Assuming this is characteristic of the rest of the country, Republicans are learning the real meaning of the Nigerian proverb:
Truth is a bitter herb. Many cannot eat.
When the Tea Party spontaneously launched during the silliness of the 2008 bailouts, it was an outpouring of anger toward a government that had clearly become accountable only to regular customers of the government cathouse. Protesters were united in one central idea–that government had become too large, too corrupt, and too intrusive. For a time, that theme prevailed.
Now I wonder how many actually understood the principles involved. From three clear themes–limited government, fiscal responsibility, and lower taxes, the so-called Tea Party is being tempted by the siren song of peripheral issues and stunned by the gravity of our predicament.
First came the immigration issue. Some Tea Partiers mistook it for a real problem, thinking that keeping people out was somehow consistent with limited-government principles. It is not. When we end the welfare state, we have every reason to welcome those who are willing to live in freedom and make it on their own.
Next came the birthers. If I live to be 10,000, I never expect to see anything quite as odd and as revolting as grown men and women spinning goofy conspiracy yarns in the shadow of a complete financial and social breakdown.
Now we see a great hue and cry as a few (very few) brave politicians explain that we cannot fix our fiscal disaster without giving up entitlements–including those we ourselves have been promised. The knees of libertarian posers have started to buckle.
The next few years will see the men separated from the boys and the women from the girls. We will have to ask ourselves whether we want to buck up and honestly fend for ourselves or grovel at the feet of big government, snarling like small dogs. We will have to choose between dawn in a free country or midnight in the dim, heavy silence of socialism. We will either be honest and admit our errors or lie our way to misery.
It all comes down to want. We can want security until we collapse or we can want something deeper and ultimately more rewarding–the freedom to be, do, and have what we want by earning it. No matter how we slice it, the next few years will be rough. Let’s make the pain worthwhile. Let’s choose the bitter herb of truth over sugar-coated lies.