Friday, July 16, 2010

The History and Organization of the Tea Party

Amid continual accusations of racism and hate from liberals, the mainstream media has been questioning why leaders of the grassroots activist movement known as the Tea Party are not openly rebuking these unsubstantiated claims of bigotry and hate.

Forgetting for a moment that a hundred thousand dollar reward for evidence proving claims of racism from the Tea Party by race baiters on the left still sits unclaimed and that people that make up the Tea Party consist of a wide variety of of varying color, religion, and political party affiliation, including 34 African-American candidates running for Congress as Republicans, one must wonder why those in the media fail to acknowledge that the truly grassroots nature of the Tea Party means there is no central organization, no "leaders" of the movement that can respond to liberal political groups' calls to refute racism.  Thus, one can only assume one of two possibilities, either the media is willfully distorting the facts in order to score political points for liberal Democrats or they are ignorant to how the Tea Party came to be.

Let's give our friends in the media the benefit of doubt and assume they are truly unable to wrap their imaginations around the Tea Party due to their own liberal experiences and explain once and for all what the movement is and how it came to be.

9-11-2010 To understand the formation of the Tea Party we have to go back to September 11, 2001 when 19 Muslim Jihadists high jacked four airliners, crashing two into the World Trade Centers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington DC, and one that was bound for the White House into a field in Pennsylvania.  The nation sat stunned that day, watching the events as they unfold live on television.

In the aftermath, a feeling of patriotism swept across the country the likes of which had not occurred since December 7th, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and drug the United States into World War II.

maydayIllegalImmigration Although during the subsequent years after 9/11 that feeling of patriotism waned in a few, the majority of Americans still felt it strongly.  So, when thousands of illegal immigrants took to the streets of Los Angeles, CA on March 31, 2006 waiving Mexican flags and demanding citizenship from the nation they called racist and fascist many Americans became rightly concerned.

For the first time since the 1960’s fight for civil rights, conservatives took to the streets to protest the government’s lack of response to the growing problem of illegal immigration.  In fact, workplace enforcement had gotten so bad under the Bush administration that it dwarfed even the extremely weak enforcement efforts of the Clinton administration[1].

In 1999, the Clinton administration prosecuted 447 employers for immigration law violations.  During 2003, the Bush administration prosecuted just 3, this despite the number of illegal aliens crossing into the country illegally each year having ballooned to records levels.

To make matters worse, the Bush administration, together with Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy attempted to push through congress a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill that would have provided amnesty for the estimated 12 to 20 illegal aliens residing in the country.  Despite their efforts and those of the media, conservative activists were able to put enough pressure on their congressmen to stall the bill and get some modest new security measures passed.

The people had spoken.  They sent a message to congress that they were no longer trusted, that before the people would be willing to consider any measure that would forgive the crime of violating immigration law the U.S. must secure it’s border both from the threat of terrorism and the continually growing problem of illegal immigration.

2006election During the mid-term elections held later that year pro-enforcement conservatives joined with independents growing concerned with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to vote out the representatives that had bought into the Bush administration efforts to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.  In doing so, Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate for the first time since Bush was elected in 2000.

A Texas congressman by the name of Ron Paul latched onto the growing feelings of discontent with the federal government held by many Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents.  In doing so, his presidential bid garnered fast and widespread support despite the mainstream media’s and conservative talk radio hosts’ efforts to derail his campaign.

Winning straw poll after straw poll Ron Paul and his supporters were ignored.  But, when on Nov. 5th, 2007 the Ron Paul campaign set the single day campaign fundraising record by receiving $4.2 million in contributions, they could no longer do so.  Instead the media and many conservative talk show hosts across the country took to attacking Ron Paul and his “kook” supporters that sought a return to a true constitutional government.

RON PAUL TEA PARTY Seizing the publicity from their record breaking fundraising effort, the Ron Paul campaign launched what they called “Tea Party ‘07”.  The idea was to honor the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party by marching from the Boston State House to Faneuil Hall.  By the end of that day the Ron Paul campaign had set another record for single day contributions, receiving more than $4.3 million from more than 33,000 Paleo-Conservatives, Libertarians, and Independents.  The Ron Paul Revolution was in full swing.

Although Ron Paul’s presidential campaign ultimately fell short of its goal, it was wildly successful in creating a large contingent of highly motivated constitutional activists.  These activists, not wanting to see their efforts just go to waste, quickly formed their own political action committees.  Groups like the Hope for American Coalition, Campaign for Liberty, and Americans for Prosperity began popping up all over the country.

912master Talk show host Glenn Beck along the with others sensed Americans’ growing concern with the direction the federal government was taking.  So, he created the 9-12 Project, an effort to get people to remember how they came together after the attacks of 9/11 and use those feelings to find other similarly minded individuals and work together to enact real change in their local communities. With no central control, each chapter of the 9-12 Project operates on its own.

So in late 2008 when President Bush embraced a plan created by Democrats and the Federal Reserve to give nearly $1 trillion to some of the nations biggest financial institutions that were at least partially culpable for the diversity recession which brought the US economy to its knees, these now engaged activists were ready and somewhat organized.  They began massive letter writing and phone campaigns designed to lobby congress to vote against the $800 million TARP bill. 

