As I constantly remind the readers of this blog, America has huge fiscal and economic problems which need to be addressed right away. In a recent post, “America’s Fourth Revolution,” I described the pessimistic view of the political scientist, James Piereson, that our polarized and dysfunctional political system will not be able to successfully confront our stagnant economy and massive debt and establish a pathway to recovery.
The president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks, does see a way for this to happen as explained in his new book, “The Conservative Heart: how to build a fairer, happier and more prosperous America.” It is the Tea Party which could do this! Its “future relevance depends on whether it can shift from being a protest movement to becoming a social movement.”
According to Mr. Brooks there are four steps to making the transition from minority to majority and turning a protest movement into a broad-based social movement. They are:
- Launch a rebellion
- Declare majoritarian values
- Claim the moral high ground
- Unite the country behind an agenda
These were the steps taken by our own founding fathers over two hundred years ago and by the civil rights movement some fifty years ago. The Tea Party has already launched a rebellion against big government, taxes, spending, etc. Now it needs to take the second step of declaring its support for the majoritarian values of work, mobility and opportunity. The third step is to seize the moral high ground:
- Too many Americans have been marginalized and left behind in recent years.
- It is neither fair nor compassionate to content ourselves with an economic recovery that only accrues to top earners.
- Obamacare is hurting too many people by forcing them out of full-time work and into part-time work.
- Huge debt may require spending cuts that fall the hardest on the poor.
- We need education reform, especially in big cities, because the welfare of poor kids is more important than job security for poor teachers.
The Tea Party should spend less time protesting big government and more time showing how conservative principles help the most vulnerable members of society!