How to Kill the Tea Party

If the Tea Party—or ACORN or the Democratic National Committee or anyone or anything else, for that matter—stays in a perpetual state of heightened negative emotions nothing positive gets accomplished.

The gazelle that flees imaginary lions soon dies of exhaustion. As positive emotions researcher Barbara Frederickson puts it:

when extreme, prolonged, or contextually inappropriate, negative emotions can trigger a wide array of problems for individuals and for society.

Phobias develop out of unchecked fear.

Continuous negative emotions can lead to unhealthy stress levels and compromise the immune system in humans, according to psychologist Ann O’Leary in Psychological Bulletin (1990).

Too much negativity turns off society, too.

When man or beast trumpets his distress signal out of context or after danger has passed, the rest of the pack eventual turns against the noisemaker. We call such creatures “alarmists,” and it’s not a compliment. The boy who cried wolf wasn’t just ignored; he was despised.


11 thoughts on “How to Kill the Tea Party”

  1. In general, I’d agree… but how can anyone come thru this December and the Lame Duck Session and NOT have spent it in a “perpetual state of heightened negative emotions”? One barrage was followed by another and then another, and so many of those who SHOULD have stood firm AGAINST advancing the Marxist Agenda failed us and either caved, or flaunted their defiance of the will of the people right in our faces!!! Lisa Murkowski is an absolute disgrace (THANKS BUNCHES, Alaska!) who stood with OBAMA on all 4 of his Lame Duck Wish List!!! How does one NOT “trumpet his distress signal” in the face of all that?

    1. Doug, I think we have every right to be angry about the lame duck session and the Democrats’ cowardly slap to the American voters. But we knew that was coming. We should be angry.

      But anger is no solution.

      We have been loud and angry for two years, Doug. Every human being who can respond to anger and warnings has responded to our call. And they in the millions.

      But nearly 2/3 of voters and nearly 4/5s of young voters did not respond to our call in 2010. Why not?

      As another commenter points out, young people believe in liberty more strongly than older generations. But only 20 percent of them voted. Why?

      In my opinion, we were right to start this movement as an expression of anger and a message of warning. Government’s confiscation of money and power is a threat to our liberty and lives and pursuits of happiness. But that tactic has reached its limit.

      If the Tea Party wants to remain a voice in the national discourse, it must put forth positive ideas to improve people’s lives. If it cannot, then I don’t want to have anything to with it.

      I’m not saying don’t be angry. I’m saying don’t make it a policy or a tactic. Ronald Reagan got mad at government, but he ran as the most cheerful candidate in history, not the most bitter.

      That’s why I’m so enthused about Brooks Bayne’s Tea Party Think Tank. This is a game changer.

  2. I agree 100%! My wife and I dropped out of our local Tea Party group because of the ultra-negativity. To be productive and have a lasting impact on the political process, we must focus on the positive balanced with boldly confronting the negative when warrented.

    1. Thanks, Joe. I hope that wasn’t the St. Louis Tea Party. I think that in 2011, we will get on with proposing ideas that people can grab, wrap their hearts and minds around, and turn into electoral and legislative victories.

      At the end of the day, liberty and the right to pursue happiness will triumph over the arbitrary rule of other men.

    2. Joe: You were in the wrong group. Working for a better government can be very exciting. Working for a better life for our Kids and grandkids is worthwile. Start a group of your own, and make sure you bring the level of the patrotic vision to the top of your list.

      The Tea party is just a movement to gather all people who do not want the government to be changed to a socilist style of governing or worse.We have the best government in the world. We want to keep it.

      Please do not quit. We need you. Meet us in Jefferson City on January 5th, 10 am. Capital Building. We will show you a true group of Tea Party Members. Member of Sullivan Mo. 9-12.

  3. What the Tea Party must be for:

    Cut all Taxes.

    Massive cuts to all unnecessary spending.

    Require all presidential candidates to prove American Citizenship and other records.

    Investigate all fraud within the federal government.

    Is this positive emotion?

    1. Lower taxes and spending limited to those powers authorized in the Constitution promote freedom and prevent despotism. Investigating fraud in government keeps America a meritocracy, not a principality. Those are both great and positive objectives.

      I’m not a birther, though. I believe Presidents must be meet the qualifications, but raising that issue weakens the rest of the argument.

  4. Bill, you said:

    “But nearly 2/3 of voters and nearly 4/5s of young voters did not respond to our call in 2010. Why not?

    As another commenter points out, young people believe in liberty more strongly than older generations. But only 20 percent of them voted. Why?”

    Here’s some possible reasons why young people don’t vote:

    – Apathy/don’t care
    – The issues don’t matter to them
    – Feel that politicians don’t speak for them
    – No time/too busy to research the candidates and issues
    – Don’t believe that their vote can make a difference

    Don’t know if I agree with the commenter that said young people believe in liberty more than older generations. If anything, they’ve been brainwashed by left-leaning, progressive teachers/professors. Seems to me, most believe in entitlements more than liberty.

    As for encouraging young people to vote, we need to engage them somehow, show them that the issues DO matter, and that YES their vote WILL make a difference.

  5. I DO believe we will have much to look forward to — starting Jan 5th. But, I think the federal govt is a lost cause. It’s broken and can’t be fixed. All that can be done right now, until 2012, is Repeal, Repeal, Repeal…..

    I think any REAL or POSITIVE change will come at the *STATE LEVEL*. MO and other states need to assert their sovereignty and push back against the over-reach of the federal govt.

    Here are just some of the exciting/inspiring things we can work on, on the state level, here in MO:

    – Assert State Sovereignty
    – Stand firm on Prop C
    – Repeal and/or neuter Prop B
    – Make MO a Right to Work state
    – Fairtax
    – Propose a Food Sovereignty statute or amendment (to protect us from S.510, the Food Safety Bill)
    – “Repeal Amendment”. This amendment would allow states to undo any federal law or regulation, as long as 34 state legislatures agree. (It is a back-door way of repealing the 17th Amendment).

    These are just some of the positive things we can get conservatives excited about….

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