I wanted to make sure that the contribution of the Tea Party wasn’t lost in this latest election. A large portion of the victory in these 2011 elections was because of Tea Party groups across the state. In the case of Bill Stanley (20th State Senate District) it was the Danville, Lynchburg, Southside, and Franklin Tea Party groups knocking on thousands of doors and making tens of thousands of calls for over 8 weeks that put us over the edge in this close race.
The same is true here in Lynchburg. In the race for the 22nd Bert Dodson spent over $300K and yet he was still stomped by Tom Garrett with a 58.4% lead as reported by the News and Advance. The Lynchburg Tea Party knocked on over 5000 doors and other Tea Party groups had similar GOTV efforts taking place. We also participated in phone banking, though our efforts were dwarfed by the Liberty University College Republicans who made something in the order of 50,000 calls.
During the primary we were told by the Establishment that we needed a candidate that could “beat” the other guy. Principle and political drive were not what was important. If that had been achieved, I’m not so sure we would have won.
How is it that the Establishment and the Tea Party were found to be working together? Simple. We had a principled candidate that we could work FOR! Were it not for principled candidates like Tom Garrett and Bill Stanley many of us would have gone home. We might have worked AGAINST the ‘other guy’, but there are no guarantees of that.
Politics is a delicate balance between pragmatism and principle. For too long it has been weighted towards pragmatism. Look at John McCain,Bob Dole,George Allen, and a host of other examples. The GOP (Grand Old Party) or the Republican Party has forgotten it’s creed.
The Virginia Republican Creed:
We Believe . . .
That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice
That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society
That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government
That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing constitutional limitations
That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense
That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fibre of the Nation
© Copyright 1975, 1997 by Republican Party of Virginia, Inc.
I’ve highlighted the two that I think are the most important above. The pragmatist would be quick to throw those under the bus if it meant “beating the other guy”. The Tea Party would not. The Tea Party is driven by principle and at the core of our principles are those 2 statements. This is why we have such a hard time working with the Establishment. It is our belief that without principled representatives that can hold the line and defend the creed above that this nation will continue to be sold out for expediency! The pragmatists (guys like Shaun Kenney at Bearing Drift) would vote for the prince of darkness if it meant defeating the other guy.
In Virginia much of Republican politics is run like a fiefdom of lords and dukes and we are the lowly serfs that must do their bidding. When the surfs rise up the ruling elites would rather burn the castle down than work with us.
For the first time in a long while this didn’t happen. The Establishment and The Tea Party worked together in races all across Virginia to defeat the Democrats. The Virginia Tea Party Federation, a coalition of over 45 different Tea Party groups across the state, had one goal “FLIP THE SENATE”.
We were committed to that and so was the Republican Party of Virginia.
The success of this race however would not have been possible with the Republican Party or the Tea Party alone. There is a machine of politics that must be turned on and in many parts the Republican Party has the keys and we are the foot on the gas pedal.
The Republican party could take a lesson from this in some future races we are hoping to win. Give us a candidate with principle and we will crawl over broken glass to get them elected. Many people will not vote for the likes of George Allen or Mitt Romney. The days of Voting for the “lesser of 2 evils” are over for many in the Tea Party. They’ve read Atlas Shrugged and are ready to “Go Galt” ( referring to exiting the system completely ). Don’t think for a second that the disdain they have for Tim Kaine and Barack Obama will be enough to overcome this. Many believe that the Federal government is a lost cause.
We are all reveling in the victory today. Victory is indeed sweeter than defeat!
Give us a principled candidates or be prepared to taste defeat once again.