The Tea Party Is The GOP’s ‘12th Man’

Tea Party members at a rally

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I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. This past Sunday, my Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl in one of the most lopsided beatings in sports history. And few people saw it coming. More than 70 percent of the $10 billion bet on the Super Bowl in Las Vegas and across the United States was bet on Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos. But I knew better.

Perhaps many of my Personal Liberty readers don’t realize that my career began as a Las Vegas oddsmaker and sports handicapper. It was so successful I was dubbed by the media “the King of Vegas” and was awarded my own 180-pound granite star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. This was all before my political career began. Football was my life back then.

Today, my career centers around politics. But I still have a thriving sports prediction business with thousands of clients who pay for my advice. I gave them my strongest possible “buy” on the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. Seattle’s Super Bowl victory was one of the great wins of my career. How did I know? There is a fantastic lesson here for the GOP.

Politics has much in common with sports. In both politics and sports, winning is everything. And in both these endeavors, winning is about energy and enthusiasm. There are 32 teams in the NFL. The difference between winning and losing is razor-thin. How did one team — the Seattle Seahawks — rise above the battlefield and dominate this season? The Seahawks are a model for the valuable and unique role of energy and enthusiasm in providing a winning edge.

Seattle gets its energy and enthusiasm from “the 12th man,” their crazed fans. There are 11 men on a football field at any one time (for each team). The 12th man is an invisible energy force produced by the fans that gives a team energy, inspiration and momentum. It is a well-known fact in sports: Fan intensity creates momentum. It changes the outcome of games.

Seattle has the loudest, proudest, craziest fans in all of sports. They are so loud they caused an earthquake (literally). They’re in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the loudest fans. The Seahawks are the only NFL team to fly a 12th-man flag to represent and acknowledge the importance of their fans. Boeing has even created a 12th-man 747 airplane. Seattle celebrates and embraces its most loyal fans. The Seahawks understand that without the energy of their crazed fans, they’d be just another NFL team. That 12th man is the razor-thin edge Seattle needed to win the Super Bowl and become one of the great teams in NFL history.

Who is the GOP’s 12th man? Well, it sure isn’t the green jacket-wearing, country club Republicans. Or the “moderate,” wishy-washy, stand-for-nothing Northeast Republicans. Or the cowardly Republicans who want to apologize to Obama every time he walks in the room.

To paraphrase the famous line from the days of Bill Clinton: It’s the Tea Party, stupid. The GOP’s energy, enthusiasm and courage are found in the true-blue, patriotic, conservative base called the Tea Party. The GOP’s 12th man has the same qualities as the Seattle Seahawks fans: a faith in victory, a belief in the right principles, a love for party and country, a passion for the fight to save America, an intensity and energy found nowhere else. The Tea Party is the razor-thin edge of the Republican Party.

Like the NFL, winning is very difficult in American politics. We are living in a Nation sharply divided. Every election is fought and contested in a few key districts and battleground States. Elections are won based on intensity, energy and turnout.

Like Seattle’s 12th man, the Tea Party led the GOP to an earthquake (figuratively). In 2010, the GOP shocked the experts by winning a historic, record-setting landslide. It was due to the incredible energy and intensity of the Tea Party.

But this is where the story changes. The GOP needs to learn a lesson from the Seahawks. Seattle embraces their most loyal and intense fan base, whereas the GOP establishment does not.

The biased, leftist mainstream media have painted the Tea Party as “extreme,” “radical,” “crazy” and even “terrorists.” This was a purposeful plan right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. They needed to slander, denigrate and destroy the Tea Party, before the Tea Party destroyed President Barack Obama’s agenda.

But Obama and the Democrats weren’t alone in this goal to destroy the GOP’s 12th man. Big business was central to the plan, too. Big business loves big government and the crony capitalism that comes with it. Big business loves corporate welfare and thousands of new regulations. They have the armies of lawyers, lobbyists and accountants to deal with them. But it puts small business (their competitor) out of business. So big business, big GOP donors, lobbyists, lawyers and the Chamber of Commerce all got into bed together with Obama and the mainstream media to try to slander and ruin the Tea Party.

Now, the GOP establishment is running away from its own base. It wants its most loyal supporters to go away. Leaders like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Karl Rove and Chris Christie hate the Tea Party. But there’s a problem: The GOP can’t win elections without its 12th man. Without the Tea Party’s energy, passion, enthusiasm and intensity, the GOP is just another losing political party. The Tea Party is the GOP’s winning edge.

The GOP needs to learn a lesson from the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The GOP must celebrate and embrace its loyal base of fans.

Love your 12th man. Feed off our intensity. Only our energy, enthusiasm and passion will lead you to victory. We are the GOP’s pounding heart… on steroids.

Without us, you’re just another losing party.

I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you next week. Same time, same place. God bless America and the only group capable of saving her, the Tea Party.

Editor’s note: Expect Wayne Allyn Root’s video to return next week.

Personal Liberty

Wayne Allyn Root

Wayne Allyn Root is one of America's leading Libertarian-conservative authors. Wayne's new book is The Murder of the Middle ClassWayne is a Capitalist Evangelist, serial entrepreneur, conservative media commentator, and proud champion of the middle class. He is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee and Fox News regular. Follow Wayne on Twitter and visit Wayne's web site:

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