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Change We Can Believe In: A Tea Party Manifesto

By far, the most ingenious facet of President Obama's 2008 campaign was the slogans that he constantly reverberated. "Change we can believe in" and "Hope for change" were the most ambiguous statements of the 21st century! If you were to only hear Obama's voice and see nothing you would characterize his speeches as simple rhetoric. The ingenious aspect is the way Obama presented it. His appearance, passion, inspiring voice, and rock star aura transcended him beyond a Presidential candidate. He became a god, overnight. His statements were so intentionally vague that he made you think that he said your opinion when he really didn't say anything! Whatever change you wanted was there and whatever hope you had left was renewed.

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Tea_Party_rallyNow, I am not here to sing the praises of The President. I am not one of the people mentioned in Bernie Goldberg’s, A Slobbering Love Affair. I am here to present a young impassioned voice of this great nation. I am Christian, Bible-believing, Scripture-speaking, on-fire Christian. From here, my values are derived. Out of my love for God, I love and follow His Word. This is why I have become infatuated with the Tea Party. These people stand for what is Biblical, moral, constitutional, and common sense. They don’t care about politics or votes. They want answers and solutions. A voice needs to rise that preaches these values in a way that both inspires and educates the public. People are not as easily swayed by rhetoric. Tea Party? Maybe. But a true conservative needs to emerge from the ranks to dethrone the King.

The problem herein lies that the Tea Party and the establishment fail to be one. Americans on both the right and left do not particularly care for the establishment. The GOP has become a party that has abandoned its principles for gain or unilateral unity. The American people no longer want leaders who compromise to save their political position. They want what’s right. In 2010, if you dare to be a Republican, you are probably a conservative. One thing people often misinterpret is the characterization of a conservative.

We are neither defenders of the rich at the hands of the poor nor rooms filled with rich, old white guys laughing about how much money they have or how successful they are. We are a diverse set of individuals whose personal convictions of faith, morality, and principles govern their thoughts. From this, we look to help others. Our means of help may be different and often counter-intuitive, but achieve their intended goal in time. Fiscal responsibility, small government, and self determination were once pillars of our great constituency. We must go back.

I can attest to the fact that the roads are often lonely when one is a conservative. In the presence of liberals, one can often feel that you are the only one. Indiana, fairly conservative as a whole, is staunchly liberal in my area of Northwest Indiana, namely Lake County. Unsurprisingly, liberals often congregate in metropolitan areas. These forward thinking dwellers – citiots, as I like to say – have hijacked our schools, deceived minorities, and gripped our youth. Thanks, LBJ. In my suburban high school, 90% of the teachers are liberal. This makes the fact that 80% of the students are liberal easy to understand. The two channels their TVs are always on are either ESPN or MSNBC. I don’t so much care if people are liberal. I care that they often believe half-truths and lies and make them the basis of their political views. If the truth was accurately and objectively presented, people could make educated decisions. Things are changing. An increasing amount of people are realizing all the truths that have been hidden from them and are angry.

The stimulus, the economy, health care, all these items were presented well but are really being seen at face value.  Unfortunately or rather fortunately, it is an ugly, ugly face.

Bureaucracy, big government, “pie in the sky” spending has come to infuriate hard working Americans. In order to enter the peoples’ minds we must exit their wallets. The Obama administration is coming apart at its seams. Rhetoric will simply no longer work. People want results not excuses.

The Republicans, namely the Tea Party, had a historic night in November. Now, we demand the change.

The change demanded is essentially not change at all. We are not looking for a new theory, a new program, or any new legislation. We want to go back, back to the times of our fathers where the sentiment of a small, strong government was ubiquitous, a time where debt was sin and saving virtue, where wealth was extolled for its personal and charitable benefits. The time of our forefathers had universal individual responsibility. Self determination and perseverance were not only encouraged but commonplace. You see, we are not looking for a band-aid; we need surgery.

Where most rants end – and I do admit this is part rant – I begin. Our society bubbles over with creative, visionary ideas but lacks tangible plans and follow-through. I do not intend to be another talking ahead or soapbox pastor. I am an American. As a son of both an English and Nigerian immigrant, I understand how fortunate one is to be an American. This country means the world to me and my family and the alternatives for us are relatively good. This just reiterates the value of being an American. But not for long. If we continue on this path emulating the rise and decline of past civilizations, the Romans, Greeks, and Spanish, we will cascade into the moral and financial abyss as they did. We are neither to big to fall nor smart enough to outwit history. We are the greatest country this world has ever seen, but so were they.

So why are we following the model of past, failed civilizations? Didn’t our Founding Fathers warn us about this? Didn’t they concoct this government as a defense mechanism to prevent us from becoming another historical parabola? Are we merely another one of the long list of juggernauts that will become another footnote, maybe a page, and the historical tests of the future? What can we do?

First, before anything else, we need to come to a complete stop. Our antagonists may never oblige but we, the conservatives, need to put all the facts on the table. We must ask ourselves, “What do I believe?” If there was ever a time to be candid and take off our politically correct latex gloves, it is now. To survive everything must go on the table and then the altar. Our pride, our entitlements, must be sacrificed to succeed again. Yes, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but joy will come in the morning, of course many, many mornings away. As the apostle Paul said, “He must increase and I must decrease”.

