A lot has been said of “principle over party” by the tea party movement in the last year. They stuck to their guns so strongly as to support a third party candidate over the Republican candidate in New York’s special District 23 election, because they felt the Republican candidate didn’t align closely enough with the principles they held so dear.
Videos on YouTube abound of tea party protesters shouting down and booing Republican speakers who dared come to their events to speak after voting for 2008’s financial bailout package. Over and over again, tea party leaders stress that this is about principles, not partisan politics- they could care less who has what letter next to their name. They only want people who stand for the right principles: limited government, individual liberty, Constitutional rule of law.
But there’s an important aspect of “principle over party” that cannot be overlooked. If the tea party neglects this one important thing, it will be doomed to fail in its attempt to limit and reverse the relentless expansion of government into our lives. That one crucial factor in its success is for the tea party to remember policy over personality.
While someone may have a good personality, a personality that seems conservative, down-to-earth, and middle-American; while a politician on stage might say everything you agree with and believe deep down in your heart; while that person may strongly affirm all of your principles… he or she might not really believe in them.
Is it so hard to think that a politician might capitalize on the tea party movement by telling us what we want to hear? Is it so impossible to believe that a politician would lie? There’s only one way to find out if someone believes what they say, and will truly work to advance your principles in our government: and that is to carefully examine this person’s past policies.