Our friend in the TEA Party movement, Jason D. Raines, wrote this great article. He is suggesting that the Tea Party movement add the following to its objectives, and I agree completely:
DEFENDING AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM,
OPPOSING AMERICAN DECLINE
Author – JASON D RAINES, Lenoir, NC, on 1/1/11
American Exceptionalism, a powerful reality, remains largely in the background of American thought.
The Tea Party, because of its high profile and success may be in unique position to bring the concept, its incredible meaning–and threats to its continuing–to the forefront of American thought. Many citizens, in fact, may applaud clarification and affirmation of what they intrinsically believe.
The subject, in the form suggested, would establish, for the Tea Party, a position of exceptionalism–and “place” liberalism and Progressivism in positions of “American decline”. Lines would be drawn, dramatizing America’s choice: continue and prosper under proven principles–or bend to the forces of decline.
American Exceptionalism covers society’s basics–an important point–then rises to involve America’s special characteristics. It embraces current Tea Party activities and goes beyond–covering virtually all American strengths. The basic purposes would be to:
- Defend and promote the principles of American accomplishment.
- Raise citizen awareness of–and enthusiasm for America’s unique contributions.
- Raise citizen awareness of the gravity of threats to our exceptionalism and of our fall toward mediocrity.
- Establish a Tea Party explanation of the elements of decline.
- Offer to the public a statement of proven exceptionalism principles as paths back to a strong America.
- Serve as a framework for addressing threats of about any type.
- Sustain–even increase pressure on the new congress to produce will-of-the-people legislation.
- Generate 2012 conservative votes.
- Add to the Tea Party a stimulating dimension which could build member and public interests.
- Give the Tea Party certain added advantages.
- Direct stronger focuses–a different twist–to such roots of liberal thinking as education and media.
Too many Americans don’t grasp the depth of America’s special nature–nor the seriousness of threats. Some are apathetic, unaware–or don’t care. Others are uninformed–their interests and perception blocked by distorted ideology. Others are denied reality by media. Many simply oppose American Exceptionalism.
Raising public awareness could begin with Tea Party adoption of the concept, including identifying elements of decline.
Rallies might be held for the purpose. The media could not ignore such a stance. A bold, unapologetic statement of American exceptionalism should be welcomed by a public bombarded by negativism. It would be “good news” from the grassroots–projecting America’s strengths at a time when our exceptionalism is being diminished and attacked as being selfish, old-fashioned, arrogant and offending.
Such a statement, by nature, would be grounded in logic, reality, history and incredible results–putting to lie opposing positions. Focus by the Tea Party should be greater, more effective than fragmented, often timid references in speeches and print. The hope would be that American Exceptionalism would be brought to true prominence in American thought–encouraging believers and leaving opponents to scramble.
A suggested method for raising awareness would be to promote small-group American Exceptionalism discussions–possibly beginning with “member” families. It should be especially effective to move such discussions to personal levels. Like asking: “What does American Exceptionalism give you personally?”
Or: ”What are you willing to lose as our exceptionalism is dismantled?”
Discussion points could be distributed for small-group gatherings. They could be used in groups of many types–such as civic clubs and schools. They could also be used in one-on-one discussions.
Advantages to the Tea Party could take several forms. One might be broader appeal. It is my belief that threats to the American way of life are at the heart of what troubles most concerned citizens–involving all levels: local, state and national. Many attend meetings–or would attend–for answers, to vent, to feel that they are “doing something” and for association with others of like mind.
It is suggested in this connection that meetings include, as a continuing theme, some element of American Exceptionalism–covering origins, principles and–importantly–threats. The Constitution, of course, would be a major topic. Others could include: founding fathers, freedom, work ethic, legal system, form of government, free enterprise and the like.
The subject might also attract people who are deeply concerned, but who shy away from rallies and demonstrations. Such people want to participate but choose to avoid the limelight.
An interesting effect might be to attract liberals who might be moved to realize that exceptionalism principles produce much of what they say they’re about: compassion, order, peace, etc. Raise the principles and produce more “good“; lower the principles and increase suffering. It is known that many liberals are actually conservative in the way they live.
A further advantage might be that the concept, to the extent that it is the virtual essence of what is right about America, could help refute such charges against the Tea Party as: violence, negativism, hatred, radicalism, extremism and racism. What could be thought to be violent, negative, hating, radical, extreme or racist about exceptional American principles making possible state-of-the-art hospital ships for Haiti?
Defending and promoting American Exceptionalism could even strengthen the Tea Party’s “high ground” position relative to liberalism and progressivism–in that American Exceptionalism, steeped as it is in logic, ethics and sophistication, produces phenomenal results–far exceeding those of government-heavy societies.
It even beats liberals in their profession of compassion. American Exceptionalism is humane; liberalism and Progressivism far less so–often not at all.
The concept does not presume perfection. Some believe that, because the United States is not perfect, the whole concept should be rejected. A totally illogical view.
Two additional Tea Party activities are suggested; confronting, bringing focus to distortions in: education and media. Both areas, breeding grounds for much of “American thought”, heavily frame society’s downward slide. They are largely responsible for bringing us the current administration. Distortions in both are often exposed, but focuses are lacking. The Tea Party might bring such focus.
“Opposing American Decline” may appear to some to be too confrontational–or to be a turnoff. But I think it fit’s the Tea Party’s record of being unafraid. Besides, far too much is at risk to be concerned about niceties. Liberalism, Progressivism in all their harms, are being forced. The Tea Party has been justified in pushing back. Strong defense of American Exceptionalism and opposition to American decline may help drive America’s move back to the greatness it has enjoyed.
Author – JASON D. RAINES, written 1/1/11
I think you are on to something. I like the idea. With input from lots of people, something positive should come from it.