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Politics, Tea Party, Voting

Tea Party: What is it and Why should I join?

The Gadsden flag

The Gadsden flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In researching this article, I have come to the realization that there are 3 distinct and separate Tea Parties. They are: The Beginning of the Tea Party Movement, The 2010 Election, and The 2012 Election.Beginning of the Tea Party Movement

Steve Farmer, (USNR) Ret. wrote an article that I think explains the Principles of the Tea Party.

The Tea Party Is About Principles, Not Political Parties

By Steve Farmer, USNR (ret.)

The Tea Party is about ideas, people, rather than political party, as the politicians and mainstream media want you to believe. From the mission statement of the Tea Party Patriots: “The impetus for the Tea Party movement is excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.” We are a free association of like-thinking Americans of all political affiliations who are fed up and frustrated with the dysfunctional people who are running our government; and our nation into the ditch while they’re at it! As P. J. O’Rourke said: “Giving money and power to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” (1)

We are about promoting the core values enshrined in our Constitution by our founding fathers; ideas about freedom and liberty that have stood the test of time. We are the voice of that vast silent majority we’ve heard about for years, the backbone of America; and we’re tired of being abused and drained of our resources, our energy and desire for good, by our politicians of all stripes. A quick definition of liberty: “the ability or capacity to act without undue hindrance or restraint”; in other words, to think and do as you, a free American, choose to; as long as you don’t tread on the liberty of your fellow citizen. (1)

Most, if not all, of the special concerns of each citizen, whatever they may be, will be addressed by sticking to our core values. This will allow us to expand our pool of supporters easily, as we provide a place for that vast, frustrated middle to channel their desire to do right by their country, to bring her back from the brink and continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor as they prepare to pass on the legacy of liberty and opportunity to their posterity. (1)

KISS-Keep It So Simple. Focused energy equals focused results. Getting fragmented on multiple social issues and special interests will divide us, diluting our energy and purpose; weakening us, as well as our ability to deliver a clear, focused message that gives understanding to those who want it, and countermands the logic-defying brain-washing message of progressive elitists. (1)

If we really want to transcend the politicians messages, we need to provide a new paradigm of thinking about how to do things in this country, a way of thinking that brings us back full circle to the purposeful words and actions of the founding fathers. We need to transcend the us vs. them “tag team” mentality that the two parties have indoctrinated us with, and get back to the basic principles that made this the most free and prosperous nation in history, a place for Americans of all ancestries to enjoy their lives and each other. (1)

This is about defining a new way of thinking and doing that allows us to hack our way through the weeds to get back to the main path of liberty that has worked; not perfectly, because people aren’t perfect, but it has worked well for many years. So, it’s about defining our path, not defending the status quo. I believe we need to follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and the wonderful framework they left us if we want to succeed in getting back our individual rights of living the way we choose, along with accepting the responsibility and consequences of those choices without placing blame on others. In summary, it is not a conservative-liberal thing, a Republican-Democrat thing, nor a race-class thing; it is a freedom and liberty thing. We welcome the debate that needs to happen because we believe that you, the citizen, are the better decision maker for your life and the lives of your children. (1)

Posted by Bob Boyer on 09/29/2010 at 09:11 AM in Tea Party | Permalink

I proudly show on my blog that I am a Born-Again Christian; however, the Tea Party is not about religion, but is about religious principles. I found an article that articulates my religious viewpoint perfectly. It is written by Jonathon Wakefield from the Times-Dispatch.

Tea Party, Christian principles can align  

By: JONATHAN WAKEFIELD | Times-Dispatch

Published: April 08, 2012 Updated: April 08, 2012 – 12:06 AM

Last August, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Cal., said, “As far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to Hell … and I intend to help them get there.” (2)

As a leader in the Tea Party movement, and someone who happens to be a Christian with an alternative preference for my eternal destination, this statement caught my attention. I find it ironic, because my Tea Party involvement is driven largely by the eternal implications — exactly the opposite of how Rep. Waters intended. (2)

In Matthew 22, Jesus commands his followers to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (verse 37), and to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (verse 39). By joining the Tea Party, I have been privileged to lock arms with a number of kind-hearted and sincere Christians who take these commands seriously. We believe that we’re fulfilling all of them through our Tea Party service. (2)

Does that sound weird? It may, considering that the Tea Party movement includes people of differing faiths and of no faith. Also, it is politically focused. (2)

Or is it? (2)

