Tea Party groups are inspired by the colonial protest against a tax on Tea in Boston Harbor. Mike Saliba says it's time for another.

Tea Party 2022: A Libertarian Reboot

Link to the November 2022 Michigan Libertarian

By Mike Saliba, Past organizer of “The Boston Tea Party

If you can remember the mid-term elections of 2010, you can remember the Tea Party.

After back to back years, 2008 and 2009, back to back Presidents, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, signed engaged in record spending for record bailouts and stimulus packages ($852 Billion total stimulus in 2008 from Bush and $831 Billion in 2009 from Obama) a grassroots insurgency emerged to reshape the political landscape with the goal of shrinking the federal government to its constitutional limits. They named themselves “The Tea Party”, after the Boston Tea Party tax protest of 1773 that kicked of the movement towards independence that would spark the American Revolution and create The United States of America.

By the midterm elections of 2010, members of this movement had won primaries to make themselves candidates of the Republican Party. They ran on tickets focused on cutting spending, cutting regulations, cutting taxes, and restoring constitutional limits on the federal government. Many won their elections and the establishment members of that party were forced to bend to the newcomers will.

Time passed, little changed, and the Tea Party died.

Trump-Biden Outspend Bush-Obama Administrations

Now, after back-to-back years, 2020 and 2021, back-to-back Presidents, Donald Trump and Joe Biden signed and engaged in spending, bailouts, and stimulus that make Bush and Obama look like amateurs. In 2020, then President Trump signed packages that combined to 4.5 Trillion (that’s Trillion with a “T”) after 2019 when he signed packages that combined to $1.4 Trillion (again, Trillion with a T). In 2021, President Biden got off and set straight out into his $1.9 Trillion spending bill (that’s still Trillion with “T”).

If the $1.68 Trillion combined spending of Bush and Obama over two years could spark the first modern Tea Party movement, why hasn’t the $5.3 Trillion+ of Trump and Biden sparked a 2022 version?

The answer lies in the failures of the first Tea Party. It’s activists joined the Republican Party to seek public office. Many were successful and won their elections but when they got into office they realized they were members of one of the two parties that had been doing the spending, increasing the regulations, and growing the federal government in the ways they had been protesting. The establishment members of their own party became their biggest obstacles. Then the man who killed the Tea Party was elected President of The United States.

Time passed, little changed, and the Tea Party died.

The  Enemy Within

The Democratic Party had always fought the Tea Party. But it was the Republican Party, the former home of the Tea Party, who placed into power the Tea Party’s killer, Donald Trump. I’m not the first to say so. Donald Trump ran his 2016 with all the anti-establishment fervor of a Tea Party candidate. He promised to lower taxes, cut regulations, and he even promised to pay off the debt. But self-described “King of Debt” began saying and doing things completely antithetical to Tea Party principles.

He started saying things like “who cares about the budget”. He started raising tariffs and Americans started paying more in total taxes. His spending reached the Trillions well before COVID reached the U.S. In all the four years of Donald Trump were more expensive than all eight years of George W. Bush or any six years of Barack Obama. So now that that man who killed the first Tea Party is the de facto leader of the Republican Party and his endorsed candidates (like John James) are the new party darlings, how could a Tea Party 2022 ever rely on such a political party?

The New Tea Party Must Learn From Old Mistakes

Tea Party 2022 must learn from old mistakes and not embrace the two-party system that created all the problems they are fighting against in the first place. The Libertarian Party is America’s third oldest and third largest political party. Tea Party 2022 will need a new home. The Libertarian Party was fighting out-of-control spending, record debts, and growth of government for decades before the Tea Party began. It has continued that fight well after the movement ended.

My name is Mike Saliba, I am the Libertarian Party candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 10th district. Whether you were part of the first Tea Party movement or are now becoming fed up effects we are now feeling from the damage from Trump/Biden spending, you can’t now turn to the Trump/Biden parties for solutions. Please vote for me to send the message to Washington Tea Party 2022 is coming.

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