Limited Government

The Tea Party’s Real Purpose Is . . .

We talk about liberty, limited government, freedom, Constitutional principles, and the like. Those are all relevant to the purposes of the conservative grassroots movement.  But are they ends?  Or are they just means?

I believe they are means.  In the founders’ writings we find clues to the end, even they don’t state it explicitly.  Jefferson did.  Jay came close.  And Adams implicitly understood that end. 


Let me ask this: what’s the point of all the work we did in the past two years?  I mean, some of us lost friends, homes, financial security, jobs, and family relationships over this tea party thing.  Some of us switched careers. 

Why?  Why go through this?

If the end is good government, then by what yardstick do we measure “good government?” And what sane person would put himself out for a better government in Washington?

In the end, we are doing this for ourselves as individuals and for our family and community.  We are doing this to improve our own lives, and with ours, everyone’s.  But, again, to what end?  How do we measure better lives?

The answer is in the Declaration and in dozens (if not hundreds) of writings from around the time of the American Revolution.  It involves a state of mind and a state of being, not a station or a title.

Find for that end, pursue that end, and demand that government permit you to pursue that end.  You’ll end up fighting for precisely what the Tea Party came about to promote. But you’ll recognize those things as means, not ends. 

Finally, let me put it this way: if all of our stated objectives are met and we’re still miserable, we will have failed. 

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.

One Commnet on “The Tea Party’s Real Purpose Is . . .

  1. The larger purpose must not be self-serving in its nature. Or only self serving to the point that we wish better for our posterity. If we have benefitted from the fruits of past labor, it is only right to pay it forward and work/fight to preserve it for those who follow. It’s about preserving a standard of character, culture, opportunity. Few things in life worth fighting for come easily or without strife.

    Human nature breeds apathy and compliance in good times. Maybe this is a wake up call to get up off our soft backsides and put the train back on the tracks, because what follows if we don’t is much worse than the sacrifices we make to make it right.

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