Our selfishness must decrease and our values and benevolence must increase. Conversely, the government must decrease and individuals must increase. Government must go back to the role of dad and stop insisting on being our mom. Ironically, our nation lacks good fathers and really fathers in general. The government is our dad to protect and empower us. This empowerment is not with money per see but with information, networking, and opportunity from private ventures, not handouts. If someone in the community is losing their house the town should alert philanthropists in the region to directly aid the family and empower the family to keep their house, pay off debt, and build wealth. In addition, our government must discipline us like a loving father, taking away our increasingly expensive toys and telling us candidly that, “We can’t afford that!”

This is our needed surgery. Our concentration should be becoming more user-friendly as it pertains to some issues, notably Social Security as we look to gradually end it. As we push for expiration and then extinction, we need to make it optional. In no ways can we abandon our elderly. We have time; they don’t. Therefore, we should set a cutoff age where people know they won’t get social security if they don’t want it. But then, the people who find comfort in the hands of the government must make up the difference to discourage its existence. Social Security was enacted in a time where the life expectancy was 65.

Now, it is 80! This is a staggering statistic that shines light on a messy situation. At the time, it was a great insurance to have, but now, according to some projections, we now dole out more money than we collect in addition to paying more for longer living recipients. Entitlements, especially welfare, need to be bombarded with obstacles and hoops that its pushes everyone away except for the people who truly need it. And in that, these people must be required to get an academic and financial education to get off the program. I, and many others, truly believe that we should reform the payment given to users of welfare. They will receive a debit card in which they can exchange it at reputable distributors. This also enables us to see what they are spending their money on. Irresponsible spending will come at a cost. Combined, with this effort, drug tests will become mandatory and random. If anyone is guilty, the government is of holding people down. Conservatives and liberals play their parts, but the government as a whole is the chief culprit in discouraging individual prosperity.

Politicians far too often do what will get them re-elected instead of what is right and needed. A person with a government check is a government worker so they must work. Three days a week thou shalt labor and do work for thy government in thy community and fufilleth thee “shovel ready” projects. Two days shalt thou lookst for thine job wherein thou shalt find sustenance. Also, thou shalt be visited by thy rich man who will empowereth thee whilst thou shalt remain poor. This applies to people collecting unemployment benefits. Many people just sit on them until they are about to expire before looking for work. Did you know that 5% of the unemployed are college educated? What does this say?

That the people without jobs need to one

1) educate themselves and make them selves more attractive to future employers

2) small businesses are their biggest employers and

3) everyone cannot get what they want. In our system, people rely so much on the government that they are essentially perpetuating the incompetence of politicians to try to make everyone happy.

But, we need to go further. Philanthropists need to work collectively to found endowments, funds, and programs to empower these people. No more handing out fish and taxing the heck out of successful fisherman. Empowerment is the only option. Many people associated with my family are affluent yet extremely benevolent. What’s to say if a program was founded that matched people in low income areas with people in more affluent neighbourhoods. A rich family could visit a poor one, or vice versa, and give them a life makeover. They can help pay debt, give them books and tapes to digest, and individually instruct them on how to become successful, fiscally responsibility, etc.

This alone would surpass anything the Obama administration could think of and I didn’t even go to Harvard. Also, what’s to stop local businessmen from banding together and fighting poverty, ignorance, and laziness in their community? Let’s be honest, this is often what it boils down to. Conservative and liberals both want to help people; yet, it’s their methods that distinguish them. We have the right mindset; we have the finances, let’s make it happen. I suggest that tax deductions be made available to small businesses and corporations to hire people around the poverty line or on welfare. My proposal is that these companies will take groups of people and send them through courses where they will receive financial, investment, and intellectual education. From there, these people can be offered entry level positions with an opportunity to climb the ladders of their or another company. This fosters growth, teaches people the value of work, and extinguishes most claims that the “little man” is being held down.

Now, the “little man” must take responsibility. Fighting poverty, ignorance, and laziness can be achieved on both the community as well as education. With the exception of very affluent areas, the general consensus is that fiscal responsibility is overrated, life’s to short to not have fun, and the bare minimum will always do. Our nation’s schools are desperate for quality leadership and experience. No more local banks coming preaching garbage to increase profit in five years. “Oh, you need a credit card,” “Oh, you can pay it off later”. That is a load of “Chicken crap” as Mr. Boehner would say. Isn’t it a shame that nearly every American was weaned off the Keynesian model? We must say no and give the facts and the pathway to success. Again, we’re not looking for a band-aid; we need surgery.

As I move forward, I will be sure to implement these ideas and truly practice what I preach. These principles, programs, and ideas will become a staple of every business I own or come in contact with. I will fail to be a hypocrite or follow this plan half-heartedly. In this ever-changing, ever-expanding economy, one must be able to not only keep up with recent trends and hone your skills but to excel in them to separate yourself from the fold. I truly believe that if people’s mindsets shift from minimal work and maximum profits to maximum work and maximum fulfillment and value, not money, these in their life will really change. Every person I will hire or work with should exhibit this mindset; so should I. I want my employees to work at my business as if it was their own. Take responsibility, be creative, be a visionary, be innovative, impact the company or organization for prosperity by actually having invested time, passion, and effort.

This is Biblical, this is Constitutional, this is right (no pun intended; okay, you got me). Our predecessors stressed individual responsibility and warned of the evils of massive government. With time and sacrifice, all these propositions and more can be both implemented and successful in this new America. Whether it is 1776 or 2010, principles, are principles, facts don’t lie, and history never fails to repeat itself. The American people have emphatically responded. All of us need to answer the bell.

Michael Adeleke. Highland, Indiana.

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