Letters of Liberty
                                                                          The Tea Party  

                I am not sure where this group originated, maybe it was a combination of several things that have been eating away at the American people for a long time.  Perhaps one catalyst that ignited this frustration was due in part by our elected officials speaking down to us.  Telling us what we should do or feel rather than let the average citizen make up his or her mind.   Americans are capable of making decisions and controlling their lives without government interference.

I was curious about the individuals and the agenda of this new tea party movement.  While visiting my daughter one weekend she informed me of a tea party event that was taking place that day not far from her home, so we both decided to experience the tea party first hand.  I was both curious and skeptical of what I would encounter.

                As we walked down the grassy field I was struck by the large number of people in attendance, far more than I anticipated.  Looking around the crowd, I noticed the variety of individuals standing or sitting on the hillside; young and old, men and women, different racial backgrounds all listening to the different speakers on September 12, 2009.  Some had hand crafted signs that were painted on cardboard or wood they were not manufactured by any organization but produced by the individuals.  Some examples of these signs are as follows:

                                Audit the Fed

                                No Government Health Care

                                Reduce the Deficit

                                Lower Taxes

                                Cut Government Spending

                                Protect 2nd Amendment Rights

                                Smaller Government

                                No More Bail Outs

                Between different speakers, I slowly walked around and began to speak with individuals attending the event in hopes of learning more about this new movement.  Both young and old seemed to provide the same answers.  They were primarily concerned about the rising debt, the failing economy and jobs, recent bail outs, and stimulus plans.  They blamed both major parties for the current “mess” and want another party which would provide a different direction for the country.  The “Tea Party Revolution” is primarily fueled by the failure of the major parties to recruit candidates who are qualified to solve our current problems.

                In 2010, I attended another Tea Party rally in Westmoreland County, PA.  I was there primarily to obtain signature for my nomination papers, but I could not help observe both the number of people in attendance and the signs they were carrying. 

                                Repeal Obama Care

                                Smaller Government

                                Reduce Taxes

                                Audit the Federal Reserve

                                Clean Sweep

                                Cut Government Spending

                                Pay Down the Debt

                                Balanced Budget Amendment

                                Term Limits

                Although both events hosted approximately the same number of people, the last rally had a larger group of people holding “Balanced Budget” and “Term Limit” signs than I had not noticed the year before.  One of the guest speakers even made remarks about the need for a balanced budget amendment which I had not heard at the previous rally.  I shall address these two concerns in forthcoming letters.

                To compete with the two major parties the Tea Party will need to do something the parties have failed to do; find qualified candidates.  They need money and time to search every county and city to unearth the most qualified candidates who are willing to enter the political arena.  While candidates most often identify problems that face us, they must also be able to solve them.  If the Tea Pparty only produces candidates that point fingers and complain about our current or future problems, they will be the same as the major parties; however, if they resist the factions and passions mentioned earlier and focus on your core Constitutional principles along with selecting leaders not followers, then they will perhaps succeed.