As a Tea Party Democrat!
John Ross Article
Maybe Running for Congress Again, or
Is the Tea Party Movement Republican Only?
By John Ross

In 1998, I was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri’s 2nd District. (I ran as a pre-Roosevelt Democrat, which is what I am: a Democrat without the Socialism.) In one of my television spots, I explained that most candidates run with the underlying message of “Elect me, and I will steal for you. I’ll use the power of government to tax someone or something else, and whittle off a little money to be used for your benefit.” I explained that this philosophy went contrary to all that America stood for. Don’t you wish now that I had won?

It is now twelve years later, and a number of my friends and acquaintances are urging me to run again. (With redistricting, the race would now be for Missouri’s 3rd District, a seat currently held by Democrat Russ Carnahan.) All the people I’ve talked to have pledged financial support, some with very serious commitments. I have to say that I don’t much want to live in Washington or be a Congressman, but with the train wreck that is our government right now, I feel a moral obligation to my daughter and any other eventual descendants to at least explore potential support for my candidacy.

For those of you who don’t know my public political history, my grandfather was Charles Ross, lifelong friend of and Press Secretary to President Harry S. Truman. I am appalled at how the Democratic Party of Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan has slowly yet inexorably been hijacked by extremist elements that want to turn America into a dismal Socialist nanny-state, with crushing debt and little promise of personal betterment for ourselves or our children.

Yes, I said the Democratic Party of Truman and Reagan. Reagan was a registered Democrat when Truman was President, but endorsed the presidential candidacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 before formally switching to the Republican Party in 1962. He said, famously, “I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.” I wish that Reagan had remained a Democrat and prevented the Socialist disaster that developed in the following decades.

The question I’d like to know right now is whether the Tea Party people consider themselves to be a part of the Republican Party, or not? Is a Tea Party candidate who is a Democrat an oxymoron, someone who would be shunned or ignored by Tea Party members, or someone they might support?

The Tea Party strikes me as a group of people primarily focused on lower taxes and smaller government—mainly money issues. My sense of this movement is that it is largely comprised of ordinary people who have felt compelled to get involved in politics for the first time in their lives (other than just voting), and are focused on money and not yet seeing the larger issue at stake. I have been involved in political issues for twenty years, and those of you who have read my book and other writings know that low taxes and small government are just two important elements of the larger overall issue of freedom.

If anyone reading this is involved in the Tea Party (especially in Missouri) in any significant way, I need your opinions on the following:

1. Will Tea Party people support a Democrat, ever, or do they by definition only support Republicans?

2. If Tea Party people would support a pro-freedom Democrat, then here’s the next question: Since I would be running in the Democratic PRIMARY against Democratic INCUMBENT Russ Carnahan, would the Tea Party people support me, or would they feel it’s a waste of time and money to try to knock off an incumbent Socialist Democrat in the Primary, and prefer to spend all their efforts in the General election by backing only the Republican?

I need answers to these two questions before committing myself any further. For those of you who haven’t read my writings, I’ll have a list in a day or two of my positions on the issues, as well as some other relevant information. Read my last column for my take on how to address Healthcare in a reasoned, pro-freedom manner.

John Ross 2/11/2010