Why is the Tea Party Movement a powerful organic force?

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Tea Party Movement | Tags: , , , , |

Recently, the Tea Party Nation hosted a Tea Party Convention in Nashville Tennessee, the first of its kind.  From all reports, this convention was hugely successful with the event culminating in an inspiring speech given by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin.  Parts of the convention were broadcast on C-SPAN and are now available on YouTube.

In the midst of the media blitz focusing attention on the Tea Party Convention I couldn’t help but notice an underlying tension brewing between Tea Party Nation and other Tea Party organizations.  Since I was not an active member of any of the main Tea Party organizations at their start I found myself confused by the slinging rhetoric. It appeared to me a smear campaign was afoot against the Tea Party Nation which could have crippled the convention.  In the end, it served to provoke many to spend the money and make the trek to Nashville to support the cause.

I do not wish to focus on the tensions between the Tea Party Nation and other larger Tea Party organizations, all of which are attempting to position themselves as the National Tea Party Movement Spokesperson. It is no great surprise to me that this jostling is happening.  As part of the Tea Party movement, attending the 9.12.09 DC Rally where approximately 1.7 million people just showed up to blaze the patriotic trail down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capital lawn, I could see this coming.

It didn’t take long for the mantra  “we don’t really know what we are doing” and “… we have never done anything like this before,” to change to  “…we must get organized…we need someone to lead us.”  Some person, some group, some entity somewhere would most certainly rise to the challenge to attempt to “help” the fledgling and disorganized grassroots of America get organized.

I understand that without leadership people falter but it is a double-edged sword. With organized leadership comes the potential hazard of manipulative control, implied ownership, and loss of spontaneity by those being led.  It can’t be helped.  If we, as the Tea Party Movement find ourselves a LEADER to lead us then we must follow that said leader.

Honestly, I don’t  know if it can even be accomplished. The Tea Party is not a party. It is an ever-growing powerful organic force, should it continue to be life-giving to those that belong to it. It is not so easily defined or harnessed. Therefore, any central leader would have great difficulty taming it.  I believe there are three main components to the Tea Party movement: Passionate, opinionated, and politically uneducated Americans.

First, the Tea Party movement is ruled by passionate people not parties and not politics. Visit any monthly Tea Party Meetup or special event.  If you listen to the folks in attendance you will hear it.   We are proud  to wrap ourselves in our American flag, pledge of allegiance and national anthem. We understand what is at stake and it is not losing Democratic seats or Republican seats…or flipping the whole house in favor of truly conservative candidates.   We are people concerned the American Constitution has been usurped so many times and watered down so much that it is in danger of being declared fatally ill and not worth reviving; better to find a way to allow it to rest quietly in its final days.

As Tea Partier’s we are fiercely passionate about liberty and keeping our individual freedoms. Freedom to speak our viewpoint, freedom to protect our families from any oppressive force, even those that govern us, freedom to make money and provide good things for our families, and the freedom to worship GOD.

Second, Tea Partier’s are highly opinionated people.  Again, visit any Tea Party or 912 group.  Whether we agree or disagree about general issues concerning the movement we know how to express ourselves!  Tea Partier’s are not afraid of sharing their opinions and they are typically very articulate.  Just as there are many varieties of shapes and sizes of the people attending Tea Party events there are just as many opinions on how we should define ourselves as a movement, all based on our personal experiences and perceptions of government.

Because of this independent flair, the Tea Party movement attracts those that live less conventional, status quo lives.  Many tea partier’s are homeschoolers, conspiracy theorists,and marginalized pro-lifers, religious conservatives, independent business owners, and true entrepreneurs.  We have acquired thicker skins as a result of resistance to conformist public opinion. We follow our own convictions.

