In response to a ” a dear friend who runs a large charitable foundation” and who branded the tea party movement “a group of racists, xenophobes and bigots,” Rabbi Shmuley writes in The Jerusalem Post, Why the Tea Party resonates with human dignity:
Lost in the debate about the morality of the Tea Party is any discussion about its underpinnings in human nature. The principle purpose of government is to provide the optimal conditions under which human beings can acquire their most important necessities, the highest of which is dignity.
Governments provide many essentials for their citizens, from law and order to social services, from good roads to education. If it’s a socialist government, it may even provide cradle-to-grave benefits, or if it’s a more Right-leaning government, it may emphasize robust national defense. But the one human essential that government cannot provide is human dignity.
Dignity is something acquired through personal effort. Dignity is the human aura that comes through self-reliance….
Maimonides famously lists levels of charity, with the provision of a vocation being the highest. The Tea Party is far from perfect, but in emphasizing self-reliance, it taps into a hidden human desire to live a life crowned with self-esteem.
Rabbi Shmuley understands the essence of the Tea Party movement, while his wealthy, self-righteous and ignorant friend remains nothing more than wealthy, self-righteous and ignorant.