I'm pretty sure it would surprise none of our regular readers that I am actively involved in Tea Party activities.
Having been honest about the context, here are the "15 non-negotiable core beliefs" of the Tea Party, generally.
I can personally attest that, at least as I've observed, the Tea Party supporters are composed of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian ethnic groups. I don't see any racism prevalent in their message or their constituency.1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
3. A strong military is essential.
4. Special interests must be eliminated.
5. Gun ownership is sacred.
6. Government must be downsized.
7. The national budget must be balanced.
8. Deficit spending must end.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
14. English as our core language is required.
15. Traditional family values are encouraged.
Tea Party people generally want a LOT less government, but no one is saying 'no government'. Thinking people know a NO government society would quickly devolve into anarchy.
Tea Party people are not proposing to eliminate welfare, or social security, or medicare. We simply want to return these programs to their original purpose; helping people in real need.
Tea Party people are not advocating for the elimination of taxes; but rather backing away from the belief taxes should be punitive (which results in unintended consequences and enormous loss of productivity). I think most tea party folks would be happy with an all-inclusive, reasonable flat tax. After all, as in earlier commentary... if we believe we need SOME government we realize it has to be paid for..
I haven't seen a Tea Party supporter say they (or I) want to eliminate environmental regulation completely. However, these regulations have been used as tools to punish certain industries (or even individual businesses) for the favor of others with little or any real thought about cost versus benefit. In regulation, as in life, everything is a trade-off. Regulation of all kinds needs to be more goal-oriented and less policy driven.
Tea Party believers are fine with alternative energy. If you want it... fine.. you can pay for it. I don't want to... because I believe some smart person out there can do one heck of a better job than a bureaucracy in fostering true innovation. The government didn't invent automobiles, radio, the personal computer, air conditioning or a plethora of other technological wonders that make Americans more comfortable, more productive, and richer than any other Country in World history. Entrepreneurs taking advantage of the American Dream made these innovations... in the hope they'd be successful and yes, rich. The same will happen with alternative energy at the first opportunity it's possible to compete with oil, coal, and natural gas.
That's my commentary... What's yours?