It was the first two years of protest. Others had taken the initiative to start a Tea Party. We joined them and supported their efforts with our time, our work, our ideas and dollars. We helped to organize events and rallies, make signs, distribute thousands of flyers, print hundreds of petitions and wove our way through rally crowds to gather signatures.
We visited our Congressmen’s offices, wrote our Senators, phoned Legislators, attended City Council meetings and commissioner and district meetings. We joined parades and yelled ourselves hoarse for our chosen candidates. We sweated bullets during summer events and froze our fingers and toes during winter’s. We registered voters and became poll challengers and poll workers. Sometimes we worked through the night answering queries and often rose in the morning to start work without taking time to change out of our pajamas. We cheered when others honked in support of our efforts and laughed at our own exhaustion.
Today, seasoned and still dedicated to our principles, we are, each and everyone one of us, the Tea Party Movement.
The Tea Party is a movement of many different kinds of people coming together spontaneously and voluntarily: Capitalists, Objectivists, Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We hold similar ideas and share a common goal of seeking to restore individual rights, Constitutional freedoms, limited government, and to establish free-markets and fiscal responsibility. For these reasons we are united against big government, against the intrusive, regulatory government of the welfare state. We hold a basic point of view: in order to realize the American Dream, each individual must work to earn it, and not look to government to hand them what others have earned.
During the Tea Party’s infancy our concerns regarding big government were too obvious to ignore; so, the Leftist media and Leftist politicians tried to ridicule the grassroots by calling the Tea Party Movement “astro-turf.”
Since the 2010 elections, the Left no longer uses that slur against us. They got the picture. During the “debt talks” Sour Harry had to scramble about for another slur. He thought he found one.
He bemoaned “Tea Party Republicans” and their refusal to compromise. He flatly stated that Mr. Boehner’s proposal was “the worse piece of legislation ever written.” How could one know he was speaking the truth? He did not allow the Senate to read it. He instructed them to vote no without seeing it. Like sheep they followed their B.O.-Peep without a baaa. As Reid’s statements became shriller against “Tea Party Republicans,” so did those of his fellow Leftists.
One Leftist spat out something about a proposal that would have gone through except for “a few right-wing nuts.” The New York Leftist Charles Schumer complained that the Tea Party Republicans’ refusal to compromise amounted to “It has to be their way or the highway . . . or no way.” (He got a little confused in the heat of his moment.)
Tea Party Republicans. It is a tag to be embraced. It is a clear distinction that separates us from politics-as-usual-Republicans and Democrats.
Tea Party Republicans stick to principles. We do not compromise them. We can be accommodating when non-essentials are involved. But principles are basic. They are derived from ethics. We do not give in on them. Because of that, the Tea Party Movement attained something far more important in the long run than an insufficient budget agreement.
Tea Party Republicans understood this. A few others did, too. Last night, August 10, George Wills stated in an hour-long interview, “The Tea Party brought the issue of limited government and free-markets into the arena of public discussion.”
A formidable achievement, in view of the welfare state talk that has dominated public policy since 1933.
Confirming Mr. Wills observation, this morning, August 11, GOPUSAMedia sent an e-mail advertisement paid for by Steve King, Iowa Member of Congress, which included the statement, “To preserve America as we know it, we have only one option: to return to the principles of limited government and free market capitalism this nation was founded upon.”
Following the conclusion of the debt talks, many Leftist commentators attacked the Tea Party for a variety of things. A number of commentators came to the Tea Party’s defense. For instance, Brent Bozell—Founder and President of the Media Research Center, the largest media watchdog organization in America—reported that John Kerry “shamelessly labeled [the S&P’s action] a “Tea Party downgrade” . . .although it is known that “while Obama was tripling the deficit with trillions in new spending, Kerry happily endorsed” the spending spree.
As someone remarked recently, “The Tea Party Movement succeeded because we avoided the danger of becoming centralized, which would have been an invitation to politicians to take us over.” We avoided “the divisiveness inevitable from focusing on narrow social values,” which would have diluted our dedication, energy and focus.
If we hold firm to our principles Tea Party Republicans will take the White House and the Senate in 2012. We can start to cut spending, downsize government by closing regulatory agencies and terminating at least a third of federal government employees. We have achieved a great deal. We can achieve more.