I've been seeing some dangerous rhetoric floating around lately and, no, I'm not referring to the Tea Partiers who want to keep the debt ceiling from being raised. I am referring to those who say that opposition to raising the debt ceiling constitutes some kind of threat to the country and that those who oppose raising the debt ceiling should be censored. It is ironic that those who are now calling for such censorship have historically postured as defenders of the First Amendment, a la the "Free Speech Movement" and the Fairness Doctrine. While they are not yet openly calling for government restrictions on pro-Tea Party speech - which, by the way, is the only thing that qualifies as genuine censorship - they have finally revealed their true colors.
At such a time I believe it is important to be clear about where I stand.
I stand with the Tea Party.
Yes, I have been critical of the Tea Party in the past and I reserve to myself the right to continue to be so. The Tea Party movement was founded by Rick Santelli on the recognition of the fact that the growth of government was out of control. The movement has succeeded in reshaping the debate on the role of government and returning it to the goals of the Founders, who wanted to guarantee the freedom of the American people. A government with access to unlimited funds is a government with access to unlimited power, and Tea Partiers recognize that restricting the government's access to power means restricting its access to funds - not just taxpayer dollars, but the ability to borrow against those dollars. I whole-heartedly support the Tea Party when it opposes raising the debt ceiling - just one of the ways it has helped to re-focus the debate on the role of government.
Ultimately, the goal must be to reverse the growth of government and cut it back to something which poses no threat to the freedom of the American people. I hold that this can only be done by restricting government to the protection of individual rights. This is one of the reasons why I oppose evangelicals who would usurp the movement for their own religious ends, which will result not in freedom but in religious dictatorship - whether they choose to recognize that or not. I regard those evangelicals as aiding and abetting the liberals in bringing about the runaway growth of government.
The United States of America was NOT founded as a Christian nation.
The United States of America was founded as a FREE nation.
The Tea Party movement is big enough and healthy enough to withstand such criticism. I certainly do not regard the presence of factionalism in the Tea Party as grounds for censorship. I regard the fact that it has generated the kind of desperate opposition represented by those who are calling for censorship as testimony to its success, and I stand with the Tea Party in its opposition to those who would obliterate the First Amendment by forbidding media coverage of and access to information about the Movement.
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