Unlike the pressure Americans put on congress in 2006 with regards to comprehensive immigration reform, their opinions were ignored and the bill easily passed both houses of congress and was signed into law by President Bush.  The vast majority of Americans were outraged and were looking for more effective ways to get involved.

It wasn’t until President Obama had taken office and Democrats had increased their majorities in House and Senate allowing them to pass another $1 trillion dollar stimulus bill through congress without any opposition party to stop them that the outrage many Americans were feeling boiled over.  The first few people began taking to the streets, spontaneously protesting in front of the offices of elected representatives that voted for the stimulus bill.  Crowds of a few people quickly turned into hundreds as word spread over the Internet and radio of the protests.

kcteaparty_7 Connections were being made, organizations like those previously mentioned were dramatically growing in number, more and more people were getting involved. And finally, when it was proposed that a Tax Day Tea Party protest be held on April 15, 2009 to protest out of control government spending, the idea spread like wild fire.

Because there was no central organization behind these Tea Party protests many different organizations held their own.  Some cities saw as many as 10 to 15 different Tax Day Tea Parties.  Although largely ignored and underestimated by the mainstream media, millions of Americans of all different races, religions, and political affiliation joined in.

The Tea Party movement was born.

In subsequent months the Obama administration together with its super majority in the House and Senate ushered through a host of other unpopular spending bills that further outraged constitutional activists.  And when the administration took up health care reform, they were playing with fire.

town_hall_health_12 Now whole heartedly engaged Tea Party activists took to social networking websites like Facebook, twitter, and Meetup.com to communicate.  They learned when and where various congressmen would be holding town hall meetings to discuss the 2500 page healthcare reform bill and they showed up in force.  In many cases, Americans calmly expressing opposition to the bill turned to shouts of frustration and anger as their members of congress falsely testified to the contents of the bill having not actually read it themselves.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was quick to call those expressing their anger at the reform legislation as Nazi-like and uninformed.  Yet, later she herself would be forever remembered for telling the American people that congress had to pass the bill so they can actually find out what’s in it.  Other members of congress defended their unwillingness to read the bill by saying it was too big and written in such a way that only a legal scholar could understand.  And still they passed it.

marchondc On the weekend of the vote, millions of Tea Partiers across the country descended on Washington.  For days they marched and stood outside the Capitol Building voicing their opposition.  When a delegation of black congressmen defiantly walked through the crowd of protestors to the Capitol Building to undoubtedly cast their votes in favor of the reform the shouts from protestors drew unsubstantiated claims of racism.

One congressman from Kansas City, MO, Rep. Cleaver, claimed one protestor spat on him and he heard shouts of the n-word over and over.  Another congressman in the group levied the similar charges.  Tea Partiers rightly questioned these claims as many in the movement are themselves minorities and they themselves, in all their experiences with past Tea Party protests had never once experienced such a display of bigotry as that being alleged.

Emannuel-Cleaver-Spit-On Videos began popping up on the Internet showing the march by these congressman, videos that did not seem to substantiate their claims.  A video even popped up of the so-called spitting incident and it was anything like what Rep. Cleaver had described. A reward of up to $100,000 was offered for video evidence of the claims. To date, no one has been able to claim that reward despite their being hundreds of video cameras and other recording devices there, even those being held by the very members of congress who leveled the allegations to begin with.

Now, as the issue of comprehensive immigration reform heats up again and Democrats realize the majority of Americans have organized against their actions through the Tea Party, they are attempting to discredit the movement through renewed claims of racism because they know they have no other argument to make about why they should be re-elected and why the country should continue to not secure its border and to not enforce its own immigration laws.  The NAACP has called on the leaders of the Tea Party to denounce racism, but who are the leaders of the Tea Party?  There are no leaders, let alone any factual widespread racist actions they can point to.

Because of the non-organized nature of the Tea Party movement it would be foolish to claim their were absolutely no racists that consider themselves Tea Partiers.  But what one can be sure of, is that the overwhelming majority of Tea Partiers are not racist and can and do make every effort to weed out any racist who would attempt to latch on to the movement in order to further their own twisted agenda.

The Tea Party’s own agenda is a simple one.  The return to Constitutional government of, by, and for the people, a government that defends its borders and defends its citizens’ inalienable rights, a government all too many Americans recognize was stolen from them long ago by special interests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regarding the number of blacks present at the tea parties, one must consider the following. First, blacks make up 12 percent of the entire population. Second, roughly 90 percent of blacks support the democratic party. Therefore, given that most people associated with the tea parties are center-right independents and conservative republicans, one would not expect the 90 percent of blacks who are staunch democrats to be interested in the smaller government message of the tea parties. Finally, taking the potential 10 percent of blacks that might be inclined to the smaller government message of the tea parties, and filtering that against the actual number of people who would attend a public, political event, you are probably left with less than one percent of blacks who might attend a tea party.

This is why you should not expect to see a large number of blacks at tea parties. This is neither good nor bad. It just reflects the fact that politically speaking blacks don't share the ideology of the tea parties. To attack the tea parties for a supposed lack of diversity, or for the tea parties to frantically hunt for black faces to suggest otherwise is silly.