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Jalees Rehman, M.D. Headshot

Sharing Three Cups of Tea With the Tea Party

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The rise of the Tea Party is a political phenomenon that is quite remarkable and continues to play an important role in American politics. Liberals and progressives unfortunately often mock the Tea Party and its patriotic members, without making the necessary efforts to understand the political and intellectual assets of the Tea Party. One of the most under-appreciated assets is the tremendous foreign policy potential that resides within the Tea Party. At a time when the United States is considering how to best disengage from the Afghanistan war, it is imperative that Americans recognize the important role that members of the Tea Party could play in future negotiations with the Taliban.

The reason why the Tea Party may be best suited to act as mediators in the Afghanistan war is that the Tea Party and the Taliban share three core sets of values:

  1. A shared support for the right of each individual to bear arms
  2. A shared loathing for the federal government and federal taxes
  3. A shared desire to promote traditional values and to reject any ideas that appear to be progressive, liberal, left-wing, socialist or communist.

With this in mind, Tea Party members and the Taliban will likely find some common ground and perhaps even consider initiating joint political ventures. Finding a name for a Tea Party-Taliban joint venture may be challenging, but two names come to mind: "The Chai Party" would replace the word "Tea" with its Persian counterpart "Chai" and thus preserve the "Tea Party" heritage, while showing great respect for Afghani culture. Furthermore, the name "The Chai Party" may also help broaden its public support in the United States. It could perhaps attract progressive, liberal, left-wing, socialist or communist Americans. After all, these groups of people tend to be the ones that sit in coffee shops, wearing berets and engaging in pseudo-intellectual discussions, while sipping their chai-spiced lattes.

An even more appealing name for a Tea Party-Taliban joint venture would be "The T-Ban Party." Such a clever wording would replace "Tea" with the letter "T" and also highlight the profound respect that the Tea Party has for African-American culture by alluding to Mr. T. Importantly, it would preserve the "-ban" from Taliban, which makes sense, since "banning" ideas is what the Taliban are best at.

Once the Tea Party and the Taliban recognize their common values and agree on a name for a joint organization, they could help negotiate an end to the dreadful Afghanistan war. It is high time, that the American government realizes how wrong it is to marginalize the Tea Party and instead tries to harness the foreign policy potential of the Tea Party.