What do Tea Partiers want?

Our rulers are as clueless on this subject as Freud about women.  From Kevin D. Williamson this morning:
But our so-called liberals are committed Hobbesians.  Argue for a reduction in taxes, or a more restrictive interpretation of delegated powers, or allowing the states to take the lead on health care and education, and they’re sure that the next step is a Hobbesian hootenanny in which all of our rump roasts are crawling with bacteria, somebody snatches Piggy’s glasses, and, worst of all, there’s no NPR to ask what it all means.  Like Hobbes, they believe that you hold your property at the sufferance of the state, and that you should pipe down and be grateful for whatever you are allowed to keep.  But the American creed is precisely the opposite:  The state exists at our sufferance, not the other way around, and while few of us actually hold the beliefs that Senator Reid attributes to us and long to abolish the state as a general principle, more than a few of us are interested in making some deep changes to this state.  We may not want to shut it down entirely, but we aren’t sure we want it to load another few trillion dollars in debt onto us.  We aren’t throwing bombs, but we aren’t going to give it everything it demands, either.  Not 40 percent of the last dollar, not a dime to subsidize abortions, not control over our children’s educations or our own consciences.  Hobbes wrote about subjects.  We’re citizens.
It might be more accurate to say we have a tradition of aspiring to be citizens, which has never been universally honored among us and is not guaranteed to survive if we persist in agreeing to act more like subjects in return for physical security and our share of the plunder.

1 comment:

RonF said...

What we have these days is a 3-party House, like like many parliaments in Europe. Understand that and you'll understand what's going on there. Boehner doesn't lead the GOP. He leads a two-party coalition. He could boot out the Tea Party movement and align with the Democrats and pass legislation, but then he'd lose his Speakership and very likely his seat.