The Tea Party movement is here for a "hostile takeover" of the Republican Party, say Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, leaders of Freedomworks and authors of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto. On Tuesday, in preparation for their book's release, they take to The Wall Street Journal to explain where the movement came from, where it is going, and what makes it great. The breakdown:
HOW THE TEA PARTY CAME TO BE
Today the ranks of this citizen rebellion can be counted in the millions. The rebellion's name derives from the glorious rant of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who in February 2009 called for a new "tea party" from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. By doing so he reminded all of us that America was founded on the revolutionary principle of citizen participation, citizen activism and the primacy of the individual over the government.
'CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP'
Our community is built on the Trader Principle: We associate by mutual consent, to further shared goals of restoring fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government.
HOW AND WHY THE TEA PARTY WORKS
The many branches of the tea party movement have created a virtual marketplace for new ideas, effective innovations and creative tactics. Best practices come from the ground up, around kitchen tables, from Facebook friends, at weekly book clubs, or on Twitter feeds. This is beautiful chaos--or, as the Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek put it, "spontaneous order."
A WARNING SHOT TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
But let us be clear about one thing: The tea party movement is not seeking a junior partnership with the Republican Party, but a hostile takeover of it.
The American values of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and limited government bind the ranks of our movement. That makes the tea party better than a political party. It is a growing community that can sustain itself after November, ensuring a better means of holding a new generation of elected officials accountable.