It was euthanized by disparate efforts of individuals and organizations to take leadership over the grass-roots effort.
What began as a spontaneous uprising fizzled after 2010 because of poor leadership and contempt by the Republican establishment, leaving activists nowhere to go.
But there’s some good news on the horizon.
Dick Armey, one of the politicians who tried to harness the tea-party movement for his own political power and economic gain, is gone – bought out of FreedomWorks for $8 million.
It’s time to decapitate (figuratively, not in the French Revolution style) all the self-proclaimed national leaders of the movement, so that it can rise again when we need it most.
The tea party needs to be a pure ideological rebellion based on constitutional principles – not a get-rich-quick scheme for politicians running to the front of the parade.
I warned about all this in my book “The Tea Party Manifesto.” Everything I wrote in there is coming to pass. But the crises that spurred the movement are more serious than ever.
What it needs today is something resembling the “primal scream” that got it all started in the first place.
The uprising known as the tea-party movement began in earnest Feb. 19, 2009, with a rant by Rick Santelli, CNBC’s business news editor.
On the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he attacked Washington’s plan to refinance mortgages, which had just been announced the day before. He said that those plans were “promoting bad behavior” … by “subsidizing losers’ mortgages.” He suggested holding a tea party for traders to gather and dump the derivatives in the Chicago River July 1. He was cheered by floor traders – and millions watching on TV and later on a viral YouTube video.
Within 24 hours, tea-party websites were set up, and people were getting organized at the local level.
So here’s my primal scream … join me if you agree.
America is flailing around – worse off than we were in 2009. It’s not just Washington dealing with a “fiscal cliff.” Personal debt, joblessness and a lack of investment capital for entrepreneurs is threatening to bring the entire economy crashing down into a double-dip recession, or worse.
There is no national political leadership answering the cries of the people. That’s why so many more Americans chose not to vote in 2012 – shocking the media and the pundit class.
What are the issues that should bring the tea party together, again – and even expand its ranks and power?
rising taxes due to Obamacare and the demands of politicians feeding at the public trough; and
the kind of Solyndra-style crony capitalism (maybe you could even call it “fascism”) favored by Barack Obama, who seeks to pick winners and losers in society rather than allow the free market to lift all boats.
It’s time to get out in the streets and let Democrats and Republicans know they are not representing the taxpayers, the citizens of America, the productive people who make this country work.
If millions of tea-party activists are willing to get out in the streets again, it could make all the difference in the world.
But don’t get fooled by the politicians and self-proclaimed leaders who will try to use you. Keep it pure. Keep it simple. Keep it innocent. And pray that God Almighty will give us another chance to save America.