Through the 1970s and 1980s in Great Britain we had an even nastier kind of socialism than usual (which takes some doing) called Militant Tendency. They were so bad and nasty that nobody in their right mind would vote for them, so they became a part of the Labour party, where their aims, aspirations, ambitions and policies could be hidden from public view whilst being advanced surreptitiously. They were like a small parasite trying to take over a bigger organism for their own benefits. In politics this is called entryism. It took a long time for the Labour leadership to grow big enough balls to kick Militant out, even though they clearly broke party rules. But eventually they did, before the parasite destroyed them.
Zoom forward around 40 years and we have a similar phenomenon, this time on the right and in America, it is called the Tea Party and it is a more right wing version of the Republican party that is using the party to advance its own agenda.
The United States of America has a fundamental problem. The last two presidents, Bush and Obama, have been abysmal and have spent immense, almost unbelievable, amounts of money that the country simply doesn’t have. With no thought to how it will ever be paid off. They only got away with this profligacy because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency so there is a big queue to buy American bonds.
America grew to be great by implementing libertarian policies with low spending, low tax government. Now they have a total muddle with high spending, low tax government and it quite simple cannot go on. America needs to cut back the size of the state, massively increase taxation, or some combination of the two. We know from looking at the rest of the world that cutting back the state works best, but it is difficult to get the state to realise this, they mostly don’t want to cut themselves back, no matter how inappropriate their spending is. They always want to spend more, just look at what Gordon Brown did.
The Tea Party movement is a grassroots, populist movement within the Republican party that seeks to achieve this return to libertarianism and their “Contract from America” contains the sensible policies needed to fix the vast economic problems that they have:
Identify constitutionality of every new law
Reject emissions trading
Demand a balanced federal budget
Simplify the tax system
Audit federal government agencies for waste and constitutionality
Limit annual growth in federal spending
Repeal the healthcare legislation passed on March 23, 2010
Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy
It is a pity we don’t have a Tea Party in the UK, these are the kinds of policies we need to sweep away the evils of socialism that are embedded in our society and which cause us an immense number of social and financial problems. The recent riots, for example.
But the Tea Party has a problem. Whilst it is practising entryism on the Republican party there are some who are practising entryism on the Tea party. And what these people are doing is bible bashing. They are people who actually believe in an all powerful divine being, that are religious fundamentalists who want to impose their views on everyone else. And they are very socially illiberal. They don’t even like the knowledge of the science of evolution being taught, never mind homosexuality, the use of recreational drugs or a woman’s right to abortion. In other words they are not the sort of person that the world wants or needs to have with any sort of power in society. We have seen the effect of similar nutters running Iran.
Which makes the Tea Party a bit of a curates egg. Economically they are bang on the nail and are proposing exactly what is needed. But the illiberal Christian fundamentalist nutters who they are carrying along with them as fellow travellers are not the sort of person that any educated person wants to see anywhere near power.