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None of the Above

None_of_the_above A lot of my friends and colleagues have been asking my opinion about the rise of the Tea Party movement this fall.

To be honest, I'm not sure what I think of it.

I am, however, sure of WHY I think of it.

The Democrats (for almost 235 years) and the Republicans (for about 150 years) have managed to polarize Washington to the point where accomplishment is almost an impossibility.  No longer do our law-makers go to Washington with the intent of representing us and our needs (Note: I did not say "wants"; I said "needs").  They go with a combative defiance against the other guys.

And quite frankly, America has become rather tired of the lack of accomplishment.

Say what you want about the members of the Tea Party being radicals who have watched too much Fox News; most people will agree that Washington is irreparably broken.  Heaven forbid we ever have a serious crisis where we need to pull together as a nation to accomplish something quickly.  Oh... wait... environmental stewardship (again, NOTE: I did not say ANYTHING about global warming), massive financial debt to China, etc. etc. ... so much for that need to pull together quickly thing.

Would I personally vote for a Tea Party candidate?  It would depend on the candidate.  I know that when Peggy Noonan starts giving credibility to the rise of the Tea Party, then maybe it's time to sit up and take notice of the bigger picture of what's going on.

As professionals, we like to weigh viable alternatives.  Often, if we don't see anything we like, we will go with "none of the above" and send people back to the drawing board.  By doing so, we ensure that eventually a solution will be implemented which will feel like a real accomplishment, rather than a series of weakened compromises.

Really, that's all the Tea Party is:  people are voting "none of the above" to the status quo.  However, if one is going to shoot down all of the alternatives, then a viable solution had better be forthcoming.  Will the Tea Party be a sustainable movement?  Only time - and accomplishment - will tell.

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