The tea-party movement is only about two years old, but, because of its potency, there have already been many attempts to hijack it.
From politicians trying to resurrect their careers to media activists trying to establish careers, there is a temptation to think of the tea-party movement as cattle or sheep that can be herded in any direction with skillful manipulation.
I don’t believe that’s true.
I hope it’s not true.
The tea-party movement is so important to the future of the country precisely because it is an amorphous, grass-roots uprising – called not by leadership but by national crisis and necessity.
It’s not only political folly to attempt to get in front of this parade, it’s probably bad career advice.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The tea-party movement is the broadest and potentially most powerful grass-roots political movement in my lifetime. But there is also a spiritual component to it that most of the hijackers either can’t understand or don’t want to understand.
This is not just a band of Americans angry about their dollar not going as far as it once did. This is not just a movement centered on materialistic concerns. This is not just a bunch of rubes in need of direction from more sophisticated minds.
I laugh when I hear seasoned conservative activists talking about how they intend to teach the tea partiers how to be winners.
With the exception of a momentary second wind in 1994, the conservative establishment has been moribund since Ronald Reagan’s administration. Because it threw its lot in with the Republican Party, come hell or high water, the conservative movement allowed itself to be co-opted and taken for granted.
The great potential of the tea-party movement is that it will not allow that to happen.
Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, has it right. He says tea-party organizations shouldn’t endorse politicians. The politicians should endorse the tea-party organizations – if they want to mobilize the millions of Americans who identify with this movement.
At least since 2003 when I authored the book, “Taking America Back,” I have been urging just the kind of citizen action and, dare I say it, rebellion, that the tea-party movement represents. It’s a godsend that it is finally here. It came not a moment too soon in our national history. We should question the motives of anyone who would dare tamper with this once-in-a-lifetime uprising, other than to cheer it on and join in it – especially those who arrogantly claim to be smarter and more well-connected. And that includes me.
I hope you will join us there as we prepare for the most important midterm election in our nation’s history – a pivotal vote that will determine whether the United States of America will continue to be the shining city on a hill, a beacon of freedom and justice throughout the world.
Pray that God smiles on America this year.
Pray that God smiles on the tea-party movement and uses it mightily.
Pray that God confuses the minds of all those who would use this movement for their own self-aggrandizement.
Pray that the tea-party movement does not get hijacked by those who would turn it into a strictly materialistic endeavor devoid of God’s real concerns for the nation.
Pray for unity and success for the tea-party movement.