Nelson Hultberg and the Tea Party movement

Since February 2008, we have been seeing a rise across America of entirely new directions as states demand the federal government stay within the realm appointed to it by the Constitution and demand accountability. But as angry voices take up the cudgel, the original messages get blurred and forgotten. The Tea Party’s new ideas were regularly talked about for years in Libertarian circles before they became cool by people such as Nelson Hultberg, a prolific writer from Texas. He has written a new book called “The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It.” Recently, Hultberg was interviewed by Ron Holland of The Daily Bell. As a major Tea Party bash occurs in Washington, D.C., this weekend, here are some thoughts from this original thinker:

Holland: Is the Tea Party making progress in your estimation?

Hultberg: “Neo-cons like Newt Gingrich and pseudo-conservatives like Dick Armey have moved their organizations to co-opt the Tea Party revolutionaries into the Republican Party. This is the kiss of death. Gingrich, Armey and their cohorts are the epitome of what is wrong with the conservative movement in America. They pay only lip service to freedom's ideals. When it comes time to match the rhetoric with action and adherence to principle, they cave in like a homeless alcoholic in face of saloon music and the smell of whiskey. It's pitiful how Republican Party stalwarts delude themselves into believing they are fighting "a great fight for freedom" while throwing trillions to the banking oligarchs and steadfastly refusing to address the immigration invasion. The lures of "celebrity" and "social approval" have consumed their integrity of thought. They want too much to be revered by the ghouls of Wall Street, as if riding in black limousines with thieves is somehow honor. They want too much to be invited to palace dinners at the White House. Thus usurpation and shameful profligacy become tolerable tools of trade.”

What we need today, says Hultberg, is the restoration of the Jeffersonian/Burkean blend of libertarian-conservatism that built our nation during the first 125 years up through World War I.

“ . . . neo-conservatives hate what the ‘libertarian-conservative’ movement is all about,” says Hultberg. “They go out of their way to smear conservatives who believe in individual rights, limited government, federalism and a mind-our-own-business foreign policy. But this is to be expected; they are collectivists. They hate the whole idea of individualism, and the self-reliance that sustains it.”

Regarding Ron Paul: “But the battle to light ‘brushfires of freedom in the minds of men’ that Samuel Adams spoke of has been launched. The Ron Paul Revolution ignited it, and, hopefully, there will be no stopping it. We are politically libertarian because freedom requires a strictly limited government, but we are culturally conservative because freedom requires the inculcation of objective moral values into the young. Freedom does not mean the anarchical fetish of ‘doing your own thing’ as the pure libertarian seems to think. Freedom is meant for ‘doing the right thing’ as Albert Jay Nock espoused. We believe, with Jefferson, in the rights of man, but we believe with Burke that ‘men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.’"