The First National Tea Party Convention is officially SOLD OUT! You may place your name on the waiting list in the event additional tickets become available. Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone at the Convention! Banquet Only tickets (featuring keynote speaker Sarah Palin) still available! Tea Party Nation is pleased to announce the First National Tea Party Convention. The convention is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movement's multiple organizations' principal goals. This event is co-sponsored by other national groups that believe in a responsible and limited federal government that is responsive to all the people. Our Sponsors include Tea Party Emporium, Judicial Watch, Eagle Forum, The Leadership Institute, Vision America, SurgeUSA, Smart Girl Politics and National Taxpayers Union. Participants include: Tea Party Express, The Memphis Tea Party, National Precinct Alliance, Young Americans for Freedom, The Evergreen/Conifer Tea Party, North Carolina Freedom Tea Party, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Joseph Farah, Angela McGlowan, Judge Roy Moore, Tom Fitton, Bruce Donnelly, Ana Puig, Steve Milloy, Mark Skoda, Keli Carender (aka Liberty Belle), Dr. B. Leland Baker, Walter Fitzgerald, Philip Glass, Dr. Rick Scarborough, David DeGerolamo and Lori Christenson. Special Keynote Speaker for the event will be Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska (2006-2009) and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential Nominee. – National Tea Party Convention Announcement
Dominant Social Theme: Grass roots rises up to reclaim conservatism.
Free-Market Analysis: We said we would return to the Tea Party movement and with the victory of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, now is as good a time as any. We see the First National Tea Party Convention (taking place in early February) is already sold out! Not only that, but it's keynote speaker is Sarah Palin. That's impressive, given Sarah Palin's high profile as a small-government maverick.
Another reason we are returning to this topic is because of the amount and variety of feedbacks we received to our previous article on the Tea Party (where we announced we didn't "get it"). Perhaps we were not clear enough about our concerns – which go far beyond the Tea Party movement itself – a movement, however, we find for the most part VERY POSITIVE.
So don't write us, please, expressing veiled disapproval that we are not sufficiently enthusiastic about the Tea Party movement. We are always pleased to see small-government movements take hold (even when we have some reservations), and the Tea Party movement already has had a salutary impact on American domestic policy. Please note your modest Bell braintrust has covered Austrian economic issues and libertarian movements for an aggregate of about 100-years – so we do have a frame of reference when it comes to such things. And that is why …
WE ARE POSITIVE ABOUT THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT
And why …
WE STILL HAVE SOME CONCERNS.
We tried to make our concerns clear in our previous article. But when we indicated that we didn't "get" the Tea Party movement, it sparked a rush of feedback you can read about here:
To repeat: We believe in a short period of time the horizontally organized Tea Party movement has accomplished great things. The movement (in all its sprawling populism) has slowed, if not stopped, the rise of Obama-style socialism in Washington DC. It has soured the arrogance of Washington insider-legislators and made them ever-more reluctant to sign off on trillion-dollar budget bills. It has abashed the mainstream media that simply cannot assume with any legitimacy that big government is a noble cause and that the average American wants cradle-to-grave federal supervision.
So the concerns we do have about this powerful, populist movement have more to do with its long term direction than its short-term, impressive success. Why do we continue to mention them when it would be more comfortable not to? Projections are that the Daily Bell will take a run at upwards of 100 million viewer impressions in the upcoming year, and we take our positioning seriously. We're going to try to "tell it like it is" because that's the way to attract readers in this Internet era – who value honesty and frank expression of cultural truth, even when it isn't pleasant, or they might disagree.
We are here to present to readers – you, our valued partners – a particular world-view which includes the analysis of power elite promotions. Our paradigm also includes the perception, which we have developed and stated throughout this past decade, that the Internet itself is revealing and blowing up these power elite driven dominant social themes – which worked so well in the 20th century. The Internet, as we have pointed out repeatedly in these pages and elsewhere is a modern-day Gutenberg press and will ultimately have a similar impact – creating its own version of the Reformation, Glorious Revolution, etc. It is already doing so. The power elite is in a sense on its heels, we believe. The Tea Party movement, in our opinion, has been greatly facilitated by the ease of 'Net communication.
Let us take a moment to review the power elite's operational strategy. It is always roughly the same. A handful of powerful families and individuals will create and promote crisis after crisis in order to encourage people to feel hopeless and to turn over wealth and control to specially constructed authoritarian bodies that purport to provide bureaucratic solutions to the elite's faux-crises. These same individuals will do whatever they can to downplay the benefits of freedom and the logic of free-markets – as preferable to authoritarian solutions.
What are some of the faux-crises that the power elite promulgates? Global warming, overpopulation, global plagues, UFO invasions, financial instability and, of course, one of the most pervasive Western memes in our opinion – the war on terror. It is the war on terror, of course, that some of our readers find the most problematic. Yes, the idea that the war on terror may be a promotion as well – and a most devious and effective one – is something people seem to have a great deal of trouble with.
In fact, there is much evidence on the Internet that the official explanations of 9/11 are inaccurate, along with the justifications for America's serial wars, and it leads us to believe that the only way to get to the bottom of whatever occurred would be, in a sense, somehow, to start over. The contradictions are that numerous. We won't rehearse the evidence. It is there in all its glory on the Internet for anyone to see who wishes to do so. And we have mentioned some of it (over and over) in past articles.
