The “radical” Tea Party Republicans versus the establishment Republicans, what can we learn from history?
Since the mid-term elections of 2010 it has been reported that there was a growing rift in the Republican party between the establishment and the Tea Party and I am now going to state unequivocally that this is the case. There is indeed a battle for the heart and the soul of the Republican party and it is a rift which just might tear the Republican party asunder and cause them to lose the 2014 election and possibly the 2016 election as well. But it is a battle which needs to be fought if we are to stop the two major parties from becoming one in ideology, neither with the founding document as its soul.
The media has done its best to portray the Tea Party Republicans as radicals and as dangerous simply because this faction of the party wants to see the federal government return to fiscal sanity and its constitutional founding. Sure, there is part of the Tea Party which is focused on the social issues, but this is not the main goal of the Tea Party, and was vastly misrepresented by the mainstream media during the election. This tactic was quite successful in frightening a majority of the American people into supporting a president who has failed but I ask you this question; is it a bad thing to be labeled as a radical Republican? It isn’t the first time.
Personally I am getting quite sick and tired of being called a radical because I want to see America return to the constitution it has been abandoning with more and more frequent regularity over the last 100 years or so, but if being labeled a radical is the worse that can happen to me so be it! If it is radical to advocate for returning to constitutional principles than I am guilty as charged!
As I alluded to above, this isn’t the first time a rift has appeared in the Republican party and it isn’t the first time that Republicans who opposed party leadership were labeled radicals. From the mid-1850’s throughout the war between the states there was a faction of the Republican party known as the Radical Republicans.
Why was this group of rabble rousers seen as being radical ideologues hellbent on splitting the Republican party? Because they supported the abolition of slavery and passage of the 13th amendment to the constitution when the rest of the party did not. They were only a faction of the party but they were able to influence the rest of the party all the way up to Abraham Lincoln himself over time and change the mindset of the party which still only sought to reunite the union even if it meant there would still be slavery in portions of America. It wasn’t until the “radical” position was adopted that abolition became a goal of the war and a requirement for peace.
These “radicals” stood up for what they believed in when it was unpopular and because of it they changed the course of history, and now nobody can argue that opposing the Republican leadership during that time was the wrong position to take. In fact it is just the opposite, these brave men were able to usher in the end of slavery because they were willing to stand up and voice their unpopular position until they finally achieved their goal.
Now the Tea Party is being labeled as the radicals within the Republican party all these years later and for what? Having the same view of a constitutional republic as did the founding fathers? Much can be learned from history for those who chose to read it and such can be the case here as well.
See, being labeled a radical is not always a bad thing when you compare yourself to what you are fighting against and I see a similarity between the radicals of today and the radicals of yesteryear. No, I am not comparing the fight for fiscal sanity to the fight for the abolition of slavery but there are some similarities to the way we are being portrayed by those who oppose us.
I mentioned above that this rift between the Tea Party and the establishment Republicans may cost Republicans the election of 2014 and 2016 but that does not mean that we should abandon principles for the good of the party in the short term, what will that victory mean if the Republicans really aren’t serious about solving the problems?
We need to win this battle for the heart of the Republican party just as the radicals of the 1850’s did no matter how long it takes or who it upsets within the party; if we can do that we can win the war, if we fail then it really doesn’t matter who is in charge because the end result will be the same and the constitution will fade into a distant memory.