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What's really behind the tea parties?
Posted By Henry Lamb On 04/17/2010 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
President Obama thinks the nationwide tea-party movement is built around a small core group of people who believe he is a socialist, born somewhere other than in America. Nancy Pelosi believes that the tea party is “Astroturf,” a group of people funded by big-business Republicans to protest against Democrats. The new website, Crash the Tea Party, believes the tea parties are “a loose affiliation of racists, homophobes and morons who constitute the fake grass-roots movement, which calls itself ‘The Tea Party.’”
Wow! How wrong can these people be?
The tea parties are a natural phenomenon caused by a periodic shift in society’s tectonic plates. When the “government-control” plate slips slightly over the “freedom” plate, there is bound to be an uprising.
The election in 2008, followed by the magnet-like attraction to Washington of dozens of “czars,” all specialists in some form of government control, set off seismic activity deep beneath the political apathy to which the nation was accustomed. Consequently, tea parties have risen across the nation, and they are still building. Knowledgeable forecasters predict that the “freedom” forces will not likely subside until the “government-control” forces are well under control.
Obama, Pelosi and the Astroturf owner of the Crash the Tea Party website have no idea of the power that underlies the tea-party movement.
Long before the eruption, millions of freedom-loving Americans were meeting in thousands of groups in every state, studying the forces that continually work to erode individual freedom and private-property rights. In Alabama, for example, the Alliance for Citizens Rights has been conducting meetings in local communities for years. Ordinary citizens attend these meetings after work to learn about local ordinances that impact their daily life.
At one of these community meetings in Cullman, Ala., Enna Miles told the group that her aunt had been visited by the code-enforcement officer, who threatened to fine her $150 per day if she planted tomatoes in her backyard.
Ordinary citizens know that this kind of government control is not right, but they did not realize how it became law. The goal of groups such as the Alliance for Citizens Rights is to teach citizens not only how this government control became law, but how to repeal it and how to prevent it. These are the people who are now populating the tea parties, demanding an end to the government-control policies issued from Washington, imposed on the states and implemented in local communities.
Norman Davis has led the Take Back Kentucky group for years. Hundreds of ordinary citizens who work every day just to earn a living meet at least once a month in various locations around the state to learn what the federal government and the state legislature are doing. During the state legislative session, it is not unusual, at one of these meetings, to find 40 or 50 people gathered in a reserved dining room in a local restaurant, staring at a screen where Norman is explaining a bill that has been introduced either in Congress or the state legislature.
It’s amazing. With a laptop computer and a projector, the bill is displayed for study by the group. There is no hoopla, no white robes and hoods, no cross-burning – there are just ordinary Americans learning what their elected officials are doing to them.
They also learn how to let their elected officials know how they feel about the bills they read. This Kentucky group may be the most effective grass-roots organization in the nation when it comes to helping their legislators to act only with the consent of the governed.
The group employs telephone and e-mail circles. Norman emphasizes the need to have communication “circles” instead of “trees.” When an alert is issued, the message goes around the entire circle and ends back with the originator. This way, the originator knows the message was delivered to everyone in the group. When the “tree” structure is used, the originator never knows whether the message is delivered or not. The “circle” system has worked exceedingly well in Kentucky and in dozens of other communities where Norman has conducted training sessions.
This is what the tea parties do. Contrary to what the media portrays, these people do far more than make signs and costumes. For the most part, these are some of the most knowledgeable people you well ever meet when it comes to domestic issues and foreign policy. They read. They study. They debate. They disagree. They get worked up. They save their money and buy a seat on a bus to Washington to tell their elected officials we’re “Taxed Enough Already!”
Washington had better listen.
The tea parties that have erupted across the nation so far are simply precursors of what is to come. Some forecasters are predicting a major eruption sometime this fall, perhaps as early as November. Others say the November event will cause a tsunami that will wash across Congress. There is some indication that the anticipated November event, as devastating as it might be, will itself be a precursor of even bigger events to come.
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