#rsrh Topic for discussion, 3rd Anniversary of Tea Party edition.

Topic: The success of the Tea Party* is twofold: it taught Republicans to be activists, and activists to be Republicans.


Moe Lane

*There are those who will contest ‘success,’ of course. Aside from requiring them to learn the whole of the Torah while hopping up and down on one foot, there’s not much to say to those folks besides asking them whether they’d agree to trade every freshman Republican member of the 112th Congress for the last Republican incumbents to hold that seat. If that point doesn’t shift them into admitting that things are better than when the Tea Party started, I don’t know what will.


  • earlgrey says:

    My journey in the tea party has been one of great frustration. I started with so much passion and hope and I believed I was doing it for the one thing that I never expected would shape my life–my kids. I never planned on having any children until I changed my mind and somehow, I felt that the tea party was the movement that was somehow meant for me, because my kids’ futures were at stake.

    I went to DC for the big rally in 2009. I believed that I was either witnessing the beginning of something great or the end of something great, and vowed that as long as liberals were in charge I would never take my kids to DC.

    I have been part of groups since then that have split up and petered out. I have attended training by American Majority and American Enterprise Leadership. I have participated in local issues and twice had the misfortune to be quoted in the local paper (only to have my co-workers bring it up). I participate in a parenting blog that is decidedly liberal and I offer conservative points. I have won fans, enemies and even told by one person that I inspired them.

    I have volunteered for the Republican party and have worked for a congressional campaign and now work with another tea party group on local issues. I am still trying to find my nitch and am wondering if perhaps my original view about the tea party had any merit at all. I don’t see how I am making an impact in any way.

    I have to ask if the country is headed for national suicide by overspending than what is the point of tea party participation anyway? Is there any value in winning the argument only to lose it all?

    Never in my life have I been so passionate about something, but never in my life have I worked towards things over which I have so little control. The activists I work with are the ones that keep me going and I go from group to group trying to find inspiration and a reason to keep at it.

    Meanwhile, my husband (who has a separate bank account from me) is growing suspicious about the mailings I get from various people running for office and there is no way I could give to everyone who sends me mail. (I have done some contributing to Republican causes).

    3 years later I am jaded, tired, dismayed by the state of the tea party, the republican party and the country I love. I even started thinking about places to move too.

    I hope in the coming years there continues to be a tea party. I hope that it is made of a larger base of younger people who know there future is being sold out from underneath them. I hope that the tea party becomes a group of people who can more easily and independently defend their position(s) without the knee-jerk reaction of using leftist tactics and talking points that the media has ingrained in all of us. Obama and cronies like to talk about a level playing field–I’d like to see a level playing field in public debate, because if there was one, we’d clean up.

    I hope my kids have a decent future.

  • Jack Savage says:

    I’ll tell you why you do it, earlgrey.

    When it all hits the fan and your kids ask “What did you do about it, Mom?”, you will actually have an answer.

    Two questions – quickly – which teacher had the most impact on your life? And do you think they knew it at the time?

    Exactly. Keep going. You matter.

  • Wombat-socho says:

    I think part of the problem may be that a lot of us get all wrapped up in stuff going on at the Federal level and don’t spend enough time getting involved with other Tea Party folks down at the ward and precinct level. We used to have political clubs at those levels, where you could get together with your neighbors and talk about politics with like-minded people, but sometime in the last fifty-sixty years those seem to have dried up and blown away. Maybe part of the answer is to spend time rebuilding those, because frankly, the internet is not enough.

  • earlgrey says:

    Thank you so much Jack. Your comments hit home.

    Wombat-socho: We are working on some local issues and it has been really rewarding and given us some insight into how our local government works. If you can change the debate on a local level, than those voters might be more receptive to state and national views that they might have ignored before.

    We have gone to a number of county council meetings. The presence of citizens, especially unrelenting presence can have an effect on slowing down, changing or (hopefully) even stopping bad legislation.

    Being active on a local level helps us get in touch with people that might ultimately become active in larger races or at least be willing to have a dialogue. People are more willing to discuss local politics than national (in some cases). It is way to get people “hooked”.

    THis weekend I’ll be joining some volunteers going door-to-door to gather signatures against an ordinance being considered. I’ll be bringing voter registration forms with me.

    I work with a local tea party on this project, and we are aligned with other groups Campaign for Liberty, other county tea parties etc.

    You are right the internet is not enough and local issues are a great way to draw people into the debate. I think many people just don’t think local issues really affect them or that they have any power to change them. If we are successful in our efforts on this one ordinance, than that will be a huge boost for us in having more say in our local government. That will only attract more like-minded citizens.

    Sorry to hog your blog post Moe.

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