Tea Party Tyrants

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.

12 responses to “Tea Party Tyrants

  1. The only tyrant here is the policies of Obama and the support of the queen of scare Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Our country is in decline and the constituents in district 20 and the rest of the country’s retirement funds are going down from DWS and her policies. They are worried about their 401ks, pensions and retirement funds. We need people who need to lead. i am that person as i am running for congress in district 20. i am the only candidate that pledged to fight for all the people in the district. http://www.joegoldnerforcongress2012.com

  2. I think you’re being very closed minded…didn’t you get the memo that tyrant now means “anyone who opposes the divine one, Barrack Obama”?

  3. Well, I guess it’s a case of one man’s tyrant is another man’s benevolent dictator. The Tea Party is only trying to shine the light of freedom on our Leviathan in Washington.

    • But the tea party is neither a tyrant not a benevolent dictator.

      I think that this should be the tea party’s motto: “Men must walk in freedom, responsible for their own behaviour.” Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Nicely done! But in the words of Ronald Reagan: “There you go again…” confusing the issues with the facts. Seems like you’re suggesting that words actually have meanings!

  5. Didn’t they pass something not too long ago about broadening the powers of the FBI and authorities in reference to domestic terrorists? Who is it in this administration that defines the word? Are we because we speak our mind or question the great one? Just saying…..It’s commin.

  6. The left has become rather ridiculous, at this point. They’ll say anything, no matter how unhinged from reality. So we are left having to explain why Tea Party patriots are not in fact “tyrants.” Remember when Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner used to say this stuff too? Soon, Miss Crazytalk can join their ranks . . .

  7. Aristotle’s most famous quote on tyrants seems to have slipped your attention: “A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.” Of course, that has absolutely no connection with the religious fervor that Tea Party politicians display.
    Aristotle also commented that “The tyrant is also fond of making war in order that his subjects may have something to do and be always in want of a leader.” and “[The tyrant] should be seen to collect taxes and to require public services only for state purposes, and that he may form a fund in case of war, and generally he ought to make himself the guardian and treasurer of them, as if they belonged, not to him, but to the public.” Nothing to do with the War on Terror or Small Government, of course.

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