Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a tea party favorite, said Sunday that Americans were embracing big government because they had grown stupid and lazy.

At a townhall meeting to promote his new organization, Walsh said the country was currently in a war between the proponents of big government and the proponents of freedom.

"I believe that not since the civil war has this country shaken like it is shaking now," he said. "And I believe that not since the civil war is this country prepared to crack like it was prepared to crack in the civil war. That was a fight about freedom, slavery. We are fighting now about freedom."

Walsh explained that he hoped to gather 100,000 people in Illinois to support tea party candidates. His organization, the Freedom Movement, intends to fight back against groups like the Conservative Victory Project, which plans to defeat what it sees as unelectable tea party candidates in GOP primary races.

Walsh also noted that during his time in Congress, political consultants warned him against insulting the American people.

"Baloney," he continued. "The American people have grown stupid, we've grown uninterested, we've gotten busy, we're distracted, we're lazy, and we're easily manipulated. Again, I can sit with you and have a beer and I can tell you about how idiotic most of our politicians are. That's boring to me. It's on us. Jefferson said something to the effect of, when a people becomes uninformed or uneducated -- stupid -- they're going to lose their republic, they're going to lose this democracy. And folks, I'm here to tell ya with a big old smile, we're there. We're losing."

Walsh said the tea party movement and other conservative groups were losing because the media was "firmly" on the side of big government. He also claimed proponents of big government "know we are at war," while the supporters of freedom "didn't get it." Finally, he said proponents of big government had the upper-hand because they'd made so many Americans dependent on the government.

"Life is too short to be politically correct -- that should actually be on my tombstone, shouldn't it? Life is too short to be politically correct. The Democrats have made a concerted strategy for 50 some years to get blacks dependent upon government, to put blacks -- good, decent African Americans -- on the government plantation. They are doing the exact same thing with Latinos."

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