Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) called the tea party “tyrants” in a tweet on August 7 because its members supposedly blocked a bigger and better deal from being approved.
Disregarding what effect the tea party had on the debt ceiling negotiations, there is absolutely no comparison between the tea party and tyrants. Aristotle writes:
A tyrant, as has often been repeated, has no regard to any public interest, except as conducive to his private ends; his aim is pleasure.
The tea party has not promoted a single idea to promote its “private ends.” Instead, it has promoted ideas that it believes would benefit the entire nation. Democrats may disagree with the tea party’s agenda, but it is ridiculous to assert that the tea party’s “aim is pleasure.”
I can hear the liberals complaining that Aristotle’s definition of tyrant is old and out-dated. Let’s turn to a more modern and American definition. A definition that was essential in the creation of the Constitution and our republican. James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 47:
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
Let’s see here. The tea party controls none of the branches of government. In fact, the Republicans do not even fully control a branch of government. (They control half of the legislative branch and 5 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices could be considered Republican, but the Senate is Democrat as is the President.)
But James Madison wrote that more than two hundred years ago. Many liberals don’t think the Constitution and our Founding Fathers are relevant any more. So let’s check an even more recent definition, Merriam-Webster:
a : an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution
b : a usurper of sovereignty
a : a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally
b : one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power
Hmm, the tea party fits none of those definitions either. The tea party is not an absolute ruler, has not usurped the nation’s sovereignty, is not a ruler with absolute power acting oppressively or brutally, and is not an oppressive ruler acting harshly.
I’d be very interested to hear by what definition the tea party are tyrants.
– Michael E. Newton is the author of the highly acclaimed The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society’s Descent into Tyranny. His newest book, Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers: The Fight for Control of the American Revolution, was released by Eleftheria Publishing in July.