Last week, the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) efforts to disenfranchise the conservative grassroots were strongly condemned by grassroots conservatives across the country. However, while holding the GOP establishment accountable, we should not forget the spectacular successes by the grassroots that led to the inclusion of many Tea Party-backed principles at the Republican National Convention and the RNC’s platform. A few examples:
- An audit of the Federal Reserve and a study on sound money were included in the platform.
- While the RNC platform doesn’t go far enough, it espouses limiting the farm subsidies currently part of federal policy.
- The platform supports some privatization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as ending support for all bailouts of Wall Street.
- Supporting reformation of Medicare and Social Security, the greatest financial challenges facing the nation in coming decades.
- Tea Party-minded freshmen Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave prominent and well-received speeches, as did Senate candidate Ted Cruz.
- Looking beyond the platform inclusion, the pick by Romney of Paul Ryan for VP is a strong indicator that the GOP establishment is finally getting serious about reforming Social Security and Medicare.
When added to the fact that most of the convention itself was focused around overturning the President’s health care law, as well as tax and spending reforms, it is clear that the Tea Party isn’t dead and gone, as the media says – it has spread its message far and wide through one of the two major political parties in America.
Grassroots activists everywhere should be proud of this accomplishment. From 2001 through 2010 Republicans and Democrats alike supported bailouts and vast expansions of earmarks and federal bureaucracies. Since late 2010, however, conservatives all across the country have shown politicians the folly of this path and brought fiscally conservative politicians to Congress. This difference has been shown in many ways, but most prominently at the Convention.
Of course, the battle for a balanced budget and tax reform is not yet won. We must continue to hold politicians responsible and push policies that will prevent the coming fiscal emergency from actually arriving. Only pressure from grassroots conservatives will force this to happen, so please keep up the momentum as we head towards November.