While I have watched the evolution of the Tea Party movement – I have to say to myself – is this the extent of our willingness to be vigilant over the protection of our rights? With the multitude of appealing and unappealing distractions – it is easy to forget that we have this country and the rights in our Constitution because our ancestors suffered hardship, and made numerous sacrifices, not only for themselves, but for future generations. Unless there is more planned beyond protests by the TEA party planners (which I am thankful seems likely, but not certain), I fear our version of vigilance, is a pale shadow of what our forefather’s, and the society they lived in, understood it to be when they formed our government. I am concerned that the tea party movement will become the ends rather than the means, that it will evolve beyond its effectiveness and purpose, and that we will all pat ourselves on the back after we get vote representatives that we think will not overtax us (usually Republicans) into power, and go back to our (pre 9/11) lives and mentality.
The Tea Parties can be construed to represent several things – people are fed up with the government not representing them, they are fed up with being marginalized by mainstream media and political parties, or, that people are fed up with government itself and not just those who are governing now, or how they are governing. This last one is what concerns me, especially in conjunction with the “The Modern Militia Movement,” list citing Veterans, Ron Paul supporters, and pro-life supporters, and others, as being possible militia members who may pose a domestic terror threat.
What is a domestic terrorist? Is it someone who is against a specific political party? No. Is it someone who is against the government itself, as in its existence? I’d say yes, most likely. There is a difference between being anti- big -government, and being anti-government, and each of us needs to be careful to make sure we are not confusing the two. They each have VERY different aims – and as the Tea Party evolves, we need to be watchful of how we are involving ourselves and whether or not it is constructive in reaching our goals as individuals and reasons for going to Tea Parties. Just as with any bandwagon, don’t just jump on until you have given it thought. Why? Well, if you are not anti-government, you probably don’t want to be supporting something opposite of your actual goals (which would be likely to reform, rather than reject, a Constitution-based government). I am not saying the Tea Parties (as a group or individually) ARE anti-government or that they are specifically moving in that direction, BUT, if we are involved in a movement, it just makes sense to keep up with what direction it IS going, since nothing is ever really stagnant.
I am not anti-government, I am for PRESERVING the government, founded on the Constitution, in what I believe to be its intended and best form, a small government. I do believe it is important that people hold their government accountable when it fails to represent them – for example – like when the Republican party forgets that it represents fiscal conservatives. Tea Parties seem to be saying – stop ignoring me, stop doing what we DON’T want you to do with our tax dollars, you will not be re-elected if you do not start representing your districts. It’s all about making sure your voices are heard over the mainstream media’s consistent and blatant left- leaning bias.
The ORIGINAL Boston Tea Party was a renunciation of Britain’s right to tax them because they weren’t represented and it ignited the torch for American Independence. Do we want to ignite a torch to burn our Constitution and break away from our country (if the analogy was completely extended) or do we want to express that we are overtaxed. (In other words, are we saying, don’t tax us at all, or are we saying, don’t tax us this much?) Just something to think about – what is it we each want to ACHEIVE by participating in the Tea Parties? It makes a difference and we need to involve ourselves, and if it becomes an issue, align ourselves, accordingly.
The second point about the thrust of the tea party movement, is the fact that it seems to perpetuate a mentality many conservatives are opposed to; the mentality that it is the government’s job to fix the problems and that it is not our responsibility. Why isn’t it our job to fix things? Can’t we begin to get involved in the political process itself in our state, can we become delegates? Maybe we should all look into that kind of thing. A party will not likely change unless the PEOPLE that run the party change, either by bringing in new people, or getting current ones to understand what your party should stand for. If a party is corrupt, shouting at it to change and stop being corrupt is not a logical or effective response – we have to root out and replace those who are corrupt – by being active members ourselves and leading the party. And really – for the Democrats who have always been Democrats because the Democrats are supposed to represent hard working Americans, the working class, the downtrodden, and those who are poor or disadvantaged – then go take your party back. I personally do not believe in big government, I don’t believe it solves the problems it is supposed to, I don’t think big government is the most effective way to help those who are poor or disadvantaged, or that unions are good for the workers in most circumstances; but if I was a Christian Democrat who did think big government was the best way to address the problems, I would be pretty irritated by the way gay, abortion, and socialist lobbies have overrun my party, and Democratic politicians are only giving lip service to large parts of their platform now. (I also don’t think the current welfare system is targeted towards actually helping people get on their own two feet so they can lead fulfilling happy lives independently; that throwing money at schools run by teachers unions is the correct way to “reform” education; that forcing people to join unions, and taking away secret ballots, is better for the workers than letting them DECIDE if they want to join; or that Affirmative Action is necessary and does anything more than indicate to minorities that they aren’t “good” enough to compete without help — so to me, the Democrats only give lip service to helping any of those groups.)
What about starting your own organization to do what you believe the government SHOULD be doing? Why does action have to be dependent on enough of the rest of the country voting the way you vote, so that your candidate can spend your money to help people? I think in most cases, individuals should be taking care of each other anyway, and that the government only dehumanizes the process, making it impersonal and inefficient; BUT also, if you think the government should be taking care of the poor but they aren’t – go out and help do it yourself – form an organization or do it individually. The same course of action applies whatever your ideology – if it isn’t getting done – help do something about it.
This does not in any way mean direct involvement in the political process is not important, or that taking action like peacefully protesting to draw attention to how your representatives are not representing you, is not important. All three areas are needed; making sure those who represent you hear your voice, take individual responsibility for ensuring you GET representatives who will listen to their constituents, and taking individual steps to address problems yourself. We should not be exclusively focused on just one, as a group OR individually.