"The Tea Party movement would not exist today if the Republicans had not failed under the Bush years," said U.S. Senate hopeful Jamie Radtke of Virginia to the newly formed Senate Tea Party Caucus.
As I wrote last year, this failure takes us back to the breakdown following the Reagan years:
The Republican collapse began after the Reagan administration. Reagan understood that American liberty is rooted in a particular political philosophy. It's a vision that declares independence under God instead of dependence under the state. Because Reagan understood there is a vision-for-freedom, he also understood the need to be able to explain and articulate that vision-for-freedom. Unfortunately, then-Vice President George Bush (the elder), despite eight years of seeing Reagan in action, and of seeing that kind of vision win landslide victories at the polls, never seemed to appreciate "the vision thing."
And so the Reagan vision of Americans knowing the "freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers" (from "A Time for Choosing") would be lost. In addition, the rationale and ability to articulate that vision would be lost. More than that, resources to stand up against a contrary vision would be lost -- even if that contrary vision is false.
The GOP's dilemma is that it is double-minded. On one side, some embrace a secular vision that sees the Creator of the Founders and of the Declaration as a kind of nice "religious" touch or "values" touch. But also in the GOP are those who show an appreciation of the connection between a real Creator and real freedom in the real world.
What the New Resistance senses is that neither the single-minded secularism of the Democrats nor the double-minded imbalance of the Republicans is an adequate foundation for freedom, whether we are talking about July 1776, March 2010 or 100 years from now.
Here is the National Journal report on Radtke's presentation at the inaugural meeting of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.
Radtke is a graduate of Liberty University and in 2009 served as the secretary/treasurer of "Restore the Founders' Vision."
For additional information on Radtke, go to the Jamie Radtke for Senate website.