How the Tea Party can win the left

At the present moment, it sounds farfetched to say that only the Tea Party can address this concern in a way that can attract liberal voters to Republican candidates. But does it sound any less farfetched to say that establishment Republicanism can gain the support of any liberals worthy of the name? Again and again, the corporatist GOP bankrolls “centrist,” “pro-business” candidates who become slaves, never masters, of identity politics. And again and again they brutally fail. Lest we forget, the ranks of the Tea Party were first swelled by just this perversity.

The cruelest possible fate awaits establishment Republicans who still hope to seduce liberals by promising slightly more take-home pay than whatever Andrew Cuomo can get you — especially in an era when the punditocracy is a-tingle at the prospect of a presidential race in which Andrew Cuomo replaces Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket.

Instead, Republican hopes hang on the ability of Tea Partiers to follow through explicitly on the great implicit promise of their movement. Political liberty increases, not decreases, human flourishing.

Here’s just one illustration. Even more important than lowering the tax burden is redirecting revenues into close enough proximity to citizens that taxes make a manifest, personal difference in the lives of people we encounter in real life. Today tax revenues disappear into the maw of Leviathan, and reappear in federal reports on aggregate populations of abstract beings whose “progress” can only be measured once they’re depersonalized into data points. And when redistributed wealth does become flesh? In, for instance, Detroit? Without a return to much greater local control of revenues, whatever their size, Americans will be closed off to liberty and the flourishing it fosters.

Government by Leviathan was conceived by Thomas Hobbes as a solution to the predicaments of a democratic age. But unlike Hobbes’s England, the U.S. is too big for his beast to function. Like a dinosaur grown so large that its circulatory system fails, any Leviathan capable of ruling America will be brought down by the sheer size and scale of the concentrated power necessary to maintain it.

The ultimate insight unleashed by the Tea Party is that political liberty must return, whatever the economic implications, because the alternative will destroy itself — at a literally incalculable cost. The return of liberty will not usher in the new dark age of suffering and superstition that liberals fear most. Rather, it will oblige individuals to be better neighbors, better citizens and better human beings — not through the dictates of law, but the realities of everyday life.

If Tea Partiers hammer away at this message, they will awaken the left to the deep alternative denied by Barack Obama. But if they obscure it with other rallying cries, Americans right and left will fight like the prisoners they are over the dwindling scraps of a failed regime.

James Poulos is the host of The Bottom Line and Reform School on PJTV. A doctoral candidate in Government at Georgetown University, he holds degrees from Duke and USC Law. His writing has appeared in The American Conservative, The Boston Globe, Cato Unbound, The National Interest, and The Weekly Standard, among others, and is featured in the collection Proud to Be Right, edited by Jonah Goldberg. He has been an editor at Ricochet.com and a fellow of the Claremont Institute. He lives in Los Angeles. His Twitter handle is @jamespoulos.

  • Atticus Dogsbody

    Wow! The mind boggling stupidity of this article is imprerssive, even by the Daily Caller’s exacting standards.

    Well done, James. Keep this up and soon Andy Blartblart will be knocking at your door.

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  • cnter91

    This is a great article. I agree that if the Tea Party, in their anger towards elites, included corporate elites, they could win over large portions of the left. Corporate elites include very wealthy businessmen whose primary income is capital gains, taxed at 15%, which of course is lower than the income tax the middle class pays in this country. Closing tax loopholes and eliminating subsidies to big corporations, which no honest conservative can justify, might gain some left-wing support. Government spending is certainly outrageous. But there is more to be outraged about: unfair taxation, corporate subsidies, and tax loopholes. When the Tea Party starts talking about these things, sign me up.

  • richardhead
  • truebearing

    This is a thought provoking piece, but I have to take issue with the premise that the Tea Party needs to “win the left” in order to be successful. That assumes, first of all, that the left is amenable to the principles and goals of the Tea Party, and they most decidedly are not. Second, it assumes that the left has given up on its transnationalistic dreams of world governance, and it clearly hasn’t. Third, the Tea Party is an ideologically violent separation from the corrupt and failing policies of statism, and a return to a constitutionalism which the left abhors. I see no compatibility between them or chance of either side relinquishing their beliefs.

