Successful Tea Party Movement Must Include Pro-Life Issues, Not Just Economy

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 31, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Successful Tea Party Movement Must Include Pro-Life Issues, Not Just Economy

by Tom Glessner
August 31, 2010 Note: Tom Glessner is a pro-life attorney who is the president of NIFLA, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. NIFLA is an organization with more than 1,200 affiliated pregnancy centers that provides legal, medical and practical help for pregnancy centers across the country.

Political change is blowing in the wind but it is not the change promised by Barack Obama when he ran for the presidency. For sure, Obama has brought political change to the nation, but his transformational policies have meant bigger government, higher taxes, federal subsidies of abortion on demand, and greater governmental control over the lives of American citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens across the nation have raised their voices to protest Obama’s policies of change. They are crying out for a different change that will honor the integrity of each individual and create an atmosphere where true liberty in all spheres of life – economic, cultural, and spiritual- reigns. Political pollsters are now predicting a huge seismic shift in the political landscape this November. The recent Glenn Beck sponsored rally in Washington D.C., attended by thousands upon thousands of grass roots activists, indicates that this public outcry of protest is real and powerful.

The Tea Party movement is comprised of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents from all walks of life. The political ruling elite, the corporate world, and the media have completely failed to comprehend this populist movement dismissing it as marginal, extreme and even racist. However, this movement is not composed of ignorant and bigoted individuals, as suggested by the political class. Rather, it is an authentic grassroots movement of thoughtful and patriotic people demanding real change from an out-of-touch political establishment.

The Tea Party movement, for the most part, centers its protest on economic issues and concern about the loss of freedom that an ever-growing federal government brings. These concerns are valid and appropriate. Most leaders of this movement also believe in the sanctity of life and the need to halt the wholesale destruction of innocent human life through abortion and other life related issues such as embryonic stem cell research. However, many in the Tea Party movement have made it clear that while they are sympathetic with the pro-life cause, the abortion issue is not formally part of the Tea Party agenda.

Economic issues are a vital concern; as is the growing size of the federal government and its overreaching into the lives of ordinary citizens. The overwhelming burden of excess regulation and taxation upon businesses and individuals is alarming. In the same manner, however, the killing of 1.25 million unborn children annually from abortion must be a grave concern. Accordingly, a failure by the Tea Party to incorporate the serious pro-life concerns of millions of Americans into its agenda will be fatal to achieving success.

Perhaps, the Tea Party should take a lesson from the old fashioned three-legged milking stool. When I was a child I visited my aunt and uncle on their dairy farm and was intrigued watching my uncle milk the cows while sitting on a three-legged stool. I asked him why he used such a funny chair to milk the cows. He explained that a four-legged chair can be unbalanced if one of its legs is a different length than the others and it could even tip over if you leaned backwards. A three-legged stool, on the other hand, balances evenly and won’t tip over even if one of its legs is longer.

We should learn something from the old-fashioned milking stool. There are three legs to a successful agenda that will change America for the better. Each leg is critical and the current grassroots movement for change in America will collapse if any of these legs is ignored. These legs are:

1) Revival of the Economy: This leg requires the establishment a strong robust economy that creates full employment and does not burden small businesses with taxes and oppressive regulations that hinder job development. Limited government and reduced taxation are at the core and are necessary to bring the nation out of the serious economic recession/depression in which we find ourselves.

2) Maintaining a Strong National Defense and Protecting Homeland Security: This leg requires a serious commitment by the government to win the war on terror and protect our country’s border from those who would illegally enter and do us harm.

3) Protecting the Family Unit and Restoring the Right to Life for All: The social issues – protecting the sanctity of marriage and restoring the right to life – are issues of equal importance. Millions of Americans, including myself, have placed these issues at the top of the priority list for the next generation of political leaders to seriously address.

To date, while it appears that most Tea Party leaders verbally support all three legs of this “milk stool” some, such as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, assert that the social issues (and specifically abortion and the right to life) must take a back seat to the other two legs, which are seen as more important.

A further example of this viewpoint was shown in a recent interview of Sarah Palin with Sean Hannity of Fox News. Gov. Sarah Palin, a committed pro-life leader, was asked to name the top five issues facing the country today and the deaths of 1.25 million unborn annually from abortion was not on her list. If, indeed, this is the approach a new Congress takes after the November mid-term elections, then the agenda of the Tea Party movement will fail.

America must be forewarned. A nation that fails to protect the lives of its most vulnerable members has set a course for itself that will lead to its eventual destruction from within. The killing of future generations through the act of abortion has already taken a toll on the demographical future of the nation and the Western world. Unless this trend is stopped then, notwithstanding the impact of the Tea Party movement, our culture and nation will have effectively committed suicide.

The invention of the three-legged milking stool was truly ingenious. Will the current populist movement for change understand this and formally incorporate the life issues into its agenda? Time will tell and the future of America hangs in the balance.

© 2010, Thomas A. Glessner, All rights reserved.


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