~By Donald Mellon~
The establishment Republican Party has declared war on the Tea Party. But the fate of the Tea Party and the country are intertwined such that the destruction of the Tea Party will also ensure the continued march toward the economic collapse of the country and the loss of liberty and property to follow. This article will suggest a possible response to this declaration of war.
The establishment has convinced Jeb Bush to throw his hat into the presidential ring. He will be a heavily funded candidate representing the Washington establishment and their well funded supporters. Recent polls (Dec 2014) have him trailing only Mitt Romney who will probably not run if Jeb Bush is the likely Republican candidate. The stated intent of Mr. Bush is to win the nomination and the general election without ever obtaining Tea Party support which will allow him to govern without any consideration for the Tea Party conservative principles of free markets, fiscal responsibility, and limited constitutional government.
The Tea Parties have a choice to make. They can remain the much maligned conservative wing of the Republican Party, they can wither and die, or they can fight back. I prefer fighting back. In this case it is important to recall how and why the Republican Party was founded in the 1850’s. It was because slavery was spreading into the Northern prairie states and the existing national Whig and Democratic parties with candidates in both the north and south were not addressing the issue of slavery to the satisfaction of the northern population. The northerners in what was left of the Whigs and the abolitionists in the Democratic party left their parties and formed the Republican Party in 1855. The major issue of the time was not being addressed by the major political parties of the time and that is the requirement necessary to establish a new political party.
Have we reached such a point in time, obviously not or there would be a national movement to form a third party. But with both major political parties aligned on progressive ideas of bigger, more intrusive government and the continued ignoring of conservative principles and individual liberties, the ingredients necessary for a third party are already simmering.
There is an action that the Tea Parties in Texas and perhaps other states can take today to fight the establishment. It begins by the Tea Party forming a third political party in Texas and running a single candidate for president (and a vice president candidate?) and no other candidates for any national or state office. The purpose would be to give the Tea Party nominee a national voice, the members and other conservatives an opportunity to cast a vote for someone they would like to see elected, and to measure the success of a third party.
A third party might give the electoral votes from Texas to the Democrat. True but since the Tea Party would not be running house or senate candidates the incumbent Republicans should survive and perhaps at least one branch of the national legislature would stay Republican. At least that way the damage the government would inflict upon us would not be quite as catastrophic as if the Democrats once again controlled both houses. But beyond that, to use a coined phrase “What difference does it make”. Jeb Bush has announced he favors amnesty and common core so how different would he be than Hillary? If he owes no allegiance to conservatives why would he rule as one?
Should a conservative get the Republican nomination then the Tea Party would not need to run a candidate. Should a progressive considered dangerous, like Elizabeth Warren perhaps, get the Democratic nomination then the Tea Party might not field a candidate preferring that the electoral votes to go to the Republican even if a progressive.
There are considerable advantages to following this path:
- Conservatives would not be pawns of the establishment by having no one else to vote for at least in Texas.
- It would be a trial run to see how a Tea Party candidate would fare in a three way race possibly leading to a national third party in the near future.
- It would not create any new liberal voters it would only split the Republican vote and possibly create additional conservative voters.
- The establishment would have to consider that a candidate not acceptable to conservatives might not carry Texas and therefore might lose the general election.
- If an establishment candidate as president is not seen as inevitable perhaps some funding will dry up allowing more conservative candidates to remain through the primaries.
- Texas would become a battleground state.
- The nation would hear why the Tea Party principles are important to restoring the American dream.
- Other red states and possibly some blue states may decide to follow the Texas lead further testing the ability of a third party to succeed
Texas would become a battleground state because Texas’s 38 electoral votes are critical for Republicans. There are 18 states that seem to always vote Democratic; CA, IL, MI, NJ, NY, WA, OR, MA, PA, MN, CT, WI, RI, DE, DC, HI, VT, and ME. Their combined electoral vote count is 233. Adding 38 from Texas equals 271 surpassing the 270 needed for election. Other states not included that have recently voted Democratic are IA, MD, NM, and CO totaling 30 votes which would give a Democrat 263 without Texas. Clearly Texas has to go Republican for any Republican to win.
The establishment would be very concerned because a Tea Party candidate could garner enough support to defeat their Republican candidate in Texas. In the last election in Texas, which is typical, Romney had 58% while Obama only had 41% . An effective Tea Party candidate that drew 18% of the total vote if it came from the Republican supporters would have resulted in Obama carrying Texas. Stated another way it would require the Tea Party taking 30% of the Republican vote.
Could an effective candidate be found to run for president in a race he could not likely win but even if he did there would be no office to occupy? (If he did win he would have 38 electoral votes to use as a bargaining chip) If the sole purpose was to throw the election to the Democrats probably not, but if the goal was to begin to establish a necessary conservative political force perhaps yes. The platform would soon become national and it would provide for an intelligent discussion of why the Tea Party offers a better conservative alternative than having two similar progressive parties in Washington. Further no other political candidates for office in Texas would be affected so there would be little harm done.
Forming a third party is a hassle, however including write-in candidates in 2014 there were eight minor political parties in Texas. The effort involves not just forming the party but promoting it, interviewing candidates, raising financing, scheduling and attending numerous meetings etc. so it would require a commitment from a number of people. The commitment would be required from the moment plans were announced for at that time all hell will break loose in Washington and in the media. I would do my part for I believe it is becoming necessary to put Texas Tea Parties and therefore all Tea Parties in a position to influence American thought before it is too late.
If you are a former, current, or future Tea Party member and would like to voice your support for or to criticize the thoughts contained in this article you may do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your Tea Party name and location.