    Beyond the purely ideological conflicts are the differences in the respective moral world views of each side. The left operates according to the great anti-ethic: the end justifies the means. They are ruthless, dishonest, and treacherous, worshipping political power as their god. They would have to essentially change religions in order to compromise enough to join with the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party is solidly founded in Judeo-Christian morality and the principles declared in the constitution, none of which are compatible with the left. Honesty is the moral bedrock of the Tea Party, which is diametrically opposite of the left. There is no foundation upon which trust can be built when dealing with people who lie like it is a bodily function.

    If some on the left come to their senses and embrace the Tea Party it will be because they finally see the destruction that has been caused by their failed doctrine. Humans learn more from failure than success, so the left has a lot to learn.


    How the TEA PARTY (better known as the collective voice of the american people)can win over the insidious current admininstration?

    The answer is simple, vote wit hcommon sense.

    We need someone with not just a message,but someone with a real serious plan,with robust structure,straight,clear and simple.








    Care for some names?…very well, I will give you some of them…;SOROS, PODESTA,STERN,JARRETT,AXELROD,SCHUMMER,VAN JONES,EMMANUEL,REZKO,KERRY,MADOFF,…some aparently are out of action,… but they are very well working ‘under the radar scope’

    Are they acting like patriots or like traitors?….what their record shows?

    Here is the thing; Palin and Bachmann are truel-core authentic americans patriots,…so ,same question,,… what their record shows?

    Want a good candidates?….someone who really represent any Jane and Joe out here in the american public?…very well, here is an idea;

    New presidential campaign ad for 2012 has liberal heads exploding.

    PALIN-BACHMANN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE 2012… a heck of a power on the side of the people…isn’t it?


    Much more could be added….but let’s stop at this point.

    Our great country needs much better leaders now, quite oposite than the current ones at helm.

    Input anyone?

    Opinions welcome,

    Daniel Cabrera

    • Atticus Dogsbody

      “better known as the collective voice of the american (sic) people”

      So, the “collective voice of the American people” is made of a bunch of white people over the age of 45, is it?

      Thanks for expounding you ignorance for us, Daniel.

  • SheerPolitics

    Is this a joke. If the Tea Party ever won over the liberals it would just be another GOP. People formed the tea party because they were against BOTH the GOP an the Democrat parties!

    Being that liberals react with emotion instead of logic, they’ll never accept the tea party, unless they grow up an out of being a liberal!.

  • pink

    You have only to read the comment section the Daily Caller to know why the Tea Party will never “win over the left.” They are angry, narrow-minded people who simply cannot tolerate anyone left OR right who disagrees with their views.

    • Tailor.in.stitches

      You lecture others, and yet your only contribution to the comments here was:


      Whoa, here she is, “hardening Tea Partier stereotypes” all on her own without any help at all from the left. On the right, hard workers who contribute to society. On the left: freeloaders. Pretty simplistic, stereotypical, intellectually dishonest Tea Party view, Miss riseabove. Bravo!

      (Notice you throw a little color in there. I guess that was just for fun. Surely painting people of color with a broad brush like you have wouldn’t make you a bigot.)
      ________****Which is a total fabrication of what riseabove said***

      I nicely and informatively responded to one of your comments the other day and you came back with vile and spit.

      You have NO ROOM to lecture anybody else.

      • pink

        1) I’m not “lecturing anyone. I posted an opinion.

        2) It is not a “total fabrication” of what riseabove said. She pretty clearly said that blacks and Hispanics voted for Obama to get giveaways. Stereotypical TP who thinks they’re the only ones who contribute to society and everyone on the left is a freeloader.

        3) And if you think my reply to you the other day was “vile and spit” or the one above was a “lecture” you’re really a little baby. Take you ball and go home, sweetie, where you won’t get hurt.

        • truebearing


          Can’t handle the truth, can you.

          You are lying about what riseabove said. She was talking about people where she lives and I have no reason to doubt her since she has always been honest and I have seen the same thing myself.

          The fact is that a very large number of blacks do approach life with a welfare mentality, thanks to the left and its use of welfare to destroy the black family structure and encourage dependence. no amount of pseudo-moral outrage and idiotic protesting on your part changes that reality.

          You are vile and you spit and hiss like a snake. You are a pathetic excuse for a human being. You had no history with Tailor, and his comment to you was benign, but you responded with your usual hate-filled, bilious, ugly ankle biting. You have no excuse for your behavior other than that you are very, very, ill.

          • Tailor.in.stitches

            “and his comment ”

            Ahem…..I am a her.