In my new book, “Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement,” I contend that our movement transcends politics, that the principles we espouse are not, in fact, political but are moral, aligning with certain Christian principles intended to liberate our fellow citizens from the oppressions of an Almighty State by concentrating power with a people instead of their government. (2)

Every Tea Party is unique and no individual or group leads the overall movement, but in general they all focus on (a) constitutionally limited government, (b) fiscal responsibility and (c) free markets. Let’s briefly look at these principles and see how they align with the Christian faith. (2)

Constitutionally limited government: The Founders understood that we live in a fallen world and that granting politicians too much power would ultimately lead to the oppression of individuals under their authority. So the Founders wrote a Constitution that severely limited governmental power, spreading it across three branches, the states, and the people. (2)

This should be of the utmost importance to Christians, as God offers strict warnings against oppression (see, for example, Isaiah 58:6 and Jeremiah 21:12). And because He creates every human in his image, individuals carry inherent value and should not be subjected to the dictates of a corrupt and power-hungry government. (2)

Fiscal Responsibility: Christianity teaches that God owns everything and that He entrusts people with various resources — including financial — to use wisely on Earth. The church calls this “good stewardship.” Also, God will hold us eternally responsible for how we steward what He lends us (Matthew 25:14-30), including how we allow the politicians we elect to spend our tax money. The Tea Party principle of fiscal responsibility aligns perfectly with this, because fiscal responsibility is good stewardship. (2)

Free Markets: God created humans to work the Earth and to do so together, maintaining human civilization and bringing glory to Him. Free-market capitalism policed by reasonable penalties for dishonest business practices is the best system under which to achieve this, as the fewer restraints and taxes imposed on businesses and individuals, the freer they are to innovate and create products or services that improve the lives of others. (2)

The fostering of free markets has helped dramatically improve the standard of living of humans across the globe, lifting countless people out of poverty, as technological innovations have allowed for the mass production and delivery of food, modern transportation and borderline miraculous medical care, to name just a few of the widespread benefits. (2)

Those are the basic Tea Party principles. They are what separate We the People from eventually being oppressed by We the Government.

The 2010 Election

This election was the first opportunity for a rag-tag outfit of angry citizens across the Nation to form a loose group of unorganized voters calling themselves a “Tea Party,” without a central leader. This section and the next will be from an article entitled “The tea party’s second act: Was 2010 a steppingstone or a high-water mark?” By Rachel Rose Hartman

                         (Whitney Curtis/AP)

The 2010 midterm elections were marked by ubiquitous images of voters waving Gadsen flags in the sun, women with tea bags hanging from their hat brims, and determined men in Paul Revere costumes shouting proclamations.  (3)

The tea party in 2010 made headlines for its rallies, its anger and its energy. But its most lasting changes came in the form of getting tea party candidates elected to office, sometimes at the peril of establishment Republicans. (3)

Two years ago, tea party supporters in Indiana split between two candidates in the state’s Senate Republican primary. In an example of how 2010 was a learning period for the movement, an umbrella organization called Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate was created to unify the tea party behind a single candidate. (3)

“We were learning the process in 2010,” Monica Boyer, who helped found the group, told Yahoo News of the tea party in general. “We were angry about what was going on, but we didn’t know what to do about it.” (3)

Yes, the result of Tea Party activism was the election of Tea Party candidates to Washington, D.C. and State Capitals; with the will and the backing of the American people. We were not fortunate enough to win every race, but we were realistic and showed that even in defeat, we were a force to contend with. The following article articulates this point.

Which Tea Party Candidates Won?

(ABCNEWS.com)

By MAYA SRIKRISHNAN, JARED PLINER, JENNIFER SCHLESINGER, JOSHUA GOLDSTEIN and HUMA KHAN (@humaik)

Nov. 3, 2010

Candidates backed by the Tea Party scored major victories in Tuesday’s mid-term elections even as some of its most high profile candidates suffered upsets. (4)

From South Carolina to Wisconsin, candidates endorsed by Tea Party groups defeated Democrats in unlikely states. (4)

Nikki Haley became the first woman and Indian-American governor in South Carolina. (4)

One of the biggest Tea Party wins was in Wisconsin, where Republican businessman Ron Johnson defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. (4)

Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist-turned-politician in Kentucky and one of the first major Tea Party candidates, defeated his opponent Democrat Jack Conway despite bitter campaigns that questioned his personal beliefs and ability to lead. (4)

The Tea Party losses, however, were magnified in states that garnered the most attention. (4)

Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware lost by a wide margin to Chris Coons, her Democratic opponent. O’Donnell dominated the national spotlight after she released an ad in which she claimed she is “not a witch.” (4)

