Maine isn’t exactly a red state, hardly the sort of place for the Republican Party to adopt a platform described as follows:
Maine Politics: The official platform for the Republican Party of Maine is now a mix of right-wing fringe policies, libertarian buzzwords and outright conspiracy theories.
The document calls for the elimination of the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve, demands an investigation of “collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth,” suggests the adoption of “Austrian Economics,” declares that “‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from religion'” (which I guess makes atheism illegal), insists that “healthcare is not a right,” calls for the abrogation of the “UN Treaty on Rights of the Child” and the “Law Of The Sea Treaty” and declares that we must resist “efforts to create a one world government.”
It also contains favorable mentions of both the Tea Party and Ron Paul. You can read the whole thing here.
Dan Billings, who has served as an attorney for the Maine GOP, called the new platform “wack job pablum” and “nutcase stuff.”
Perhaps the Republicans could have talked to the Tea Partiers ahead of time, read the platform and come up with some sort of compromise. But they didn’t. Instead, the delegates adopted a platform written by folks who, to put it bluntly, aren’t experts in politics. I’m not knocking the Tea Partiers in Maine. I’m knocking the Republican Party for failing to work with them and adopting a platform that would be palatable to both the Tea Party movement and the general public.
I guess there are moments when people whose profession is politics comes in handy. I for one, don’t see a whole lot wrong with the Tea Party platform. I’m not really happy about the Federal Reserve, but nobody’s really said what we’ll replace it with, so at this point I’d be happy with an audit. As to the Department of Education, I’d love nothing more than to abolish it. But I guess we need to be more like the progressives and do these things gradually so nobody notices. Like the boiling frog in reverse. Slowly turn down the heat, we don’t want to shock anybody.
Most of what they’re talking about is not “whack job pablum.” The problem here is that most of the public hasn’t been educated on the collusion between the government and industry on the environment, or the fact that the UN Treaty of Rights of the Child could usurp parental rights. I could go on and on. The media in our country has so dumbed down the populace that most Americans have never even heard of Austrian economics, let alone grasp the concept.
I guess what I’m saying is that if the Tea Party movement wants to make a difference in shaping the future of our republic, they need to be just a bit more subtle. Over the past century or so progressive Democrats didn’t really come right out and announce their socialist agenda. Sure, it’s been there for anyone who was paying attention to see, but most Americans haven’t been paying attention. All they’ve heard are the feel good sound bites that the media wants them to hear.
Didn’t Alinsky warn in Rules for Radicals that to bring about change you can’t go scaring the middle class? And no, I’m not saying conservatives shouldn’t be bold, and draw a distinction between themselves and their counterparts. Look what happened to David Cameron in the UK. But they do need to find a message that’s coherent and not so easily dismissed. If they don’t it may be impossible to reverse the direction we are headed. And that will be catastrophic.
Update: Free Republic links. From the comments I’m thinking I should have said the Tea Parties could use some people versed in public relations rather than politics. But then again, so could the Republicans.
The Week links.