Back in 2010, a very hefty novel called the Instructions by Adam Levin was published. While it has nothing to do with modern American politics, there were a couple of paragraphs apropos of nothing that I clipped for my collection of inadvertent Tea Party writings.
Page 202-203: “You can render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but if you don’t keep from Caesar that which is yours, Caesar will take some, and then take some more, and if you don’t put a stop to it, though you won’t lose everything–you can’t lose everything; there’s things he can’t take, at least one or two–a time will soon come when you’ll think you’ve lost everything, when you’ll think all is Caesar’s, and by then you’ll be too weak to take what’s yours back, too tired to remember what was yours to begin with, and you’ll end up, perversely, scheming for his leavings and, even more perversely, grateful when you get them.”
Page 644: “The less violent the measure of restraint , the more humiliation those measures inflict on the restrained; the more humiliated those measures inflict on the restrained; the more humiliated the restrained, the less violent need be the measures to restrain them. What would seem an act of mercy…would…surely seem a quiet…assertion of dominant, a prelude to enslavement.”
That’s the philosophy of the Tea Party–that we only render unto Caesar that which is Caesar, but Caesar has taken way too much, such that most of you don’t even notice that Caesar has taken your cake and given you stale crumbs in return. What is viewed as “progressive” is only “progressive” because you are being offered stale crumbs when you have forgotten that “the cake” was your liberty and your freedom. Much like the original Tea Party, the current Tea Party is a revolt against Caesar. That’s the philosophy.
Policy? Take back what is ours. That’s not revolutionary–that’s a return to Constitutional governance.
Strategy? Remind the government that it works for us. What’s has been on offer is not a “shut down.” The US Government does not own the national parks; the people do. The US Government can furlough park rangers, but the government can’t keep us off our land. In fact, they have no right to do so. We have not rendered unto Caesar the land itself, but rather the manner of regulation. Don’t confused the cake for the crumb.
The Tea Party is proto revolutionary. I don’t think any one in the Tea Party gives a damn about the Republican Party or the impact on the Republican Party. But the Republican Party needs the Tea Party, and would be wise to remember that. And everyone should be grateful that the Tea Party, at the moment, is working through the democratic process of Congress. Block that path, and revolutions have a way of finding another.