Are “Tea Parties” Overthrowing Conservatism?
Richard Keith "Dick Armey" is a former U.S. Representative (R Texas, 1985-2003) and the current chairman of conservative nonprofit group FreedomWorks. Along with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, he helped author the "Contract with America" that ushered in major Republican victories in the 1994 midterm elections. He subsequently served as House Majority Leader from 1995 through 2003. In his chairmanship with FreedomWorks, Armey has been an instrumental supporter of the nationwide "Tea Party" protests that began in early 2009. He is the author of several books on politics and economics, including "The Freedom Revolution" and "Armey's Axioms."
Question: Is the “Tea Party” movement factionalizing the GOP?\r\n
Dick Armey: No. Not at all. I think a lot of people don't understand this at all. First of all, understand that in the state of New York there has been a very active Conservative Party for decades. It elected Senator Buckley in the 70's. And if you look at the history of Congressional races in New York and probably a lot of other races I've seen it through two Congressional races, the Conservative Party oftentimes nominates a person. Historically, they've been the good sports that have been willing to step back and throw their support to the Republicans in the interest of stopping a more liberal Democrat from getting into office.\r\n
Now what happened in New York 23rd, was a handful of people got into a backroom, and nominated a Democrat. And the first thing we heard, for example in my shop at Freedomworks, is from our grassroots activists in the north country in New York. They said, "The Republicans have just lost this race. This woman can't possibly win this race. She would not have won a Republican primary."\r\n
She was too liberal. There's no way she would have won a Republican primary.\r\n
So, what happened was, the Conservative Party said, "Oh, my gosh, the Republicans are about to lose this race." And they fielded a candidate. So, what happened was, there were three candidates from three different parties in the race, two liberals in the Republican and Democrat nominees, and one Conservative.\r\n
The Conservative candidate, although he was a first-time candidate, quite naive and innocent in the ways of politics, he grew so fast in his standing with the electorate, that she got knocked out of the race. Once she got knocked out of the race, what did she do? She made a deal with the White House and Chuck Schumer and endorsed the Democrat.\r\n
So, the first validation that I see in this is, our grassroots activists called that correctly, didn't they? They did in fact nominate a Democrat. And the Conservative Party failed to win that election.\r\n
Now, this is a short-term victory for the Republicans. They can celebrate it all they want because a year from now, the Democrats will lose that seat because the Republicans will have an open primary, they'll nominate a conservative Republican, or at least a middle of the road Republican, and that person will win the race back from the Democrat. So, that Democrat will only sit in that office for about a year.\r\n
And when that happens, the conservative party will once again play their role of being in support of their principles and working the Republican nominee a little bit more to their perspective on public policy and then helping him beat the Democrat.\r\n
Question: Was the candidate “too liberal” for the party fiscally or socially?\r\n
Dick Armey: No, that was a very – social issues were so much – I was up there. I mean, socialists were just simply not a part of the debate in that race. The Democrat candidate, when it was just the two of them in the race, the Democrat was running against her as a big spender. And so, her first transgression was, she was for big budgets, she was for cap and trade, she was for card check, the mandatory union plan that denied workers a secret ballot. On economic issues – and I saw no discussion of social issues in that race. On economic issues, she was so liberal that even the Democrat was running against her for being too liberal.\r\n
Question: How can the Tea Party movement help Republicans?\r\n
Dick Armey: Well, at some point, everybody who is seeking office, or wanting to hold office, at some point they have to respond to the voting constituency whose votes they want. And right now, the Republicans who are in office are kind of confused about that. This Tea Party Movement which is what you see right now is most visible at grassroots conservatism, is a thousand points of entrepreneurial light in advocating small government constructivism has popped up all over the country and it is the most genuine, largest grassroots movement I've ever seen on particularly the economic issues.\r\n
The officeholders are starting, "Oh, I get it. If I want to be reelected, I better be responsive to what these guys are telling me." That's what all the energy – there’s no greater source of energy in public policy discourse and politics today then the small government conservatives.\r\n
The orthodox Republican Party is dispirited and confused and going through a massive identity crisis where they're trying to basically ask the questions, "Who are we, and what are we doing here?" The Democrats are inflicted with probably the most severe case of buyer's remorse they've ever had, even worse than with the Clintons in '93 and '94, and they have no energy to bring to the field. So, the field is right now is dominated by the extremely big tent of small government conservatism, which has Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Evangelicals, people of all stripes and color and religious orientation, and they're all happily joined in resistance to a growth in the power of the state that they find frightening for their personal liberties.
