Why the zombie tea party won't stay dead

Set ego and ideology aside, and it’s possible to gratify America’s hunger for radical reform. On national security, radicals offer, and Americans want, a rollback of the surveillance state and a transparent restoration of the rule of law. On the economy, radicals offer, and Americans want, banks that aren’t more powerful and centralized today than they were before the financial crisis. On the drug war and criminal justice, radicals offer, and Americans want, an end to no-knock raids, warrantless searches, and a wealthy and soulless prison-industrial complex.

The list goes on. Americans want to break the culture of Beltway lobbying, which will only happen when lobbyists give up on trying to own radical representatives beholden only to their conscience and their constituents. Ruthless, repeated gerrymandering has made a mockery of voting—not because “extremists” have captured the parties, but because mainstream party machines have colluded to game the system. Radicals right and left can end that, too.

Even Obamacare draws radicals together on some level: right and left, they both understand that federally cartelizing corporate health insurance is not, in any enduring sense, the path forward.