American Tea Party Helps Republicans Win the House in 2010
The American Tea Party backed 28 of the 60 Republicans that won seats in the House of Representatives in the November 2, 2010 election. In South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, Nevada and several other states, Tea Party backed candidates scored victories in local, state and federal elections. According to MSNBC reporting in November 2010, approximately 32% of Tea Party candidates running for Congress won.
The American Tea Party styles itself as fundamentally focused on upholding the core values of the US Constitution, yet in reality it is politically essentially a socially and fiscally conservative branch of the Republican Party, backed heavily by polarizing politicians such as Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. Tea Party candidates strongly oppose immigration, gun control, abortion rights, affirmative action, social welfare, uniform health coverage, and other big government policies. Basically, the American Tea Party takes the entire retinue of ultra-conservative Republican Party values and attempts to justify them by a perspective on American jurisprudence that disregards the two centuries of legal precedent and evolution that has occurred since the drafting of the US Constitution, and rather focuses on that original document much like a text as sacred as the Bible is to Christians.
This begs the question: What exactly is so sacred about the US Constitution? Much of it has been redlined as racist, elitist, or purely impractical. Every time an Amendment is added, significant parts of the Constitution are essentially deleted. Perhaps rather than continuing to revise a document that is over 200 years old and has been editorialized by over 30 major Amendments and interpreted out of its skin by scores of major legal precedents, it is time for the American people to accept the fact that we may need to go back to the drawing board and draft a new Constitution that reflects current ideologies and legal principles. Several European, African, and Asian nations have done exactly this, having drafted entirely new Constitutions within the last fifty years. Surely a new Constitution, one that is more detailed, modern and practicable as a guide for the American Legal System, may serve to minimize the argumentation about what the law truly is.
But then again, in the obscurity of our antiquated rule book, the US Constitution, there lies the opportunity to shoehorn all sorts of interpretations and theories into what our nation was meant to look like and what course it should take. Yet, the political process may benefit from more clarity and less theory, for we find ourselves in the stormy seas of unwieldy military conflicts, devastating economic whirlpools, and questionable political leadership on all sides. What we may benefit most from in such times is a working compass, rather than an assortment of bickering navigators trying to outdo each other with interesting theories about the reasons why the compass broke.
Or rather, perhaps we can take a more simple example as our guide. If you were drafting an essay for a class, and you had to make over 30 revisions of that essay, redlining huge swaths of text, completely contradicting main premises and themes, would you consider handing such a work in as your final product? Or would you simply take what you had learned and draft a new clean copy, no attached revisions and deletions, but a singular essay that incorporates the lessons learned? Or is the US Constitution truly a Sacred Tome for this Indivisible Nation Under God?