I’m 0 in 2 for Tea Party attendance in Bellingham. A pretty dismal record, but I’m sure I’ll get another chance or two. However, my lack of attendance does not indicate a lack of agreement with the Bellingham Tea Party principles.
The Bellingham Tea Party is a non-partisan group made up of local citizens who are alarmed by the excesses of the US Federal Government, and want it to return to the founding principles as specified in the US Constitution.
Our mission is to motivate and educate our fellow citizens about the founding principles.
I am a local citizen who is alarmed with Federal Government excesses. I believe that leading the world in debt accumulation is not right and further, I believe that adding more debt on top goes against constitutional principles. How does our Federal Government protect life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for the people of this nation when they must also bend to the will of those nations to which we are in debt. Our government, like us, cannot serve two masters.
Enough of the soapbox. I think it’s a pretty clear message that binds Tea Party supporters together. In fact the message is so clear and simple, it’s no wonder that half the county wasn’t along the Guide on the 4th. I was celebrating our nation’s independence with my family up at the Blaine Parade, so for myself, my absence was a simple time conflict.
But I have wondered just how many people who agree with the Tea Party message didn’t stop in because of some negative perception they’ve picked up from media or on the web? Tea Party perceptions like these are pretty common.
- It’s not grassroots, it’s all organized by big business
- They are a bunch of racists
- It’s an anti President Obama thing.
- It’s a Republican thing
If any of these have kept you from expressing your dissatisfaction with government excesses at a Tea Party, then let me share a few thoughts from my perspective.
It’s not grassroots, it’s all organized by big business – You know, business is good for our nation. Business employs us. Business drives our economy. Businesses, both small and big suffer from government excesses the same as you and I. So if some high level organizing was done by a certain size business, it’s easy to understand why. I’ve spoken with people who attended because they feel government excesses are personally affecting them and the future of our nation. They want to personally express that dissatisfaction. That’s nearly a stand alone definition of grassroots.
They are a bunch of racists - Sometimes when all other arguments fail, it is time to pull the race card out of your sleeve. That card was played quite early in the game, way back in April when Janeane Garofalo called teabaggers “racist rednecks”. <==Don’t miss that link, it’s a classic. Tea Party supporters come from all walks of life, so I can’t be sure that there isn’t a single lonely racist somewhere, but racism is certainly not foundational to the group. In fact, the National Black Republican Association supports the Tea Party message. One wonders if their membership knows they are racist?
It’s an anti President Obama thing – People’s perception that this is an anti-President Obama thing is probably the easiest perception to understand, because the programs that he, with the assistance of Congress, is currently implementing, represent the largest excesses this nation has ever seen. I’m not even sure it is possible to be pro-President Obama and pro-Tea Party message? Perhaps if President Obama can start to deliver on his promises without more government intrusion and more debt then the answer might be yes. It would sure help the partisan gap in our nation if he would even make an attempt at not increasing debt.
It’s a Republican thing - As someone who has attended local Tea Party organizing meetings as well as most recent Republican committee meetings, I can tell you that this is not just a Republican thing. While the Tea Party message may be more closely aligned with Republican or perhaps Libertarian thought, this is not an outgrowth of the Republican Party. I’ve never been asked for party affiliation at a Tea Party meetings and as I looked around the meeting room I saw people known to me with various party affiliations, Democratic, Libertarian, Republican and some who I had no idea. Not a local thing, but pertinant and interesting none the less is the story of Leslie Eastman of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition.
A common misconception of mainstream media’s political pundits is the claim that the “Tea Party” movement is merely a covert Republican operation. That is simply not true. I am a founder of one of the largest grassroots organizations in the nation (Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, LLC; SoCal-TRC). I am also a registered Democrat.
SoCal-TRC policies are based on a sound understanding of basic economics derived from practical experience in the world of small business. This is because all of SoCal-TRC’s founders run small businesses, and appreciate that liberty and personal freedoms are best served through the fair practice of free enterprise. Our group strives to maintain a message that is focused on sensible fiscal policy and limited government intervention.
If you were considering participation or support for Bellingham Tea Party events, then I hope this post helps. People are out lining the Guide and waving their signs because they feel that government excesses will have a direct negative affect on themselves and their family. So, if you are just regular Whatcom county folks who would like to have the government reign in spending, then I look forward to seeing you at the next event. That is, assuming I don’t go 0 in 3.