Recorded on November 11, 2009
Interviewed by Austin Allen
Tea Party backer Dick Armey believes the movement that ousted a Republican Congressional candidate is actually resolving the party's "massive identity crisis."
- Beethovan and Picasso are the perfect examples for mastering the creative process.
- Behind each of their works are countless studies and sketches.
- The lesson? Never erase anything, keep iterating, and find new paths to familiar destinations.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
Lumina Foundation and Big Think have partnered to bring this entrepreneurial competition to life, and we hope you'll participate! We have narrowed down the competition to four finalists and will be announcing an audience's choice award and a judges' choice award in May.
The creator of the winning video — chosen by Big Think's audience, the Lumina Foundation, and an independent panel of experts (bios below) — will be flown to New York for a taping in the Big Think studio as a way to further promote their vision for a new, disruptive idea in post-secondary education.
Thank you to all of the contestants who spent time submitting applications, and best of luck to our final four competitors.
Finalist: Greater Commons - Todd McLeod
Greater Commons, founded by Todd McLeod and Andrew Cull, is an organization that helps people live happier, more successful and fulfilling lives through agile learning. The current education system is inefficient and exclusionary, in which many students who end up earning a degree, if at all, enter a career not related to their field of study. Greater Commons solves this problem and gap in post-high school secondary education in a variety of ways. Passionately and diligently, Great Commons helps others obtain skills, knowledge, wisdom, motivation, and inspiration so that they may live better lives.
Finalist: PeerFoward - Keith Frome
PeerForward is an organization dedicated to increasing the education and career success rates of students in low-income schools and communities by mobilizing the power of positive peer influence. PeerForward works with partner schools to select influential students as a part of a team, systemizing the "peer effect." Research in the fields of sociology of schools, social-emotional learning, adult-youth partnerships, and civic education demonstrates that students can have a positive effect on the academic outcomes of their peers. PeerForward is unique through its systemic solutions to post-secondary education.
Finalist: Cogniss - Leon Young
Cogniss combines technology and best practice knowledge to enable anyone to innovate and share solutions that advance lifelong learning. Cogniss is the only platform to integrate neuroscience, through which it solves the problem of access by providing a low-code platform that enables both developers and non-developers to build sophisticated education apps fast, and at a much lower cost. It addresses the uneven quality of edtech solutions by embedding research-based learning design into its software. App creators can choose from a rich set of artificial intelligence, game, social and data analytics, and gamification to build their perfect customized solution.
Finalist: Practera - Nikki James
Practera's mission is to create a world where everyone can learn through experience. Today's workplaces are increasingly dynamic and diverse, however, costly and time-consuming experiential learning is not always able to offer the right opportunities at scale. Many students graduate without developing the essential skills for their chosen career. Practera's team of educators and technologists see this problem as an opportunity to transform the educational experience landscape, through a CPL pedagogical framework and opportunities to apply students' strengths through active feedback.
Thank you to our judges!
Our expert judges are Lorna Davis, Dan Rosensweig, and Stuart Yasgur.
Lorna Davis is the Senior Advisor to Danone CEO and is a Global Ambassador for the B Corp movement. Lorna has now joined B-Lab, the non-for-profit that supports the B Corporation movement on an assignment to support the journey of large multi nationals on the path to using business as a force of good.
Dan Rosensweig joined Chegg in 2010 with a vision for transforming the popular textbook rental service into a leading provider of digital learning services for high school and college students. As Chairman and CEO of Chegg, Dan commits the company to fulfilling its mission of putting students first and helping them save time, save money and get smarter.
Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka's Social Financial Services globally. At Ashoka, Stuart works with others to initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs, engaged the G20 through the Toronto, Seoul and Los Cabos summits and helped form partnerships with leading financial institutions and corporations.
Again, thank you to our incredible expert judges.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.