After reading a particularly hostile article in our local small town newspaper about the nature of “the tea party”, I realized that the national media and the “progressives” (I like to call them regressives) have succeeded in painting our fundamentally patriotic movement in very rabid colors. So, I wrote the following article to help educate the author of the article as well as the rest of our local community about the true nature of the tea parties.
First, the tea party is not one unified political party. It is more accurately described as a popular, grass roots movement. One major purpose of the tea party movement is to balance the liberal, progressive trends toward big, expensive government and high taxes with conservative values of less expensive smaller government and low taxes that historically have made our nation the envy of the world. The progressive trends have long been established, promoted and supported by Democrat, Independent and Republican legislators. One result is a huge, often inept, expensive and bureaucratic government that has built a debt of more than 18 trillion dollars. By 2016, that debt will be over 20 trillion. Every child born in America already owes more than $54,000. The tea parties believe that the irresponsible borrowing and unrestrained spending is an abuse and must stop if our beloved nation is to survive.
Tea parties want government to be restricted to the concepts within such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. This is one reason why they urge Congress to use the safeguards against government abuse that is enshrined within the Constitution and the rule of law. They insist that regardless of party affiliation, elected officials be held strictly accountable for their competence, honesty and integrity. Some may call this radical, but it is exactly what our founders created and intended.
Most tea parties are small groups of citizens who are not radical, but are concerned and want to do something about our nation’s health. Although a tea party may align with one or more larger tea party movements such as the nationwide Tea Party Patriots among others, each one is totally independent. It has its own values, charter, organization, goals and objectives. For example, some want to add a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Others see Common Core as an unwarranted and dangerous intrusion upon state and local rights and still others are concerned about illegal immigration and our porous borders. Of course, most tea parties are concerned about and work on several issues.
Finally, some tea party members are Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Democrats, and some have no party affiliation. Some individual members choose to be deeply engaged in political activities and actively support candidates and various conservative causes. Some choose to run for elected office. Others simply want to be informed about current issues so they can participate with an informed vote.
Our local tea party encourages education about our founders and the documents that they created, stays informed about local, state and national issues, coordinates with other tea party like groups and strongly encourages others to participate in the governing process by voting. These are all things that our founding fathers would have approved. They are only “radical” in that they promote and support self-limited government which insures that we the people remain free with the rights and liberties to pursue our unique paths to happiness.
We The People Tea Party of Southern Iowa meet at the Lamoni Community Center every third Thursday at 7 PM. Next meeting is March 19th.
May God bless all of you,