          • truebearing

            No offense meant. I wasn’t sure, so I decided to guess wrong! :)

            I’m sorry you had the misfortune of meeting Poink. She’s quite deranged and hates everyone. Why is she on a website she openly claims to hate, with people she despises? It’s anyone’s guess, but I suspect there are three explanations that are the most likely: 1)she’s a leftist troll and gets paid to be an a-hole; 2) she is mentally ill and needs to find an outlet for her deeply disturbed emotions; 3) both of the previous.

        • Tailor.in.stitches

          “you’re really a little baby.”

          I’m sorry—you obviously have severe mental problems and I shouldn’t have drawn everyone’s attention to it. Keep your chin up, though. Someday, after enough therapy, perhaps you’ll learn that you don’t HAVE to prove you’re a bitch. Just because you obviously think of yourself as one, you don’t have to try and get the world to agree.

          • 8second.ride

            “you don’t have to try and get the world to agree.”

            hah…you’re a pistol.

        • truebearing


          Looks like Tailor has you all sewn up (in a straight jacket) and I’m in stitches! LOL!!!

    • truebearing

      You assume we want you warped nut jobs to begin with. We don’t. The true goose steppers, like you, are incorrigble and fundamentally deranged from too many years of trafficking in hate and the other negative emotions used to foment envy, revenge, and more hate.

      Evil isn’t dislodged by political movements. Unfortunately, war is the way humankind cleanses its population and death the only remedy for some sicknesses. That is reality, and the evil left is pushing this country into a civil war where many will die. the Tea Party is simply a mass reaction to being pushed too far.

      • pink

        “That is reality, and the evil left is pushing this country into a civil war where many will die.”

        I continue to be astounded by how nuts you really are.

        The writer of the article says: “Taking advantage, their media and political elites are hard at work hardening Tea Partier stereotypes into fear symbols of economic narcissism and religious fanaticism.”

        Uh, no. People like truebearing are doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves every time they open their big mouths and spout their narrow-minded, fear-based nonsense.

        • truebearing


          With all due respect, which is none, you’re an intellectual toad. You have never had anything good to say about anyone or any insight to offer on anything. It appears your only goal commenting here is to insult people, even when it makes you look mentally ill or stupid, which it always does.

          When you can’t get nasty enough as “poink”, you invent friends, even husbands, LOL!!!, that you use to keep up the moronic, vacuous attacks. As much as I dislike you, and your stalking me to somehow get a date, I feel sorry for you. Anyone who spends their everyday attacking people on a website they admittedly hate, must be quite unhappy and deranged. Good luck with all of that.

          That you can’t see what is happening in this country is no surprise. Your strikingly limited intellect is focused on trying to hurt people, 24 hours a day. Contrary to your imbecilic interpretation of things, it is the fear based person who refuses to acknowledge what is happening. I am not afraid to look at the trends or their sources. You seem to be afraid of people expressing their opinions, not to mention show any insight into what the left is really doing. You rather moronically think that labeling people as conspiracists will somehow discredit the enemies of the left, but stupidly fail to see that people are way ahead of that old, dog-eared tactic. Face it, you’re ineffective at anything but hurting people, and not even good at that.

          You better go take several Tums for that surging bile. That acid will tear you apart. Traditional Chinese Medicine says you have major liver problems….. and a fever between the ears.

          • pink

            Coming from someone whose every post teems with crackpottery and insult, I will take your words for what they’re worth. That would be nothing, dearie.

          • pink

            “and your stalking me to somehow get a date”

            It’s hilarious how you keep your fantasy about me going. I figure fantasy is probably the only thing you’re good at keeping up…

          • truebearing

            Ah, now you’re speculating on my genitals and how well they perform. More proof that in your own twisted and bizarre way, you’re stalking me and can’t get me out of your mind. Thanks for admitting your infatuation, despite it making me queasy.

            I hate to break it to you, poink, but you are the female equivalent of a really cold swimming pool. Really, really cold.

  • williamousa

    The left can not be won over by the Tea Party, or any other reasonable effort, they must be overwhelmed and replaced by thinking people not brain washed followers of the blindly stupid talking points that are put forth by their leaders and regurgitated by the MSM ad nauseum.

  • Winghunter

    First, we can’t fix stupid or psychotic and the cacophony from the White-House-sychronized MainSlime Media is far too loud to hear anything else – And they know it.

    Only the sane and loyal need to hear us and they’re already onboard.