Ted Cruz’s victory in Texas is more than a victory for the Tea Party; it is another step toward implementing its master strategy. The true mission of the Tea Party is often misunderstood; yes it represents no compromise for lower taxes and drastic cuts in non-defense government. But it is setting its sights higher; it wants to win what it defines as a culture war. In other words, it believes that unless it takes over the media, the popular culture and religious organizations and replaces the government as the nation’s social safety net, it will never successfully implement its economic agenda. From the website of FreedomWorks, a conservative activist group with close ties to the Tea Party and a strong backer of Cruz, comes this statement of larger purpose:
“The most important speech at FreePac, however, was Matt Kibbe telling the assembled leaders for freedom ‘Politics is not enough,’ as Kibbe said. ‘We must take over every aspect of our culture if we're going to take our country back.’
Restoring freedom and limiting government can not be accomplished just with political engagement or even by focusing on good policy. We must engage and retake our culture and its institutions.
The only way to limit government is to restore a culture that insists it be limited. Further, that culture must provide a way to meet the needs of society currently met by big government.
Churches must insist themselves from their own resources and with their own efforts on providing for the needs of their members, knowing that when government meets those needs, it pushes the wider Church itself to the sidelines, like a sad former star quarterback who insists he can still play.
We must, in the words of Chris Loesch to me at FreePAC, ‘Back talented acts, actors and directors, not just conservatives who happen to have acts. Otherwise we're the same as the left.’
Kibbe said, ‘We have to take over Hollywood. We have to take over the media. We have to take over the culture.’”
This militancy takes the political stalemate to another level. Not only will the Tea Party and its new protégés insist on their political agenda, but their cultural one as well. It’s not clear which one is scarier.