A Gallup poll released Thursday indicates that backing for the tea party has hit near-record lows, as 22 percent of Americans consider themselves supporters. That’s down from 32 percent shortly after the 2010 midterm elections. To gauge how conservative and Republican voters feel, Yahoo invited them to share whether they support tea party-affiliated groups. Here’s one voter’s perspective.
COMMENTARY | The tea party stands for things noble, true and just, all while government has grown too large, too powerful and autonomous, too wasteful and exceedingly political. All these mixed together, we’ve concocted a disastrous future, which, if not stopped, will in many ways bring an end to what we consider as this noble experiment of the Republic.
There’s not a lot of in-between to the tea party. Of course, the Democratic Party attacks the tea party and those in the Republican Party who have gravitated to its agenda; but there is a surprising repulsion by the GOP “old guard” of the tea party’s methods.
And it’s shown itself to be divisive and uncompromising. This is a common view of it. But the party believes it has no option but to fight with all its might and influence. Consider its belief that it is completely in the right; that this country has its back against the wall on the budget, the debt ceiling, and the extreme fragility of the economy; and finally and most importantly, that we’ve lost our liberty.
What the tea party is missing, however, is that even if it’s right (which I truly believe it is), it first must increase its influence with voters to win its battles. Tea partiers may accumulate that influence over time, but that won’t help immediate issues. Instead of fighting everybody, which includes the current Republican apparatus, why not join forces with the GOP leadership and at least get some of what you want. If we don’t compromise at this juncture, we walk away with nothing and look weaker. If the government shuts down and the blame is placed upon conservatives, does the tea party see its 2014 and 2016 support drain?
So, in the end, the tea party groups need to keep building for the future, but compromise must be the current language until they have their political machine finely tuned and strong enough to engage and defeat the political entities that oppose them. If they try to peak before their legs are strong enough to support them, they tumble back down to earth.
What happens then? Where I live, in Mooresville, N.C., Sen. Richard Burr shows a propensity to go along with the current leadership in power within the GOP. Rep. Robert Pittenger has shown his agenda to be in line more with that of the tea party. Again, this shows the split within the Republican/conservative groups that is apparent throughout the country. It also shows that in order for us to make ground and win local and national elections, we must be unified.