One year ago, Rick Santelli lit the fire on the idea that fed-up Americans should host a tea party. Santelli suggested he and others at the Chicago Board of Trade should host a Tea Party on the banks of the Chicago River on the Fourth of July. Santelli was typically shredded by the media. Afterall, the president had only been in office a month! How could anyone in America have questions or concerns. He promised change and a fundamental remaking of America and voters had bought it. Santelli was maligned, but something happened. A month into the "Fundamental Changing of America" administration, the Middle began to close. Conservative Democrats and Independents started to peel away the veil and questioned whether or not they had been misled. Within weeks, Americans of all political persuasions started gathering in city parks, on court house steps, community centers and private homes. Conservatives quickly dropped the "I TOLD you so!" attitude and Americans came together. As the backgrounds and political opinions of Obama's Cabinet and Czars became knowledge and as spending spiraled beyond imagination, the gap began to close.
There is jockeying now for the hearts, minds and votes of the Tea Party movement. Even the media speaks with newly gained respect toward the group they once trashed, lied about and called every name in the book. Pundits that once claimed only hacks for health insurance companies were showing up at townhall's and tea parties now admit there just might be something to this whole concept of average Americans actually taking back their government.gathered in parks and town halls and court house lawns, holding up homemade signs, waving flags and doing their best to send a loud and clear message to governments of all levels that we are, T.axed E.nough A.lready. Of course, any disagreement with government and spending eventually lands at the feet of the president, so the media loyalists rallied around the White House and did their utmost to discredit the 'angry mobs'. Seeing that no respect was to be had and the intended message was ignored, patriots gathered steam, planned more parties and increased their numbers. The more names they were called, the more vocal and visible they became.
As April 15, 2010, approaches thousands of parties will take place but this time, Washington and the cable networks will be listening. Instead of labeling participants with despicable names or claiming them to be hacks hired by health insurance companies to ride buses and hold up signs, those that take time off work or school, brave all kinds of weather and show up at their local party will be held in a bit higher regard.
The Tea Party movement has now captured the nation's attention. With a clear majority of Americans considering themselves to be conservatives, the numbers grow as more and more people watch the decline of our nation on so many levels. As with every movement, there are activists that organize and plan and facilitate, but this particular movement will survive only if the grass roots Americans that had the courage to show up at that first party continue to stand up for America.
Let's hope the movement remains true to its original purpose and intent. There is much debate as to what exactly is the movement, where does it go from here, will it evolve into a Third Party in our system? Those that have self-appointed themselves into leadership positions in the movement, like to dangle the carrot of a growing block of voters before both the GOP and the Democrats. They claim no allegiance to any party, only to a set of conservative values and allegiance to those politicians intent on reform.
There are rumors of the movement being infiltrated with liberals, progressives and anti-GOP independents. Their purpose is to create as much malcontent with the Republican Party as possible and to split votes to the extent that Team Obama/Reid/Pelosi remain in power. The Democrats and the media did their best but the movement prevailed. Conservative voices are winning elections and public figures such as Sarah Palin continue to draw huge crowds in spite of the media claiming otherwise and reporting poor polling numbers for Mrs. Palin. They can't beat the movement, so is the next tactic to join it and thus destroy it?
The majority of the nation wants to clean up the many messes in our governmental systems--local, state and federal. We should be wary of expecting perfection from any candidate and assuming there is one person out there that has a platform that totally lines up with every voter. The Tea Party movement created interest and every day Americans can see that their voice can be heard and they do actually have an impact. We must realize that Republican conservative candidates are our best choice if we are to impact spending, borrowing, debt, national security, jobs creation, taxation, the preservation of personal freedoms and liberties, reforms in health care costs and education. The Democrat platform will entice us to believe that more spending, more Stimulus plans and more big government is the answer. There is no such creature today as a fiscally conservative Democrat. Don't be fooled into believing that both parties will somehow meld together into the hopes and dreams of the Tea Party movement.
Last April 15th, Americans drew a line in the sand. Before we cross that line, we need to be sure the candidates we vote into office are going to do the will of the people.