Yet on it goes. Where is America today? Mired in at least two wars with another two (Iran and Pakistan) on the horizon and now instability in Yemen as well (a fifth front!). The total expenditures are already in the area of US$1 trillion (and headed to US$5 trillion), the amount of dead and wounded are in the tens of thousands for the military and likely in the millions for Middle Eastern citizens blown up by drone missiles or poisoned by the aftereffects of depleted-uranium weaponry.
From our point of view, 9/11 sits like a cancer at the heart of what's left of the American republic. Senior players, inside and outside of government, have clearly admitted that the narrative surrounding it is questionable (mendacious). More important than tax cuts, more dangerous than central banking, more tragic even than the wars that have followed it, its lack of closure and the evident untruths that bedevil it are poisoning every part of the American experience. Warrantless wiretapping, CIA domestic malfeasance and the penetration of civilian business for "domestic security" reasons are just part of the tragic collateral damage.
Let's try to pull this together. We have returned to the theme of 9/11 and the various American "wars on terror" because in our estimation (and this is our line of work) they have all the hallmarks of a promotion. Dominant social themes – the memes of the elite – are designed in large measure to alarm Western citizenry and to stampede them toward authoritarian solutions. 9/11 and the war on terror have done just this.
What are other hallmarks of dominant social themes? They are impervious to logic and investigation (see global warming). Until a "smoking gun" in the form of damning emails was leaked to a receptive public, no legitimate inquiry into obviously cooked numbers could be made. Every single scientific conclusion had been queried and even seemingly proven fraudulent. And yet it made no difference. The promotion ground on. In a similar manner, the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission (generated from admitted misinformation) and the equally questionable rationales for the current military involvement of the West in the Middle East are seemingly impervious to substantive and credible questioning. Obvious falsehoods remain unchallenged. Convincing factual challenges are simply ignored. This is the profile of a promotion, in our opinion anyway.
Wars are costly and bloody and lend themselves so convincingly to manipulation. They ought to be avoided whenever possible. That's why famous libertarian Congressman Ron Paul calls consistently for America to cease its posture of foreign intervention and return its troops home. Ron Paul understands the terrible toll that war can have on domestic civil liberties. He understands its costs in inflation, grief and endless, individual suffering. He doesn't believe myriad terrorists would follow Americans "over here." Communists didn't follow Americans home after the Vietnam defeat. The dominoes did not tumble despite the power elite's repeated warnings they would.
But Ron Paul's views are not, we think, necessarily shared throughout what passes for the leadership of the sprawling Tea Party movement – or not anymore – even though libertarian types had a good deal to do with the movement to begin with, we believe. We think the libertarian influence, in fact, may be fading. We note that the First National Tea Party Convention includes such luminaries as Michelle Malkin and Joseph Farah. These individuals, as we understand it, support the war on terror in most if not all of its current manifestations and certainly in the case of Malkin are for endless additional domestic security elaborations that would further imperil what is left of American constitutional rights.
And this is why we wrote the other day that we didn't "get it." This is where we start to become puzzled. We wonder if somehow what was and is a wonderful and populist free-market uprising is in danger of becoming allied with high-profile conservative proponents of the American military industrial complex. We wonder how one can support the gigantic government infrastructure necessary for a pax Americana and still somehow be in favor of lower taxes, less government and a shut down of the Federal Reserve that in large part funds the overseas Anglo-American empire. Check your premises, Ayn Rand famously wrote.
Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker for the upcoming Tea Party Convention. Palin is so far as we can tell, a firm supporter of the war on terror with most if not all of its domestic security excrescences. Scott Brown (a Tea Party favorite), who was just elected in Massachusetts, was apparently a military man for 30 years and notes his service in virtually every other interview. Neither Palin nor Brown can be considered Jeffersonian republicans, even if one was willing to stretch the definition. They seem more likely to promote American adventurism. They want small government at home, but big government adventurism abroad. They are domestic constitutionalists and (in a sense) global imperialists.
Now we at the Daily Bell pray – modestly of course, to whatever God out there is willing to listen, even a Jewish or Muslim one. As follows:
We pray the Tea Party movement gets bigger and has more success. We also pray that the war on terror is NOT a power elite promotion and that the blood that has been split and the US$5 trillion it may cost will not further empower the Federal government or its military industrial complex. We pray that the electronic strip searches, warrantless wiretaps and seeming propaganda about Al Qaeda and Bin Laden are justifiable and even accurate. We pray that American intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, and the wise men of the House and the Senate that have orchestrated these wars (though not declared them) have the best interests of all Americans at heart and are truly invested and concerned in protecting American families and children from terrorists who would invade American cities to blow themselves up. We pray that "conservatives" will find some strategy to reduce the power of the American federal government even while supporting the expenditure of US$5 trillion on overseas wars and expanding endlessly the power and invasiveness of the American domestic security apparatus. Finally, we pray that certain Tea Party organizers and participants find a way to convincingly integrate (and somehow combine) a domestic vision that includes radically smaller government alongside an ever-growing private, standing military supporting at least 700 global bases, a mercantilist military-industrial complex and a burgeoning domestic security apparatus of 16 separate spy agencies, many of them aimed at monitoring domestic citizenry and tracking so-called anti-American/anti-war activities.