When I hear all the lies, slanders, and threats against the Tea Party movement from folks on the left, I wish I could counter with a fuller examination of my beliefs. Luckily, with the help of Missouri News Horizon, I can.
The Friday before the 9⁄12 Tea Party, I sat down with Rebecca Townsend to talk about the Tea Party.
Rebecca and I chatted for an hour. She led me through just about every aspect of the Tea Party’s history up to that point. We also talked about its future.
The time of the interview’s release was tough. It went to press on 9⁄11, the day before Gateway to November. Immediately after, we opened our Victory HQ on Hampton and dove into full campaign mode.
Rebecca’s totally fair coverage—she published the transcript and video whole, without edits—deserves more exposure.
Please feel free to point out this interview to anyone who wants to know how I think or what I believe.
Here’s an excerpt:
Q: WITH THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF WHAT?
The ultimate goal is to make sure people understand the founding principles of our country. Those founding principles may be well known, there’s key phrases we all know, but the thinking behind them I think we tend to forget about because we know the phrases so well.
There’s a reason why Jefferson said the “pursuit of happiness” instead of property, which was the popular phrase of the day – life, liberty and property.
Pursuit of happiness may include the pursuit of private property, but it goes far beyond that. There’s a school of thought that says he chose that because property was so closely associated with slavery and he didn’t want to codify the idea of owning another human being. That may have been part of it, but I believe there’s more to it than that.
The pursuit of happiness: There’s a Harvard researcher named Nancy Etcoff, who begins a fantasticTED.com talk by saying, “We are wired to pursue happiness.”
The way she phrased that is very important. She didn’t say we are wired to be happy, but we’re wired to pursue happiness. She went on to say “not only achieve it, but pursue it again and again.”
We know from neuroscience and psychology that a person who is paralyzed and a person who wins the lottery one year after the event will have an equal degree of happiness. Because happiness…we’re driven to want to better ourselves and the world around us. The pursuit of happiness – and Jefferson couldn’t have known this because we didn’t have the science at the time – but he was right, he was way ahead of his time. The pursuit of happiness is as important a right to human beings as the right to defend ourselves from attack.
Going back to the idea that of the negative emotions prevent us from being eaten by tigers and positive emotions prevent us from becoming tigers, if we’re denied the pursuit of happiness, we’re denied the right not to become miserable creatures –miserable to ourselves and miserable to those around us.
In the old Soviet Union in Moscow they did make sure everybody had their basic needs were met. And everyone I’ve met who lived through that era said life was just miserable. Everyone was unhappy. They squabbled, they complained. It was like existing but not being alive.
That’s what happens when government tries to replace our pursuit of happiness with their idea of happiness. Until we establish a good understanding of how important the pursuit of happiness…the unfettered right to pursue of happiness so long as it doesn’t deny someone the right to pursue happiness… until we understand that, we’re in danger of losing that and living the way the Muscovites lived for 70-some years.
Please post your comments on the interview below.