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Actually, it was about the Tea Party and purports to contrast the basis of Tea Party support with conservative issues. Moreover, the bottom line of the article (if you had read it, BS-87) was their claim that the strongest relationship was with the goal of involving religion in politics. "Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics."(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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I did read it, and found the whole article smacking of the writer's own personal bias.


I'd be interested in finding out how the writer defines "having a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president" and "a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics".


When you have open ended definitions, you can interpret any poll whatever way you'd like to. That's also assuming their "random" poll is truly representative of Americans or if it's representative of how they feel Americans are.


Really it's an opinion piece for a reason, because it doesn't hold enough water to be real news.

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Where is it that the article claimed to be anything OTHER than an opinion piece? Duh! So that's his opinion. Are you saying that you think that the Tea Party does NOT want religion to have a prominent place in politics?

What do YOU think most strongly distinguishes the Tea Party from the rest? And why do YOU think that?

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I'm only a humble Tea-Partier, but I'd reckon to say we're united by a shared vision of fiscal conservatism and a reduction in the size of government.


Where you'll see differentiation from club to club and Tea-Partier to Tea-Partier is foreign policy issues and social issues. There are definitely some Tea Party members who want more "Christian Legislation" (though I dare say that may be an oxymoron) and there are some ignorant Tea Party members who want nothing more than to nuke all the sand people.


However, those are not the messages that are embraced at gatherings of Tea Party members. The issues that matter most are federalism, reducing deficit/debt, and improving the economic atmosphere.


There's too much dissent within the Tea Party itself about foreign policy and social regulations between Tea-o-cons and Libertarians for there to be a voice of solidarity on those subjects regarding race or religion.


That is just my experience and opinion though.

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BS-87 is correct. The Tea Party has social liberals and social conservatives though the conservatives out number the liberals just as in the society. In the general society, conservatives out number liberals by 2:1 but the Tea Party is likely more socially conservative. However, the Tea Parties across the country are clear that they are only about following the constitution and being fiscally responsible. The left wing media has no problems being prevaricators in order to enact their socialist/fascist agenda. For example, Rick Perry's statement about a black cloud over America. The Tea Party is just what the left likes to talk about being the most important kind of movement - a true grassroots movement of ordinary people. That fact is driving the left wing nuts.

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a true grassroots movement of ordinary people


Yah, hmmm...


Sure seems like there are some big-ticket funders, eh?


I have yet to see anything that I would call economic conservatism from the Tea Party crowd. Maybe I'm just not listenin' to the right sorts of folks, or maybe that's just a reflection of how badly our education system has failed "ordinary people". They don't even know what economic conservatism means any more, just like they don't even recognize that socialism and fascism are fundamentally different. ;)


I picked up a copy of Rick Perry's most recent book, "Fed Up!". Gotta keep up my due diligence about each candidate. From those of you who feel you're closer to the Tea Partiers, I'd be curious to know if yeh think that book represents da basics of the Tea Party positions on things. Perry is often described by da media as a Tea-Party friendly candidate, after all. Does that book resonate with da group?




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Doesn't resonate with me...


If you want to find a book most Tea Partiers would agree with (if they didn't know the author's name) pick up "Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues Affecting our Freedom" by Ron Paul.


Tea Partiers today are largely following two presidential candidates, and it's a house divided as you can imagine.


At the Iowa Straw Poll (most significant recent political gathering) there were two factions, Libertarian Tea Partiers and Social Conservative Tea Partiers (or Tea-o-cons). They were represented in pretty equal numbers.


There were some interested in Rick Perry, but not in large numbers.

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The media likes to focus on the Tea-o-cons because they are roughly 1,000 to 1,000,000 times more likely to scream something racist or insane in the presence of cameras. That and because the media doesn't give much creedence to libertarians ever anyway.


It's easy to paint a negative picture of a group you don't agree with when you focus your attention on the most disagreeable faction of that group. However, while the Tea-o-cons are entitled to their beliefs, it's important that we've managed to open their minds a little to Liberty when it comes to economic issues. Now we just need to convince them that it's great they have values and beliefs, but that just because someone believes differently doesn't make that stranger with strange ways wrong.


I think it's great to be a social conservative and have a strong faith. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it makes someone a much better person (Duty to God anyone?). However, it's not appropriate for our federal government to legislate morality in instances that infringe upon our liberties. That is the role of the Church, and organizations like Scouting, to help people find faith and find morality.


As an example: Drugs cause terrible damage to individuals, families, and communities. It would prove to be virtually impossible and terribly expensive for the Federal Government to eradicate drugs. However, people of faith and people with strong morality in every community are responsible for helping their friends and neighbors and families overcome the temptation, addiction, and destruction. This not only creates a much better support system for drug abuse, it brings communities closer instead of allowing them to drift apart and call the cops on their neighbor for the music being too loud.


Humans really are compassionate and long for strong community bonds like this. It is not unattainable. Anyone who pushes for a stronger police state and stronger laws is horribly pessimistic of the people that surround them, and doesn't have faith and belief in programs like Scouting to affect the greater good.

