nancy Pelosi with a Southern drawl. Echoing Sarah Palin and others, the Chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party expressed his view of the movement's future in The Clarion-Ledger:
"The same guys who have ridiculed and mocked not just the tea party but true conservatives are calling for unity," said Roy Nicholson, founding chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party. "The same people who so villainously stabbed us in the back now call on us to elect the same person who they stabbed us over? ... In two to six years, (the tea party) will be at the head of some party or another ... We want smaller government, less taxes and more freedom. Since our Republican leadership refuses to listen to that, they have brought on the destruction of the Mississippi GOP."
According to Nicholson, the Republican establishment "ridiculed and mocked" the Tea Party and "villainously stabbed us in the back." He's not alone in this sentiment and in 2013, Ralph King of the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots stated, "They keep sticking their finger in the eyes of the guys who got them elected. A lot of people are feeling betrayed." Therefore, if the Tea Party must simultaneously contend with Democrats and back stabbing Republicans, it's time they started their own political party; one that at least takes its rhetoric seriously.
While there are a plethora of Tea Party websites, the top two that pop up on Google searches are TeaPartyPatiots.org and TeaParty.org. Boasting 289,000 likes on Facebook, TeaParty.org is more provocative than other Tea Party sites. Wikipedia explains that sites like TeaParty.org are active in advocating social issues and states, "groups like Glenn Beck's 9/12 Tea Parties, TeaParty.org, the Iowa Tea Party and Delaware Patriot Organizations do act on social issues such as abortion, gun control, prayer in schools, and illegal immigration." They might not speak for all Tea Party voters, but under the "Martial Law" tab on TeaParty.org, the site voices the concerns of people marginalized by establishment Republicans:
Listen up. Have you suffered enough under this oppressive Obama regime? Are you sick of the lies, the deceit, the corruption, the scandals, and the tyranny? Are you willing to prepare for the next battle America must win?
Get ready for the mother of all clashes. Here's where we are right now...
One-by-one Obama is stripping America of its freedoms and as he does we're sounding the alarm loud and clear. There will be no one who does not see his ulterior motives, which are both wicked and deceitful...
THE TEA PARTY IS RESISTANCE...
It is our duty and our job at the Tea Party to tell "We the People" about "America's Fraud President." There is no time to wait! They must know now about his insidious plan to strip us of our freedoms and leave us suffocating in his corrupt totalitarian regime.
Imagine if such rhetoric was espoused immediately after 9/11 during the Bush years? Nevertheless, it's a political reality within the Tea Party and although Ted Cruz doesn't state phrases like "get ready for the mother of all clashes," he gives these citizens somewhat of a voice.
However, the "Tea Party is resistance" type of voter does not have a political party. Neither the GOP nor the Democrats will ever cater to his or her value system. The Tea Party should begin its own party where Allen West can speak directly to his own voting base and express views like, "Now Obama and Holder are embracing Marx's tenth tenet from his Communist Manifesto, forcing our young children into failing public schools." A bit extreme you say? It might be extreme to Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid, and even to the liberal author of this article, but there are millions of people who agree with Allen West. They shouldn't have to sit on the losing end of incumbent GOP politicians forever and they shouldn't be utilized as a strategic tool by the Republican establishment.
A second, more ideologically conservative party might make it impossible for the GOP to win the White House, but stranger things have happened in the past. Sadly for Republicans, that's the consequence of pandering to what many consider the extreme right, and thinking it would never truly want a seat at the table. There's no need for Tea Party candidates to be "ridiculed and mocked" anymore by liberals, moderate conservatives, or GOP incumbents. Contrary to Karl Rove, who has been accused of declaring war against the Tea Party, a new political party should be created regardless of the consequences for Republicans. If it's true that "the American people" don't want to compromise on issues like immigration, entitlement spending, debt increases, or environmental regulations, then a new party -- not the GOP -- is needed to ensure staunch conservatives don't acquiesce to President Obama, and potentially President Hillary Clinton.
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