This is an unfortunate statement by Matthews; it’s clear he’s misinformed.
Tea party activists – and by extension libertarians – are not anarchists. That is they believe in limited government, free markets, and private property. They don’t support the complete abolition of government, nor do they condone violence. So to suggest that “they would have been killing each other” and that they are calling for “no more safety net” is irresponsible.
What members of the tea party want is more freedom. Freedom to save and invest money in a way that’s appropriate for every family; freedom to make decisions about health care that make sense for our different wallets and needs; freedom to choose schools that provide the best education for our children; freedom to start and grow a business without onerous regulations and taxes.
Matthews, however, is persuaded that government is the best – and only – safety net. He might think libertarians are calling for “every man for himself”, but this is wrong. Matthew’s undermines the value of voluntary relationships – families, schools, churches, and communities. And while he sees government as the end-all service provider, the Tea Party understands that if government gives individuals more freedom – if it gets out of the business of health care, auto manufacturing, and agribusiness – we will be a country awash in resources and able to provide a true “safety net” for those who are really in need.
One final thought: Matthews should take a look at a recent poll commissioned by the Independent Women’s Voice, in which nearly 60 percent of women support the concept of a government safety net; but 67 percent claim they feel less secure as government expands its role into social services like health care.