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OK, I've had a chance to get over my aggravation over the whole Facebook thing. I've moved on and felt the need to chime in.


I was at one of the first Tea Party events on the steps of the Arch. Every event that came to be known as the "Tea Party was as a result of Rick Santelli's rant on CNBC. Rick said what all of us were thinking: "My God....when is this reckless spending going to be curbed?" So, a local radio station was discussing this matter and the decision was made for people to just show up. Word spread and the major local news outlets barely covered it. Initially, the station that hosted it had hoped to get 100-200 people. Over 1000 showed up. It was peaceful, it was orderly, it was polite, and it was not racist (there were many from various ethnic backgrounds). The central theme was "we want our Constitution to be honored" and "stop wasteful spending". The event was something that anyone could attend and many times the "protesters" brought their kids along a well to teach them a lesson in civic responsibility.


I have since attended 2 more events and they were conducted in the same manner. Now I realize there are various factions in the Tea Party and in most cases it is no longer that simple freedom of expression event, but from what I have read and heard about other events, they are still something that nobody should be afraid to take their kids to. One of my Eagle Scouts, after he turned 18, took a bus along with several friends to experience the Tea Party in Washington DC. He said it was one of the best experiences he had ever had. From all he told me, it appeared to be the same as the events I had attended earlier.


Now, as to my opinions on the various candidates: You know who I am supporting. I like Paul as far as fiscal responsibility is concerned, but I consider his foreign policy approach as reckless. Romney leaves me cold (although my respect for him rose when I found out he was also an Eagle Scout). I feel he changes positions easily to meet the prevailing winds (i.e. manmade climate change). Bachmann: too stand-offish. I like someone that isn't afraid to go into a crowd and mix it up. Her campaign seems to be too choreographed. Palin: I don't like quitters and my respect for her went down when she walked away from Alaska. The rest of the field at this time is too weak for me to consider them... I do like Herman Cain and would love to see him in a cabinet position.


This leaves me with Perry. Why? Besides being conservative (I don't care where his religion lies....), the biggest selling point for me is that he is an advocate for the 10th Amendment. Much of what we have in this country that divides us does so in geological areas. Rural areas tend to be more conservative and urban areas tend to be more liberal. That is fine. I can live and let live. That is where the 10th Amendment was supposed to come in. Social issues such as abortion, education, and many others should be left to the states to sort and legislate as they see fit. This would leave the role of the Federal government much smaller and less intrusive as a result. Are there some things that need to be handled at a Federal level? Sure. However, I feel it is best left to the states and local governments to handle as their constituents desire.

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"I like Paul as far as fiscal responsibility is concerned, but I consider his foreign policy approach as reckless."


You consider Ron Paul's foreign policy approach reckless?


What I consider reckless is this following approach to foreign policy;


I really do not like to be stung by wasps. I notice that there is nest where these wasps live. I do not like where they are living, as it's a threat to my friend who is allergic to them. I therefore choose to throw rocks at the wasps nest to discourage the wasps from stinging my friend.


However, not only does this cause the wasps to attack my friend, it causes them to fly all the way over to me and sting ME! I am so infuriated by this that I go right up to the nest and start stomping it and throwing rocks at it and telling the bees to stop hating me and my friend for being humans instead of wasps. For some reason, the wasps respond to my aggression with more aggression! It's like they have no sense! No matter how long I try to stamp out and stone the nest, more and more wasps keep flying out and stinging us. The obvious answer is that we must continue to aggravate the wasps, because leaving the nest alone for awhile and not disturbing them would never result in the angry hive settling down. No, it would most certainly mean that the wasps would decide to kill both my friend and I.



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That approach is naive and dangerous. To quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman (of all places) "With great power, comes great responsibility." Do we need to become the policeman of the world? No. However, with the expansion of our military, it has accomplished many good things. How many times have our military been able to help with humanitarian missions because of its size and capability? Just one example of this was the Tsunami in Thailand and surrounding countries in 2004. Since we had bases around the world we were able to deploy C-5's, C-17's, P-3's, and C-130's as soon as we were given permission from those governments. We sent Carrier Strike Group 9 (Abraham Lincoln & 4 support ships), Expeditionary Strike Group (Bonhomme Richard & 7 support ships), and the Mercy (hospital ship). This scenario has played out in various parts of the world at different times. I ask you: Can anyone else do this? No.


Now, does this make others feel threatened? Yes, if they have a reason to feel that way. Does Great Britain, France, or Germany feel threatened by the size of our force? No, because they don't have a reason to. Does Iran? Yes, because they have a habit of causing problems for others and realize that we would be the ones who would most likely to try to stop them.


One only needs to look at the US lack of involvement in WW2 to see what this type of foreign policy can yield. As to your analogy: Sometimes wasps will attack without provocation, so if you find a nest being built on your own home, the most prudent action is to eliminate the nest and create a condition where no new nest will be built.....



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evil, We will have to agree to disagree. This is because our views of human nature are not even comparable.


