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The State of the Tea Party

January 23, 2011

I wanted to address a question that has been tossed about a lot lately, which is “What is going on with the Tea Party?”  “What’s the Tea Party up to?”  “Is the Tea Party done now that the elections are over?”  “Is the Tea Party just a fad and flash in the pan?”

So, as we are nearing the second Obama administration  “State of the Union” address, I’d like to share with you the “State of the Tea Party”.  First, please keep in mind that despite what some on the left contend, the “Tea Party” is not a party at all.  It’s not a formal group with membership, or appointed or elected leaders, or any real established rules to speak of.  The Tea Party is a movement, which is made up of millions of citizens with one common goal – a true concern for the direction our country is headed and a desire to get back to our constitutional roots.  In fact, it’s “We, The People” who are the true heart of the Tea Party movement.  So, as a self appointed leader and spokesperson for the movement, I’ll try to fill you in on where our job lies now and what the next moves are.
The Tea Party movement has been brewing for a long time.  A momentus date was April 8, 1913, when the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, which gave the election of the federal Senators from each state to the whole of the people, instead of to the legislatures of each state the way the Founders intended.  While this may seem like a good thing, it caused the Senate to cater to the popular whims of the masses, instead of looking out for the best interests of the state.  This is why the Senate now feels that they can vote for laws that actually put the states behind the 8 ball with mandates that they can’t pay for – and causing their current fiscal messes.
This, my friends, was the start of a long, downhill slide called “progressivism” that included the costly and unconstitutional “reforms” from FDR, the Great Society massive growth in entitlements by Johnson, and of course the current overload of government overreach and massive spending like “stimulus”, TARP and government bailouts from the Obama administration.
The Tea Party Movement first made its big burst on the scene on April 15, 2009 with thousands of local tea party gatherings across the country, followed by the millions of Tea Party supporters who gathered in Washington DC the following September.  While the lame stream left media tries to make claims that the movement is against taxes altogether, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, we are against government spending waste and abuse….a whole different story.  Our gatherings (my first in Gardiner as well, attended by over 350+ of you) are not so much protests as they are celebrations of our first amendment rights to peaceable assembly, free speech, and to petition the governments.  Name one other place on earth where so many people can come together without burning cars or flags!
Before the 2008 elections, We, The People, had been asleep at the switch for a long, long time.  We handed over our rights to the federal government slowly, little by little, for promises of financial security and subsidized healthcare in our old age, guaranteed income if we lost our jobs, and other goodies that were too good to pass up.  However, the Obama administrations lightening quick power grab over entire sectors of our private economy, combined with massive spending and debt was finally enough to wake us from our stupor.
Now that we are awake, we vow to stay vigilant or risk getting to a point of no return where our country as it was founded will be lost forever.
Therefore, as a member of the Tea Party Movement, I pledge to:
  • Continue to exercise my first amendment rights on every April 15, July 4, September 12, and whenever or wherever I feel it’s important that my voice be heard.
  • Continue making my voice heard at every level of government – through letters to my elected officials, attendance at any public meeting where someone else holds the power of my tax purse strings.  This includes town meetings, school board, town halls, county state and federal….as well as letters to the editors and to likeminded citizens like yourselves.  I will not be told to sit down and shut up.
  • Support widespread education about our country and its history, its constitution and laws and our system of elected government, so that everyone at every level can participate.  Education and knowledge create confidence and power in the citizens.  We can’t be afraid to ask questions of our elected officials for fear of appearing “stupid”, and we shouldn’t think our sacred documents, like the Constitution which is the “law of the land” is too hard to read or understand.  I am committed to educating myself first through reading and attending lecture series like the “Foundations of Liberty” course, and by holding Constitution Study Groups locally to discuss and debate that wonderful document.  When the Constitution was being ratified by the states, it was widely written about and argued in the Federalist Papers, and most citizens were thoroughly grounded in it’s content and meaning.  This is a goal we need to get back to for all Americans.
  • Get actively involved in who is being elected to our government offices, to be sure that they are morally fit and constitutionally grounded to be a leader.  This includes important elections for three Gardiner town seats this coming November, where having the “right” people in charge can make a huge difference in the lives of every citizen.  This is valid for every town, village and city where you might be.
  • Support all of the institutions that help make the family strong, and keep morality and decency key in our lives and the lives of our children.  A people who are not moral cannot enjoy liberty, but will always be bound by the slavery of decadence.  As founder Samuel Adams said “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty an happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.”
  • Never take our freedoms and liberty for granted. I thank God every day when I put my feet over the side of the bed, and they land in the USA.
That, in a nutshell, is where the Tea Party movement is going.  So, are you with me?
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