Rand Paul, the newly elected senator from Kentucky, discusses the history of theTea Party and why they must now take a stand and not compromise in his new book, "The Tea Party Goes to Washington." A Tea Party member and Republican, Paul has been vocal in advocating for a balanced budget, a plan for which he explains in his new book.
Read a chapter from the book below.
November 2, 2010, was an historic night. I had been elected to the US Senate campaigning on a traditional, constitutional platform, rooted in the founding of our nation and reelecting the values of individual freedom that have always made America great. With the Obama administration barreling in the opposite direction at breakneck speed, enacting legislation that would have astounded George Washington and incurring debt that would have outraged Thomas Jefferson, my message found an eager audience not only in Kentucky but across the country. On that night, I restated my promise to voters:
They say that the US Senate is the world's most deliberative body. Well, I'm going to ask them to deliberate upon this. The American people are unhappy with what's going on in Washington. Eleven percent of the people approve of what's going on in Congress. But tonight there's a Tea Party tidal wave and we're sending a message to them. It's a message that I'll carry with me on Day One. It's a message of fiscal sanity. It's a message of limited constitutional government and balanced budgets. When I arrive in Washington I will ask them, respectfully, to deliberate upon this—we are in the midst of a debt crisis and the American people want to know why we have to balance our budget and they don't? I will ask them, respectfully, to deliberate upon this: Government does not create jobs. Individual entrepreneurs, businessmen and -women create jobs but not the government. I will ask the Senate, respectfully, to deliberate upon this—do we wish to live free or be enslaved by debt? Do we believe in the individual or do we believe in the state?
I had defeated my Democratic opponent by a 12-point margin; he had been soundly rejected precisely for representing and symbolizing Obama and his vision. Americans were not happy with the direction of the country, and voters wanted their voices heard. This was a chorus I had heard throughout the campaign, growing louder each day and more defiant with each new debt. Washington wasn't listening, but on election night, they heard loud and clear. In any other election cycle, my becoming a US Senator would likely not have been possible. I had never run for any elected office, had entered the race against not only a state¬wide elected official, but the hand-picked candidate of the most powerful Republican in America. My campaign started at 15 percent in the polls. The national Republican Party, the Kentucky establishment, K Street and virtually every power broker in Washington, DC, had all lined up to oppose me like no other candidate running in 2010. The entire political establishment had my primary opponent's back.
Luckily, the Tea Party had mine.
The Tea Party Brews
The original Tea Party took place in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, over a mere three-cent tax. Today we don't consider those who took part in the protests "extremists" but patriots, who in resisting the British Crown helped kick-start a necessary and just revolution.