Sharron Angle, who won the prime spot to run against Senate majority leader Harry Reid, ultimately lost the election even as voters expressed discontent with the economy and the incumbent himself. (4)

One widely discussed effect of public disenchantment this year was the rise of the Tea Party political movement. In preliminary exit poll results, 41 percent of voters described themselves as supporters of this movement; 21 percent supported it strongly. Thirty-one percent said they opposed the movement; the rest, 24 percent, were “neutral” about it. (4)

In nine Senate exit polls where voters were asked whether they were trying to send a pro-Tea Party message with their vote, no more than about one in four voters said they were. Kentucky and Missouri were at the top of that list. (4)

The 2012 Election

What happened to those people? (Tea Partiers of 2010) (3)

If you ask the people who helped organize the tea party into a movement, they’ll readily concede that tea party rallies this election cycle are not as prolific as they were in 2010. But they say they’re doing one better this year: Instead of simply rallying, they’re organized and on the ground (and on the phone, in your mailbox and on your radio and television) in select states to try to elect tea party candidates to office and effect what they say is “real change.” (3)

“The movement has matured … and we’re now tea party 2.0,” Amy Kremer, chairwoman of Tea Party Express, told Yahoo News. Kremer and other tea party leaders say that while the tea party rose to fame in 2010, that cycle was just a learning period for the movement. (3)

“In 2010, we didn’t have our feet under us,” Brendan Steinhauser, the federal and state campaigns director of FreedomWorks, told Yahoo News. Instead of a “haphazard” plan, as he described it, 2012 will bring a “much more sophisticated approach.” (3)

The movement’s leaders say they plan to do the same this cycle. (3)

“Some folks think the tea party has gone away because they’re not out seeing 5,000 at a time waving ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags,” Indiana Senate challenger and tea party candidate Richard Mourdock told Yahoo News last week. “But where they are, are working as volunteers in campaigns like this campaign.” (3)

If Mourdock, the state treasurer, defeats Sen. Dick Lugar on May 5, he will largely have the tea party to thank. (3)

His campaign fits the tea party narrative: The 36-year Senate veteran Lugar is being portrayed as too moderate for his state, having voted for the bailouts, for President Obama’s stimulus bill, and to confirm Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Mourdock, who sued over the auto bailout, casts himself as a limited-government fiscal conservative. (3)

Late last year, the new organization brought together 55 tea party groups across the state to endorse Mourdock. (3)

She added, “Now we’ve gone into a working mode.” (3)

People from 47 tea party groups are expected to travel to Indianapolis on Saturday, according to Boyer, for an event to get out the vote for Mourdock ahead of Tuesday’s vote. (3)

A loss by Lugar would prove the strength of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate to the state establishment as well as to the nation. (3)

“It would be a victory for conservatism,” Boyer said. “And for the heart and soul of the Republican party.” (3)

Their model for tea-party unity is being replicated in states like Michigan, Oregon and Iowa, Boyer said. (3)

The leaders of national tea party groups, such as Tea Party Express and FreedomWorks, both of which endorsed Mourdock, believe a Lugar loss would immediately “send shock waves” across the country, to use Steinhauser’s words. (3)

Amid the “media narrative: Is the tea party alive? This will put a temporary end to that discussion,” Steinhauser said. “The tea party is alive and well.” (3)

Tea party supporters already achieved one important victory this year. Last month, tea party challenger Dan Liljenquist pushed longtime Sen. Orrin Hatch into a primary in Utah. Liljenquist and his team readily admit he now faces an uphill battle against a well-funded, well-known and experienced lawmaker in a statewide race, but his supporters say his victory was their first taste of winning this year. (3)

“In Utah, people saw that the tea party was alive and well,” Kremer said, adding that people now understand that for the tea party to survive, it must be part of the political process. (3)

“If you want change, you have to change the players,” she said. (3)

The Tea Party Express, which is focused this year on helping Republicans win back the Senate, has endorsed five Senate candidates in addition to Mourdock: Ted Cruz in Texas, Sarah Steelman in Missouri, Jon Bruning in Nebraska, Josh Mandel in Ohio and Tom Smith in Pennsylvania. (3)

FreedomWorks shares some of the same targets, plus additional House and Senate candidates, including incumbents such as Rep. Steve King of Iowa—a tea party star. (3)

Steinhauser identified races in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Missouri, Florida and Maine among those states where FreedomWorks is active. (3)

