The Platform of the Tea Party Movement
Ten Core Beliefs of the Modern-Day Tea Party Movement
Preamble: The Tea Party Movement is an all-inclusive American grassroots movement with the belief that everyone is created equal and deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in these United States where they may “pursue life, liberty and happiness” as stated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
No one is excluded from participation in the Tea Party Movement. Everyone is welcomed to join in seeking to achieve the Tea Party Movement goals, which are as follows:
1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes – Excessively high taxes are a burden for those exercising their personal liberty to work hard and prosper as afforded by the Constitution. A fiscally responsible government protects the freedom of its citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labor without interference from a government that has exceeded its necessary size, scope and reach into the lives of its citizens.
“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” –Calvin Coolidge
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” –Thomas Jefferson
“Any tax is a discouragement and therefore a regulation.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
2. Eliminate the National Debt – By implementing fiscally conservative policies at all levels of government, progress can be made toward eliminating the U.S. National Debt. Massive increases in the National Debt have created and continue to create a huge burden for the next generation of Americans, thus imperiling the country’s short-term and long-term economic health and prosperity.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” –Abraham Lincoln
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” –Thomas Paine, 1776
“As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established.” –Alexander Hamilton, 1790
3. Eliminate Deficit Spending – All deficit spending must be eliminated immediately. We insist that government representatives at all levels maintain a fiscally responsible budget and balance the books as would be expected of any American business.
“Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” –George Washington
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Tomorrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.” –Benjamin Franklin
4. Protect Free Markets – America’s free enterprise system allows businesses to thrive as they compete in the open marketplace and strive toward ever better services and products. Allowing free markets to prosper unfettered by government interference is what propelled this country to greatness with an enduring belief in the industriousness and innovations of the populace.
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” –Abraham Lincoln
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.” –Abraham Lincoln
“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” –Ronald Reagan
5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States – The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and must be adhered to without exception at all levels of government. This includes the Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and their provisions designed to protect states’ rights and individual liberties.
“A general Dissolution of Principles & Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the Common Enemy.” –Samuel Adams, 1779
“The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.” –George Washington
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” –Abraham Lincoln
6. Promote Civic Responsibility – Citizen involvement at the grassroots level allows the voice of the American people to be heard and directs the political behaviors of our representatives at both the local and national level so they, in turn, may be most effective in working to preserve the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of this country’s citizens.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” –Patrick Henry
“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” –Abraham Lincoln
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light” –George Washington
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” –Thomas Jefferson
7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government – A bloated bureaucracy creates wasteful spending that plagues our government. Reducing the overall size, scope and reach of government at both local and national levels will help to eliminate inefficiencies that result in deficit spending which adds to our country’s debt.
“My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty…it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.” –George Washington
“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” –Samuel Adams, 1802
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” –Benjamin Franklin
8. Believe in the People – The American people, given their guaranteed freedoms, will thrive in a democratic, capitalist environment which allows individuals to strive toward ever greater achievements, innovations and the efficient production of needed and valued goods and services.
“Industry need not wish.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” –Abraham Lincoln
“The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.” –Abraham Lincoln
9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics – American politics is burdened by big money from lobbyists and special interests with an undue influence on the peoples’ representatives. The Tea Party movement is seen as a threat to the entrenched political parties and thus is the continual target of smear campaigns and misrepresentation of its ideals. We choose not to respond to these attacks except to strongly and explicitly disavow any and all hate speech, any and all violence as well as insinuations of violence, and any and all extreme and fringe elements that bring discredit to the Tea Party Movement. We are a peaceful movement and respect other’s opinions and views even though they do not agree with our own. We stand by the Tea Party beliefs and goals and choose to focus our energies on ensuring that our government representatives do the same.
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” –Abraham Lincoln
“Honesty is the best policy.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” –George Washington
10. Maintain Local Independence – The strength and resilience of a grassroots movement is the ability of citizens at the local level to determine their own platforms, agendas and priorities free of an overriding central leadership. Exercising the clearly stated message of the Tea Party movement by its nature involves discourse about which policies and candidates best hold to our stated principles, and these various opinions should flourish and evolve at the local level.
“Here sir, the people govern.” –Alexander Hamilton in a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.” –Samuel Adams, 1781
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” –Abraham Lincoln
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