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Will the Tea Party Usher In a More Limited View of Government?

Conservatives might govern sooner than many expected.

12:00 AM, Jul 8, 2010 • By JIM PREVOR
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When a crisis approaches, few Americans call for something as radical as a dictatorship. So when an economic threat approaches, we have to steel citizens to the idea that government is simply not free to bail people and companies out or to try and boost home values, that its economic responsibilities are more constrained and general in nature – maintaining a sound currency, a proper tax system, keeping expenses below revenues, etc.

Beliefs have consequences, and if the people come to accept that they can’t count on government to prevent economic fluctuations, they will themselves behave more prudently.

It is a comeuppance devoutly to be wished. The question is, to a large extent, whether the Tea Party movement can acquire the intellectual coherence and distinctive voice to go beyond expressing dissatisfaction and toward articulating rules of conduct for both political parties and the government itself.

Jim Prevor is the recipient of the Timothy White Award for Editorial Integrity and was a finalist for the 2010 Gerald Loeb award. He often contributes to THE WEEKLY STANDARD and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New Atlantis, National Review Online and many other publications. 

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