Why Chuck Should Start a (Local) Tea Party
This video – via Radley Balko’s digs – is a good illustration of the many job-destroying, prosperity-hampering, mind-boggling regulations that various local governments have in place which make it harder for you and me to start and run a successful small business:
Now, one response Chuck could have to all this is to start a political group, maybe a non-profit devoted to channeling election money from anonymous donor. I think you can run these fairly easily out of your basement, and there’s not too many hurdles to getting into the business.
Or, Chuck could become a political activist and join the Tea Party. He could even start his own Tea Party.
And actually, I think that would be a very good idea – but I have one qualifier.
Chuck should not fall into the trap that so many other Tea Partiers have fallen into: national politics. This isn’t to say that Chuck shouldn’t be at all interested in national politics – plenty of the decisions made in Washington will effect his ability to start and grow a business. However, as this video illustrates, many of the real day-to-day problems facing Americans stem from local political shenanigans and from local regulations put in place by local special interest groups. Miami’s ludicrous business-licensing is a homegrown problem. You can’t blame Barack Obama or George W. Bush for the labyrinthine process of getting a business off the ground. It’s time that the Tea Parties began to focus on that instead of always looking to Washington to place their blame – or their hope.
Would a highly localized, locally-focused Tea Party movement generate as much news or garner as much attention as the current Tea Party movement? Not a chance. But unlike the movement today, it might also stand a real chance of doing some good by exposing and extinguishing regulatory burdens across the country. One way to limit the power of the federal government is to focus more on improving – and limiting – government closer to home. A localized Tea Party movement would be closer to the issues that matter most to voters.
But it would also be a lot of work with not a lot of glory. So if Chuck decides to go that route, he’ll have to live with the fact that he won’t get much love from Glenn Beck – and probably not much love from FOX News in general. He won’t have a chance to wildly distort election results in states several hundred miles away. Sarah Palin probably won’t come to his town to give a speech at $100 a head (plus expenses). And he’ll probably have to do a lot of very hard work against some seriously entrenched special interest groups before the fruits of his labor have any chance to grow.
Which is why I recommend starting a non-profit electioneering outfit instead. Much easier, less stress, better hours.