(LFC Comments: This is first of three essays written by Mr. Edstrom. If anyone has any opinions on how to establish a third political party, please add your comments.)
10 years After the Tea Party
Written by Warren Edstrom of Knox County
Well, the 2010 election is over and some of our people won and some lost. In many
instances we have chosen “The lesser of two evils”. This has happened because we
were not involved on the front end of the process of picking the candidate and the
Republican Party maneuvered their rhino picks into the nomination. We are smarter and
wiser now, I hope.
The common argument is that if we infiltrate the Republican Party we can reform them
from within. Those that believe that have never worked for a Fortune 500 corporation
where the reformers are transferred to the hinterlands and never heard from again. If
you have a herd of sick cows, putting 10 healthy cows in the herd will not make them all
Corruption is a sickness and spreads like one. It is that one bad apple thing. The Bible
says, and I am paraphrasing here, “bad company corrupts good character” 1
Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Let me give you a quote from Brave Heart. If you have not seen this movie, get it, and
pay attention to the similarities to our fight. In the movie Robert the Bruce’s father is
whispering lies to him about treason and compromise. He says to Robert, “All men
betray, all men lose heart.” How does he answer? He yells back: “I don’t want to lose
heart, I want to believe, like (Wallace) does. I will never be on the wrong side again.”
That is the turning point in his life, as it must be in ours. The Republicans always say to
us, accept our candidate or the enemy will win. It is a game of political chicken and we
always blink first.
There is a biblical metaphor that is very appropriate to this cause. Jesus says to his
disciples, you cannot sew a new piece of cloth on an old tare; it will shrink and make the
original tare worse. You cannot pour new wine into an old wine skin because when it
starts to ferment the pressure will burst the old wine skin. A new wine skin is soft and
will stretch so you put new wine in new wine skins and the outcome will be good.
We are paraphrasing here, but you get the point. Infiltrating the Republican Party is
much the same. You will be injecting new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm into an old
rigid and corrupt organization. This will serve to only destroy the Republican Party and
sidetrack the Tea Party movement. This vacuum is the ideal breeding ground for
socialism and dictatorship to flourish.
This battle is seen as ideological, and it is, but the corruption is what drives the process
that gets the ideological agenda rammed through. Could Obamacare have been passed
if our president and his party were not able to go to politicians and say, “how much
money do you want for your vote?” Why are we fighting two enemies? One, the
progressive ideology and corruption in the Democratic Party and the other, the
progressive ideology and corruption in the Republican Party, who want desperately for
us to go away.
Virtuous government can never ascend by exchanging one corruption for another. We
must attack this cancer from both sides, both ideological and no longer accept the
corruption anymore. When you support the lesser of two evils, you always end up with
How do we fight this juggernaut of socialism and political corruption? The answer is
simple in principle and complex in execution. The moral health of the government is
directionally proportional to the moral health of the population. We have been sliding
into immorality over the last 40 years in the name of inclusiveness and tolerance. The
church has been largely absent from the public square due to their fear of the IRS. The
501(C) (3) status and the churches’ reluctance to jeopardize it have, in effect, managed
to do what the entire British army could not do. Silence the church.
The church needs to rethink its position of moral leadership in our country. In addition,
we need to address our existing political parties. George Washington warned in his
farewell speech about the dangers of political parties. He said that they would eventfully
become powerful and corrupting because they would demand more loyalty to them than
to the Constitution and the American people.
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in
the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious,
and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp
for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which
have lifted them to unjust dominion”.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, Sep. 17, 1796
This prophesy has come to its fullness in our present-day dilemma. It is interesting that
the parties are more afraid of the Tea Party movement than they are of each other. In
reality, they are both part of the ruling elite. The Republican and Democratic parties are
the two most powerful special interest groups in the world. Their main function is to
acquire and hold onto power and its requisite wealth.
Candidates depend on the parties and their large sums of money coupled with big
media campaigns to get elected. They count on the apathy of some to stay at home.The party faithful can be counted on to vote the right way, and enough free agents can
be swayed by slick handouts and deceptive TV ads. Either way the ruling class wins,
Democrat or Republican, wins. Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t matter who wins,
nothing seems to fundamentally change? The pace speeds and slows, but the direction
Can you infiltrate the parties to effect change? Talk to those who have tried it. You will
get marginalized, co-opted as Trent Lott has recommended, and made ineffective. At
the lower levels you may have some success, but then you are not a major threat at that
If the citizenry are to truly break free of the current party system and get people elected
that represent the people, they will have to abandon the parties and form a political
power structure that will truly represent the people and enforce the Constitution.
Heresy you say, if a free agent (independents) runs they will split the vote and the evil
Democrat will win. Let’s see 62% free agents, 11% Republicans. Who is splitting the
vote? If the Republicans honestly believe in the Constitution, free markets, and
individual liberty, they should be voting for the free agent, not the Republicans in Name
Only or a moderate Republican.
See where party loyalty blocks change? This argument is a diversion and perpetuates
the denial of the free agent voting block from having a voice in the political process. The
tail is wagging the dog. The political process and its requisite supporting processes
work. There must be fund raising, volunteers to pass out voter guides, phone banks,
campaign managers, media teams, etc. These functions are all part of the people’s
necessary involvement in the political process. It is the sign of an involved, healthy
society. An informed electorate will always make the right choices.
But as we stated earlier, money and media have largely replaced personal involvement.
The parties no longer need the people’s involvement to get elected. If the people are not
controlling the country, then the parties are. So how do we use the processes
necessary to get good constitutional candidates elected without the inherent corruption
of the existing political parties?
The two great corruptors are power and money. If we can dilute these two influences, it
would go a long way to getting back to representative government. One way the parties
control the potential candidate is by controlling the resources needed to get them
elected. They have the money and the media contacts. They control the consultants
that manage campaigns. They have a power structure already in place that will supply
the volunteers to get the street work done. Without these resources the candidate
probably does not have a chance of winning. Add to this, in a primary, the party decides who will win based on who they will anoint with their money and resources. The outsider is severely handicapped in the current system.
Once you are elected, you want to do the right thing by doing what your constituents want. However, the party bosses must maintain control of the party, or it can’t be counted on to deliver the votes to benefit the special interest groups and their lobbyists. These people provide the money that gets you elected. If you do not tow the party line, you will be taken off committees, and you will not have any bills you introduce ever get to the floor for a vote. You will become ineffective and another more compliant party candidate will challenge you in the primary, with the full support of the party.
YOU AND YOUR SUPPORTERS LOSE!
(LFC Comments: Mr. Edstrom is spot on with this essay. We are getting very tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. We still get evil. The average citizen thinks that their elected representatives are working for them, when, in reality it is the lobbyists and the party bosses that are running the show. It is a big club, and we are not in it!)