Third, tea partier’s are, for the most part, basically ignorant of politics. There are those among us that do understand the political landscape and are willing to guide  “newbies” and I thank God for them.  Because, we are convinced our Republic and form of government is the best thing since sliced bread and that our elected representatives would necessarily represent our views, as put forth by our Constitution, we trusted those we sent forth to represent us.  We went on with our lives.  We left politics to the politicians. We voted our concerns and convictions on the appointed days. 

Most American’s receive what little political understanding they have through their favorite US media source whether it is newspaper,magazine, talk radio or TV.  And that is more true today than ever before.  Millions of Tea Party Americans are tuning in daily to the ample offering of conservative talk radio shows and all day Fox News TV reporting. This has pushed us to dig deeper and educate ourselves and pass on this new education to our family and friends. Which in turn compels us to do something we never thought we would…become activists.

The congressman or congresswoman or senator who has overstayed his/her welcome to a local,state or national political office may well view the most dangerous person in America today the passionate, highly opinionated, independent and politically educated Tea Party patriot. A true force to be reckoned with.

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Will Americans Let America Die?

Posted on February 2, 2010. Filed under: American Patriotism | Tags: , , , |

I had the opportunity last Saturday to take part in an online Constitution Town Hall offered by Hillsdale College. I’ve since heard there were over 100,000 webcast participants, not to mention the live audience. It was marvelously done and offered free of charge.  Anyone can now access the days classes on their website at http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/hillsdale/100130/.

I eagerly anticipated being reconnected to my American roots; having my memory refreshed with the history of the founders and founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I looked forward to being educated about the Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s handling of the Constitution during the Civil War, the progressive era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, progressive ideology and the political climate I live in today.

What I didn’t anticipate was the overwhelming sadness I felt as the day came to a close.  It descended on me like a melancholy cloud thick enough to linger for several hours.  I can only describe it as profound sadness for my country. It felt to me as if the America I read about in my history books as a child and the America I had the privilege of maturing in might really be dying. You might say I’m being over-dramatic but, I don’t think so.

In my opinion, America has travelled so far away from what the framers of our Republic would have hoped for us.  I could say we have travelled so far from what they could have imagined for us.  But that would not be a truthful statement. It wouldn’t be truthful because, the founders knew the dangers inherent in preserving the type of society and government they penned on those yellowed parchments.

I know this simply by reading their personal writings.  It is clear they understood that what they had put forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was something new, something bold. The framers of our American heritage were not illiterate, uneducated men. They were historians, economists, inventors, amateur scientists, skilled politicians, attorneys and honorable statesmen.

They studied profusely philosophy, literature, and histories of the rise and fall of great civilizations. Even though, they may not have all been church attendees, they studied the Holy Bible and acknowledged the Living God as creator, extolling the virtues of His written Word. They formed their personal and political beliefs from the writings of the Bible and from great men and shapers of history from antiquity forth to their generation.

As I listened to the lectures being presented, I realized that the magnificent words they penned set the standard by which every American, as a citizen, claims to live by. However, they didn’t just set the standard for us they set the standard for themselves too.  They pledged everything they owned and were, including their very lives, to each other in their common fight for freedom.

When greatness falls, it falls hard. This country has been great. There are parts of it that are still great. There are people in it that are truly remarkable. The founding documents have not changed. We have changed how we live by them.

Free America will not survive this recent revolution, this testing of her very essence of light and hope in a hurting world, until the majority of Americans restore fondness for her and honor to our founding documents. Americans must get out their history books and pocket Constitutions and, if they profess to be Christians, their Bibles and go back to school.

I wonder if the founders of our nation found strength and encouragement from the profound stories of Jesus. He demonstrated when to draw the line in the sand and how to take a stand.

Americans must refresh themselves with the history of the greatness of freedom and the tragedy of life without it. But, not just that. More Americans must soon take a stand for the restoration of our Constitution and liberties.  Until then, I don’t believe we will be able to push back the sweeping tide of the Europeanization of America with all its oppressive socialistic programs and godlessness. Will Americans let America die?

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