Maybe we really are in the “End Times.” I entirely agree with what a Tea Party Senator has just said.
Utah Senator Mike Lee was arm-in-arm with crazy Ted Cruz during the recent shenanigans that shut down the government. But in the wake of that fiasco, he has made a speech that at the very least shows a self-awareness we are not accustomed to seeing from Tea Party folks, and in places sounds positively progressive!
“Especially in the wake of recent controversies, many conservatives are more frustrated with the establishment than ever before,” Lee said. “And we have every reason to be. But however justified, frustration is not a platform. Anger is not an agenda. And outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative.”
Instead of “outrage, resentment, and intolerance,” the party should project a message—and more than a message, a principle—of “optimism,” he said.
“American conservatism, at its core, is about gratitude, and cooperation, and trust, and above all hope,” Lee said. “It is also about inclusion. Successful political movements are about identifying converts, not heretics.”
But the paragraph that most struck me was one in which Lee actually seems to occupy reality, and to see what most Tea Party folks resolutely refuse to acknowledge:
“This opportunity crisis,” he continued, “presents itself in three principal ways: immobility among the poor, trapped in poverty; insecurity in the middle class, where families just can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic elites unfairly profit at everyone else’s expense. The Republican Party should tackle these three crises head on.”
Actually, I’d settle for a GOP that wasn’t insistent on making them worse.
That said, if this speech actually represents Mike Lee’s current perspective, it is immensely welcome–if considerably overdue. Maybe we could get him to talk to several members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation.
I’m especially looking at you, Todd Rokita and Marlin Stutzman.