Both organizations have made the recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker a major focus in the weeks ahead. A Tea Party Express email to supporters Thursday stated:

This election is not only a fight for Wisconsin. It’s a fight for our conservative values nationwide. A win on June 5 will be a referendum on those trying to stifle the voice of the people and hand power back to the big-government public union bosses that want nothing more than complete control of a state’s budget. (3)

Walker, who became a national target of the left last year when he took on public employee unions in his state, faces a recall primary May 8 that he is expected to win handily. The real fight to hold his seat looms on June 5, when he faces a Democratic opponent. (3)

The tea party regards the effort to recall Walker as unfair and unwarranted. (3)

“It’s one thing to recall somebody for not doing their job,” Kremer said. “It’s another to recall them if you have a problem with their ideology.” (3)

With the effort, money and energy the movement has put into Walker’s recall, Mourdock’s primary and other local elections this year, the tea party has effectively turned these races into the determining factor of whether it will be viewed as a major force in politics after 2012. (3)

Even so, the Tea Party Express and select additional groups (but not all) plan to be involved in the presidential race even though Mitt Romney is not regarded as a tea party favorite. (3)

“I will work my heart out,” for whomever wins the nomination, Kremer said. “We can’t afford another four more years of President Obama.” (3)

Tea Party, Christian principles can align   (continued)

Consider, though, our current predicament in light of these principles. Our national government has (4)

  • borrowed (from many nations that don’t respect human rights) and spent us into more than $15 trillion in current debt and tens of trillions of future debt for which there are no funds set aside, totaling more than the money supply of the entire world — a debt our children, their children and beyond have no way to repay; (4)
  • implemented a 72,000-page tax code that rewards and punishes political allies and enemies while stifling innovation and job-creation; (4)
  • foisted heavy regulations on the businesses, forcing many to either close shop or move jobs — or their entire operation — to foreign nations; (4)
  • waged undeclared and expensive (in lives and money) wars with no end or discernible purpose. (4)

These are but several of the countless abuses of power our government has been perpetrating under both political parties for years. If we don’t reverse this trend immediately and dramatically, our government will grow so big and brazen that we’ll soon end up in the exact place the Founders sacrificed so much to avoid. (4)

As a Christian, I work with the Tea Party to advance those core principles that would help stop these abuses (and others) and restore some semblance of responsibility to the government we’ve entrusted with our national care. (4)

Serving these principles is a way to love God and my neighbors because everyone, regardless of political beliefs, benefits from a constitutionally limited government that is fiscally responsible and allows people to freely work to care for their families and others. (4)

While Rep. Waters may wield earthly power over me, fortunately for my soul, God controls eternity. And with the staggering crises our nation faces, I’m not willing to go before Him saying that I didn’t use the freedom He gave me to stand against abuses that are incrementally enslaving those who bear His image to a power-hungry, fiscally reckless government. (4)

Jonathan Wakefield is a board member of the Richmond Tea Party. He is the author of “Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement” (releases April 15) and of the novel “Fatal Reality.” He will be selling and signing advanced copies of “Saving America” during the Celebrate Liberty event at the Chesterfield Fairgrounds on April 14. Visit his websites at http://www.jonathanwakefield.com and http://www.teapartyforchristians.com. Wakefield works in IT at Media General, the parent company of the Times-Dispatch. His column does not necessarily represent the views of Media General or any of its subsidiaries. (4)

Now that you have an understanding of the Tea Party, try this quiz. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/page?id=11701935

References:

  1. Beginning of the Tea Party Movement   http://www.24thstate.com/2010/09/the-tea-party-is-about-principles-not-political-parties.html
  2. Tea Party, Christian principles can align   http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/commentary/2012/apr/08/tdcomm01-by-joining-the-tea-party-i-have-been-priv-ar-1824768/
  3. The tea party’s second act: Was 2010 a steppingstone or a high-water mark?    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/tea-party-second-act-2010-steppingstone-high-water-171024378.html
  4. Which Tea Party Candidates Won?    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/2010_Elections/vote-2010-elections-tea-party-winners-losers/story?id=12023076

 

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About Cincinnati Political Activism

*Graduated from Columbia College, Columbia, MO with a BAAJ degree in Administration of Justice. *U.S. Navy Veteran of 15 years. Medical separation. Rank of Chief Petty Officer. *Married and Father of two. *Born Again Christian

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My name is Jack Pierce and I am interested in politics. I used to say that "if you are not helping to elect local politicians, then you deserve what you get". I am fed up with what we get and I want to make a difference. Join Me.

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