When the economy falls under political control, the practical value of your freedom shrivels. Success becomes determined by the favor of the State, and the exercise of political power. For example, labor unions are rewarded for their loyalty to the Democrat Party, including proposed public bailouts of their unsustainable pension plans, and exclusive access to government contracts. Such transactions work both ways, as powerful constituencies trade votes for obedient service from politicians.

The Tea Party is the living incarnation of disobedience. It is driven by the words and deeds of people who refuse to submit. Its members demand the return of money and power appropriated by an out-of-control federal government. They won’t allow their lives to be sculpted by the knives and chisels of penalties and subsidies. They speak out against an ugly reality that President Obama’s supporters don’t like to confront: political control of the economy consists of directives, which require submission, which can only be assured through punishment. No matter how benevolent the stated goals of such a system might be, there is nothing benevolent about the methods it must use to attain them.