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  • suesarkis@aol.com
    Why the tea party movement should disappear September 23, 2010 DEAR EDITOR: As a newly minted member of the tea party movement, I must say with sincerity
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2010
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      Why the tea party movement should disappear September 23, 2010

      DEAR EDITOR:

      As a newly minted member of the tea party movement, I must say with
      sincerity that the ultimate goal of this organization should be to lock their
      doors and go home.

      This weekend I was at a tea party rally in the Marietta Square, where I
      volunteered to sit at a table and explain the First Amendment to
      schoolchildren, as they passed by each amendment station one by one. Some children were
      able to enunciate what the First Amendment was about, but most had blank
      stares. You would think that the schools would teach them such things at an
      early age, instead of relying on a volunteer communications contractor who
      had no instruction or experience in these types of events. But I sat there
      for five hours and talked to parents and children alike, and I found that
      most parents were very happy for the event and the education it provided.

      The weekly tea party meeting, at the main Marietta library, was a
      different type of affair. There, mostly older couples sat politely and quietly,
      nodding their heads in agreement as one speaker after another excoriated the
      federal government. But the criticisms were not broadside attacks against
      the government in general, instead focusing on specific areas such as
      immigration, tax policy and the national debt. This was not a motley crew of cuss
      buckets and malcontents. Instead I found them to be well educated,
      concerned about the future, and angry about the direction of the government.

      This was the Mayberry of the 21st century, what might happen if Andy found
      out that Opey was buying dope from someone on the edge of town. When good,
      honest people get angry, it is not a wave of blind emotion detached from
      the source. It is a palpable feeling of alarm at the American Dream, paid
      for in so much blood, slipping through our fingers while the ruling class
      dithers for political advantage.

      I am an isolated person, stuck in my daily routines and never venturing
      far from home. So when I find myself at rallies and meetings concerning
      political matters, I know things are getting out of hand. At my meeting, a local
      news reporter attended and filmed the event. The meeting was the third
      story to air that night, and got several minutes of accurate and balanced
      airtime, without the usual snarky condescension you usually get from the
      liberal media.

      The tea party is not really a party, at least not yet. It is an
      association of people who have no other outlet to vent their concerns and
      frustrations about government policy. As a conservative movement, it naturally aligns
      more with Republicans than Democrats. But don't think for a moment that
      Republicans are viewed with less scrutiny than Democrats. Witness the cry-baby
      Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and Mike Castle in Delaware, both out on their
      ears courtesy of the tea party. And they have no kind words for the victor in
      their races, defying custom and decency.

      When politicians don't understand such movements, they ignore them or
      vilify them in order to make them go away. What makes the tea party work is
      that it is not a party. It is in reality a real grassroots movement that is
      magnetic in its attraction of like-minded citizens. With nowhere else to
      turn, concerned voters are flocking to the only outlet that gives a voice to
      their fears. With these new people come their votes and their wallets,
      bleeding support from tone deaf establishment politicians like Mike Castle. The
      days of the go-along to get along politician are over. Loyalty to the
      country is more important than party loyalty. This is the message that is finally
      culling the moss from the brains of the DC establishment.

      Ordinary citizens will no longer stand idly by on a national suicide
      watch. This is our intervention. It is my personal intervention, putting into
      practice what I have merely preached over the years. There are many like me
      in the movement, political neophytes who would rather channel their anger
      into something more productive than screaming at the TV set.

      But why, then, should the tea party disappear? Here is why. The measure of
      its success will be that the need for an uprising has receded. In short,
      they won. The goal was realized, and the politicians absorbed the lessons
      into the political mainstream. Nobody is deluded enough to think that
      politicians will ever be pure as gold, but it is possible, as we are seeing, to
      spank them hard when they stray, and cause a generational change of direction
      in government.

      Like any organization, the tea party was started for a reason. And like
      any organization, it is subject to the instinct for survival. If its mission
      is accomplished, it will have to redefine the mission in order to exist. It
      will become a retread, a hanger-on, like so many other agencies and
      departments. And then what is it good for, when it is snatched from the hands of
      an aroused electorate and made into a polished official organization with
      corporate offices and fund raising apparatus at the ready?

      No, it is better to let movements such as this rise and fall on the
      currents of the times. The tea party can be recast in short order. It is not and
      should not be a permanent organization. It is, and should be, us, the people
      reacting with vigilance to the challenges that confront us.

      As I sat at the table educating young people about the Constitution, it
      occurred to me that they were the ones who would have to bear the
      consequences should we fail. And they were the ones who would have to stand guard once
      I move on. And so I talked and talked, a regular guy forced into political
      action by my duty as a citizen to defend this country. It felt good to
      actually be doing something besides complaining. And that is the vein that
      this movement has tapped into. May the tea party's life be short and sweet.

      David Bossen
      Acworth



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