A Third Conservative Awakening

November 5, 2010 04:56

The 2010 mid-term elections revealed a third conservative awakening. I call this one the People’s Revolution. The proponents of this great political awakening became known as the Tea Party

The Americano

In the past 30 years we have witnessed three conservative revolutions. The first of these awakenings was known as the Reagan Revolution birthed in the election year of 1980 as a result of Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s inability to inspire, make tough decisions and lead a nation to economic prosperity. I personally remember this time well. I was in High School throughout all four years of Carter’s term. These four years will be remembered as a time of high inflation, unemployment and an energy crises. Another critical factor was Iran, one of our enemies at the time, who had taken many Americans hostage, and paraded them on television to an American viewing audience. These themes and others permeated the news each night and demoralized the American public. As a result Ronald W. Reagan was ushered into office as our 40th President. Reagan’s first two years where difficult as his tax cuts took a period to adjust and birth economic prosperity.

The second revolution was known as a conservative revolt led by Newt Gingrich, a conservative congressman, who read and responded to a public dissatisfaction of President Bill Clinton’s unpopular tax increases right after taking office, along with talks of overhauling the American healthcare system. Newt Gingrich led a campaign known as the Contract with America. This contract listed various priorities, which would be presented in the House of Representatives and passed if the American people elected conservative majorities in Congress. This contract gave the American people something to believe in and strive for after a disappointing loss in 1992. So in the 1994 mid-term elections in November, Republicans gained 54 seats and took control of the House for the first time since 1954, whereupon Gingrich became the first Republican Speaker for over a generation. President Clinton read the writing on the wall and decided to govern from the political center. This move to the center re-elected Clinton for another four-year term, and America experienced prosperity once again.

The 2010 mid-term elections revealed a third conservative awakening. I call this one the People’s Revolution. The proponents of this great political awakening became known as the Tea Party who firmly believe in:

· Smaller, smarter and more accountable government,
· Providing for a strong defense,
· Fiscal responsibility; the elimination of wasteful programs, a balanced budget, and reducing the national debt.
· Citizen and small business empowerment, rather than governmental empowerment,
· And proven capitalist principles, which empower small business owners, reduce unemployment, and promote prosperity for all citizens.

The influence and power of the Tea Party had repercussions across the board; winning a record majority 61+ (some races are still being counted) seats in the House, adding 6 more seats in the Senate (two still under dispute) closing the huge gap gained by Democrats in 2008. Republicans also won an overwhelming number of governorships across America, which will be critical when state houses draw the congressional lines for the next decade. The Tea Party endorsed 112 candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives winning only a third of this number (36); a good showing for an emerging movement. The Tea Party inspired and moved the center-right sleeping giant. In a press conference the day after the election President Obama dubbed this political defeat as a “shellacking.”

Forty percent of voters identify themselves with the Tea Party movement and values. And eight out of ten of these citizens voted for Republicans (CBS news; November 3, 2010), I suppose to restore sanity and conservative principles back into governance. A study revealed the Tea Party is generally made up of older, white, Christian folk, yes, those who love carrying their Bibles and guns; sounds like the people who started this whole “freedom” thing in the first place.

The question remains, what will happen with the Tea Party? Are they a seasonal movement responding merely to a far left leaning agenda?

Joel Garcia, an ordained minister with the Evangelical Church Alliance, recently completed his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on executive coaching and mentoring from Regent University.

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