The Tea Party: Round two!
My hat goes off to the Tea Party movement. In the last two years, conservatives have banded together in an effort to save our country.
The constant left wing attacks on our form of government and the Constitution met with little resistance until the Tea Party patriots organized themselves into a vibrant political but non-partisan force. Many of us have marched on Washington two or three times to let our politicians know our feelings on Big Government.
Some of the protests had more than 500,000 people in attendance and one protest had 1.4 million people attend. The "left" has challenged the numbers, but they can't challenge the aerial photographs. We flooded the capital!
We were a strong force then and we need to continue our efforts to protect America from the progressives, socialists, communists and other groups hell-bent on destroying our country.
The Tea Party movement is made up of law abiding working and middle class citizens who are concerned about the Constitution and preserving our form of government. Until the dark day when President Obama was elected, we as a group remained part of the very silent majority. We united when proposed tax increases threatened an already endangered economy.
Our first Taxed Enough Already protest had just a handful of people. Since then, our economic situation has worsened under the government of progressive, income distributing politicians. We banded together into local groups so that we could communicate with our neighbors and share information.
We succeeded in starting the movement and helping it gain momentum as our economy sped downhill. The movement grew quickly and put the fear of the voter into our elected representatives. We were having an impact!
But now, some of the enthusiasm is dimming. After two years of effort, little has changed. Our politicians remain committed to working in their best interests rather than the interests of the electorate. They are committed to raising taxes and excessive spending despite our letters, faxes and e-mails. I noticed several Tea Party groups have stopped or slowed down their public demonstrations.
Now is not the time to cease these efforts. We need to continue facing the public, so that they know we are here and to encourage them to become a committed member of a local Tea Party organization. My hat goes off to the Reading 9/12 Project. Every two weeks, they stand together at Broadcasting Mall with their signs, often waving to the cars as they pass.
The public loves it. They beep their horns and some of them stop to get information about the 9/12 project. This is the way to grow membership. We need new members, but more importantly, we need active members.
Some consider that the Tea Party is a peaceful revolutionary movement. It is a peaceful one, but don't let that fool you. We Tea Party members are as angry as the original group that threw the British tea into Boston Harbor. We do not believe in or encourage violence as we feel we have the tools we need to restore America to greatness.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights gives us the ability to protest, our freedom of speech and our ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness. In the last two years, Tea Party members flooded Washington DC with several very large protests. I am concerned that there has not been a major march on DC this year.
Tea Party organizations are local and very independent. We have not found anyone who can create a national focus on critical objectives. Glenn Beck did this informally with his television show. It brought many of us together at five o'clock to get his perspective, which for the most part, matched our perspective. Now that his show is gone, our disparate organizations need to come together at the local and regional level to coordinate events.
That said, I do not believe that we should have a national leadership. The strength of the Tea Party movement is that it is individuals and small groups who are working together to restore the Constitution.
I belong to three different groups and attend their meetings regularly. They all have dedicated people running them. In each case, it is just a few individuals who bear the burden of organizing events, publishing newsletters, and running the board of directors.
Some of these people are now getting tired. I know several who voluntarily work 30 or 40 hours a week to support their organization. A few directors cannot sustain the effort in addition to working and managing their family lives and have left the board. In many cases they continue to volunteer to assist at specific functions or do other tasks that require less involvement than being a director.
This turnover, however small, has a major impact on the local organizations. It is very difficult to get others to stand up and volunteer for a slot on the board. Two of the three organizations that I belong to are looking for directors and having difficulty filling the positions.
That said, I've noticed that the smaller the leadership group, the better the organization seems to perform. A larger board of directors seems to encourage political differences. In my opinion, these large boards tend to focus on internal issues and differences of opinion rather than focusing on the issues that face our nation.
The progressives could not ask for better way to stop the conservative movement. Let the conservatives be consumed with their own differences while the progressives bound forward with their leftist platforms and dreams of even more income redistribution.
It is time for Tea Party members to refresh themselves. We need to focus on the 2012 elections and get the message out. We also need to find and support candidates who are true to our values. Good government is less government!
Several organizations have asked their members to join the party committees. In doing so, they have a say over the selection of the candidates and to an extent, the platform they will run on. This is a very large step in the right direction. But more of us need to be involved.
I understand that many of us are busy in our business and professional lives. Our families require a lot of our time. But remember the picture of Ben Franklin, sitting in the light of a candle, writing letters to fellow patriots and even King George III. Without his dedication, without his letters, without his enthusiasm, our nation would never have been born.
We each need a little bit of Ben Franklin in us. We can e-mail our friends; write letters to the editor; and most importantly, letters to our congressmen and women. It does not take long to type or handwrite a letter or fax or to create and send an email.
On important issues, one person can compose a good letter to their congressman. By forwarding this letter as a template to other conservatives, we can flood our congressmen with letters and faxes. They need to understand that they take direction from the constituents, not the other way around.
Once the debt and deficit debate is over, we have to hold our politicians hands to the fire. They must know that we are not willing to fund unlimited budgets and ever-growing deficits.
We also have to let them know our stand on the Constitution and the American work ethic. They must take prudent actions to get Americans off of the public dole and again give them the ability to work and pay taxes.
I always appreciate your comments, both positive and negative. Feel free to comment on this article or send me an email stating your opinion. I believe that through debate and discussion we can work together to build a better America for our children, and our grandchildren.
© Gordon Smith All Rights Reserved.