Kentucky is not normally a state that is seen as a bellwether to the national political mood. Comfortably in the "Red," the Bluegrass State often passes through the electoral season with very little national fanfare. Last night that changed.
For the first time since its rapid evolvement, the Tea Party movement helped a significant political candidate earn electoral victory -- marking a notable increase in the movement's importance to candidates across the country. No longer can anyone call this a fluke.
Now many will be quick to say that this is simply a result of the normal enthusiasm gap that comes into play when one party has been swept into power. And others will say that this new group symbolizes a modern shift into a third wing of American electoral politics. I disagree with both.
You see, what the Tea Party movement stands for is nothing new to those of us who remember the days of the Grand Old Party remaining true to its core principles -- a Republican Party that believed that uttering anything related to "increased government spending" was akin to dropping a four-letter curse word.
What the Tea Party followers are demanding is simply a return to the days of old -- the days where Republican leaders like my father stood for smaller government, less spending and the implementation of policies that allow the American economy to grow, rather than punishing families and small businesses for being productive.
Today, if you visit any state Republican convention or any other gathering of Republicans, you will see a wide array of conservative organizations using my father's likeness to promote their cause. From the issue of life to immigration, they claim the Reagan mantra.
However, when it comes to the Tea Party, these folks are actually out there demanding a return to the real Reagan principles. They are demanding that our government return more power to the people. I can assure you that my father would not only have approved of their efforts, he would be standing by them as they help return our nation to one by the people, for the people, of the people.