The Tea Party or Conservative Movement of today is similar to the older version of conservative unrest that was referred to as the silent majority. The big difference is the passion exhibited by the modern day version. Some have mistaken this passion for anger but that would be a huge mistake. Why, anger tends to dissipate with time while passion tends to grow with time and can be perpetuated through peer reinforcement. Positive peer reinforcement can turn an anger at a specific wrong into a passions to overcome the wrong. Also, anger is physically destructive to the angry person while passion is an energy force all its own.
The other day someone remarked to me that they did not like all of the anger in the Tea Party. I am not sure where they saw the anger (CNN commentator?) but I would say that they are misinterpreting the passion of the Tea Party as anger. While anger is not bad in and of itself, it is not near as powerful as passion. As far back as the turn of the 1st century when the Book of Revelations was written, John wrote in Revelations 3:16: “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” That passage could also be phrased as an admonition to voters. Roughly paraphrased, if you are ambivalent about elections and voting, (lukewarm) then you will subject to whatever group wins and their whims over your life. (spat out) I belong to two Tea Parties and I have never experienced any anger from anyone in the group. Are the Passionate, you bet. They feel that their, our, existence is at stake and they are not going to be a part of a silent majority any longer and exercise their God given right to give voice their passion.
The new non silent majority is befuddling to the left and to the Republican Party. The left are used to being able to intimidate, shame, or out shout those of the silent majority by calling them racists (even if the person was a conservative Black or Latino), Bible thumpers (Quran thumpers are OK), “southerners”, (elitists translate this to hicks or red necks), War monger, etc. If that did not work, they just raised their voice and made up more unfounded statistics or “facts”. Today, the non silent majority is not backing down from these tactics and the left does not know what to do. The more they call them names, the more people join the Tea Parties. The Republican elitist still hold onto their belief that as long as a candidate has an “R” after their name that is what is important. Unfortunately for the Elitist, that is not good enough for the non silent majority. They actually want candidates and representatives who say what they believe, believe what they say, and stand on principle. (But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”) The new non silent majority, many of whom have not actually joined a Tea Party but support their objectives, are not going to tolerate “lukewarm Republicans”. For those at the NY Times, the way a southerner might phrase it would that “they don’t cotton much to those who lie”.
How much good did Arlen Specter, Mike Castle, Lisa Murkowski, Jim Jeffords, and others of their ilk do the Republican Party? Graham, McCain, and a whole host of others better turn up the burner a bit and get off of lukewarm. McCain got a pass this time. I just hope Graham and others do not see this as a mandate of some sort because it isn’t. If the republicans take back the Congress in 2010, and they govern in a lukewarm manner, then they will “spat out of the mouth of Congress”. The members of the house have to run every two years so the next “peer” review will be in 2012…