Values voters see common cause, if not agenda, with Tea Party

Abstract: This article examines a danger faced by this NWE Values Forum, the Values in Knowledge Foundation, and other progressive and enlightened efforts to re-integrate values in knowledge and information.

It is said that President Obama has over-reached with the expansion of Federal control.  For this reason and perhaps others, a mighty energy has seized what is called “the right wing” of American politics, including a strong force now swept up in political elements pertaining to “values.”

This forum and the VKF must be vigilant and clear to express and establish their distinct purposes and relationship to the concept of values in a time when the term is in danger of being popularized as a narrow and divisive concept.

A good many factors have led to increased bifurcation and calcification on the American political landscape.  From at least 1992 onward, public discourse on political matters has been dominated by provocative and divisive rhetoric and behavior. The 4 year cycle of national politics has taken the form of relatively wild pendulum swings trading on sound-bite culture and rapidly growing ignorance of genuine civics and accurate and nuanced national history.

It is this very battle against “dumbing down” to which NWE and VKF are so energetically devoted.  The “dumbing down” should not be understood as describing a populace that “knows” less, but rather a populace that lacks the inherent habits of mind capable of sound assessment of rhetoric, argument, and the manipulation of knowledge and information.

This has enormous implications for the near future of American politics, but as importantly, it is a pressing matter that the importance of “values” does not come to be equated with the narrow and particular views and agenda of “values voters.”

NWE Forum and VKF values embrace a great many broad and progressive ideals not commonly emphasized among values voters.

Here are a few words on the very important recent event gathering “values votes,” with special focus on the relationship between this movement and the “Tea Party.”

Values voters see common cause, if not agenda, with tea party

by Adelle M. Banks

Religion News Service WASHINGTON RNS

With its emphasis on lower taxes and smaller government, the “tea party” movement hasn’t spent a lot of time on the social issues that animate social conservatives — abortion, gay marriage or stem cell research.

Many of the estimated 2,000 social conservatives who flocked here Friday (Sept. 17) for the annual Values Voter Summit say the tea party’s smaller-is-better conservatism resonates with them, even if it doesn’t always hit all the same hot buttons.

“We’re not just one issue only,” said Dale Burroughs, a pastoral counselor from Bradenton, Fla. “We have a social agenda but we also recognize economic problems, too. It’s like a train track. You have two rails and they’re going in the same direction. They’re just two separate tracks.”

4 comments to Values voters see common cause, if not agenda, with Tea Party

  • […] read the brief article on this matter posted here in the Values Forum of the New World […]

  • Gordon Anderson

    The Tea Party Movement is broader than anti-big government; it is also generally against corporations “too big to fail.” It was born during the Wall Street bailout and is opposed to collusion between big government and big business. Generally the Tea Party wants to return to a limited constitutional federal government and a return of social policy to the states. It was the collusion of King George III and the East India Company that sparked the original Tea Party, and many feel what we have today is a similar situation to what the American Revolution was fought against.

    In this respect the Tea Party is not “right-wing” in the sense we are used to in the history of the Republican Party, where big business lobbies control the party platform. It is for a government more akin to Jeffersonian Democrats. Nevertheless it is trying to promote this democratic view in the Republican Party because the Democratic Party seems to be the party of government redistribution of citizen money based on special interest and government lobbies. If the Tea Party succeeds in ousting Republicans endorsed by big business, it would be a dramatic reform of the party begun by railroads and heavy industry seeking a centralized state and a national bank.

    Many “value voters” are trying to attach their single value issues to the Tea Party because it is a loose coalition that opposes the status quo where values are relative, if not irrelevant to politics. However, it is always easier to ally against a common enemy than to unify after that enemy is defeated. There is no reason to believe the disparate elements of the Tea Party support a common political platform for governance if they would acquire power.

  • David Burgess

    The Tea Party movement, unlike the more narrow focus of social conservatives on pro-life and sexual morality, is evidence that the values discussion in this country has broadened. The Obama adminitration, despite the complaints from the American left, is the most progressive since at least FDR. It has galvanized those who reject the progressive prescription of Keynsian economics and bigger government. This is ultimately an argument about which values will prevail in America – the small government libertarian views of the early Jefferson or the progressive view of the government as the instrument of freedom and equality. Of course, the institutions of progressivism such as the Democratic Party and the organs of liberal media such as the NYT and Washington Post will portray them as fringe elements, just as Republicans and conservative media, such as talk radio, will brand the Obama administration as socialist. It is always easier to vilify one’s enemy than to rebut their argument. However, this should not distract us from the fact that the Tea Party is challenging the current administration over fundamental principles. It is an argument over the very meaning of the American experiment.

  • […] read the brief article on this matter posted here in the Values Forum of the New World Encyclopedia. September 21st, 2010 | Category: Foundation […]

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