There was a time in the not-too-distant past – 234 years ago to be precise – when the ideas articulated by the Tea Party movement would have rightly been considered “radical.”
Not just radical in their ideological composition, either, but radical in the more “irrational” sense – in that advancing these ideas was a good way to wind up dead. And that’s exactly what happened to more than 25,000 American Revolutionaries – patriots who gave their lives in order to provide the liberty we enjoy today (and which we now aspire to pass down to future generations).
From its founding documents to the blood that was shed on its battlefields, the American Revolution was by definition “radical.” According to Merriam-Webster, that means it was “marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional,” and “tending or disposed to (making) extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions.”
It was also quite clearly “advocating extreme measures” to bring about a new “state of political affairs.”
And the “radical” idea succeeded – not only in casting off the yoke of Eighteenth Century imperialist oppression, but in forging an entirely unique model of democratic governance. This new nation, “conceived in liberty” two-and-a-quarter centuries ago, followed the blueprint laid out by its Founding Fathers and within a few short generations became the richest, strongest, most freedom-loving nation the world has ever seen.
Meanwhile, nations which were built on counter-ideologies of collectivism, government control, censorship and command economic planning have failed spectacularly – at a tremendous human cost.
In recent decades, however, politicians of both parties in Washington D.C. have inexplicably abandoned America’s founding blueprint and embraced many of these failed ideologies. Thanks to this fundamental ideological shift, the primary source of America’s strength, wealth and freedom – its people – has been greatly diminished.
William Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. He has spent his career working in political strategy and public affairs for various causes and organizations.