It's disheartening to hear folks pump up the ego of the United States as if we're the only capable force for good in the world. Being capable of intervening to prevent human tragedy doesn't always mean we are obligated to prevent human tragedy, as any acts of intervention will always have unintended consequences that are almost always a larger long term problem than the immediate tragedy. Also, being spread so thin, we're forced now to pick and choose which human tragedies to intervene in and which we cannot, which in cases like Syria make us appear hypocritical.


Imagine during the Civil War if England and France decided that based on our constitution and by the rights of the seceding states, that the Confederate States should be legally recognized as a nation of the world, and that the United States government in the North was acting oppressively and against the best interests of the world, as the Confederacy would likely trade more favorably with the friends who helped them secede. Therefore, to prevent human tragedies like the razing of Georgia in a march to the sea, these foreign powers decide to intervene in our civil war to protect the rights of the Confederate States and shun the evil Abraham Lincoln for trying to kill the insurgent rebels for merely wanting to pursue life, liberty, and happiness outside the Union.


All that might have happened if Lincoln hadn't emancipated the slaves and made siding with the Confederacy synonomous with condoning slavery.


It's not a bad comparison. In fact, it's highly accurate when you start thinking about everything the US is and has been intervening in to protect Democracy and our own interests.


This has turned into a longer spiel than I intended... but if you think a Wilsonian foreign policy is acceptable that's fine. However, every great empire falls when their militarism expands further than they can afford. Right now, that superb worldly force you described is too expensive, and we need to accept that we can no longer afford to be Democracy's worldly defender.


Back in the 18th Century, America was the global force for good in being a shining beacon of democracy.


For some reason today we think we send the message better by busting down someone's door and screaming at them YOU SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER THE VALUE OF DEMOCRACY TO YOUR SOCIETY!


Democracy happens because the people want it. People want it because it allows for liberty. Liberty will always prevail over tyranny. Look at the Arab Spring. They're ready to do it by themselves. Democracy will win because, in the words of Ron Paul, "Freedom is popular."


Anyway, we'll have to disagree, because I cannot relate to ethnocentrism. I can believe in American exceptionalism, but I will not buy into its precept of foreign policy based heavily in ethnocentrism.

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I'm in agreement with evillerams. Ron Paul has some good ideas, and he has a few which are really too extreme, particularly on foreign policy. Isolationism as a policy simply won't sell amongst the moderate independents, and that's who ultimately decides any election.


That's why I do not see him ever getting enough support, even within the Republican/Tea Parties. I also think that rightly or wrongly, him being 76 is going to make a few people think twice. He's got great ideas, but I'm not sure he's exactly a leader as much as he is a thinker.


Cain, Santorum, Huntsman will probably fall out quickly. They might as well save their money and get out now.


I see this quickly coming down to Perry and Romney, perhaps with Bachmann as a VP pick.


Romney is clearly an establishment favorite, but the baggage of Romney-care may not help things. I lived in TX during Perry's early years, and really can't say that I had an opinon either way. The state's economy clearly hasn't suffered to the extent that the rest of the country has. I was able to sell my house there without taking a loss in 2006 as the market was slowing down, and it's held its value (I've been watching on Realtor.com).


Perry is more in the media's gunsights now than Romney, thanks in part to Karl Rove (who knows that if Perry does wind up as the nominee, it will be another 4-8 years where Rove is on the sidelines and won't get any work). Keeping Karl Rove sidelined may be seen as a good thing.


What I'd really like to see... a RNC showdown between Mitt and Rick. I don't like having races decided eight months before the election. Let's get back to deciding this at the convention and not a handful of state primaries.(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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"Ron Paul has some good ideas, and he has a few which are really too extreme, particularly on foreign policy. Isolationism as a policy simply won't sell amongst the moderate independents."


It gets frustrating hearing the same talking points repeated by people who are obviously very intelligent. It makes one feel like the media is winning in programming folks to their liking...


Anyways. Ron Paul is not isolationist.


From Wikipedia:


Isolationism is a foreign policy adopted by a nation in which the country refuses to enter into any alliances, foreign trade or economic commitments, or international agreements in hopes of focusing all of its resources into advancement within its own borders while remaining at peace with foreign countries by avoiding all entanglements of foreign agreements. In other words, it asserts BOTH of the following:


1. Non-interventionism Political rulers should avoid entangling alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial differences (self-defense).

2. Protectionism There should be legal barriers to control trade and cultural exchange with people in other states.



Ron Paul's foreign policy is defined only as Non-interventionism. This is because he is strongly opposed to Protectionism. To be considered Isolationist, one must accept both precepts.


This goes back to Jefferson's view of foreign policy, "Free trade with all, entangling alliances with none."



There is a significant threat to our southern sovereign borders today. Why are our troops overseas concerned with borders between foreign nations like Korea and Pakistan/Afghanistan instead of working to secure the American borders?


Even Rick Perry has come out for securing our own borders with servicemen. This is because that is where the real and appropriate need for their service lies!

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