It's the T - E - A Party

Suzann Darnall

There are two things I think the liberal media and Progressive Far Left need to remember about what they have come to call the tea party or Tea Party. Which they also demonize as the far right wing extremists driving the GOP.

The first is that it is the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party. The people aligned with it are mainly concerned with the excessive taxation and that those monies are then frittered away with so much fraud, waste, and abuse in government.

The second thing the Progressives need to recall is the makeup of the TEA Party rallies. We were not and are not just Republicans. We are Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Independents, Democrats, and more. We are young, old, black, brown, white, rich, poor, male, female, and so on.

Mostly what we are is frustrated! Frustrated that our voices and opinions have been too much ignored for far too long. We are Main Street AND Back Road telling Wall Street AND 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that we don't want more bailouts OR handouts. We want a return to fiscal and personal responsibility. From all levels of society and government.

While there are differences within TEA Party groups, just as the individuals making up the groups vary from person to person, we are united about taxes. We want them lowered! We want Washington DC and local governments to learn about budgets and spending caps and limits. We want them to live like we do: within our means!

We want government to curb its appetite for never-ending spending. We want government to get its collective hand out of our pockets! We want government to remember that it is our income, not their revenue. Our money, not theirs!!!

Right now there is a hard push by the liberal media and Progressive spokespersons to lump the TEA Party with the Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS). Saying they are just opposite arms of the same movement. I personally not only disagree, but take great offense at this comparison.

For one thing, we never occupied any site to the point of leaving it in shambles. OWS has done the following, as well as much more: parks strewn with litter and human waste; roads being blocked; buildings being burned; businesses being shut down; and citizens being inconvenienced. Many times it has been noted that TEA Party members left their rally sites cleaner than when they arrived. Not only packing out their trash, but picking up other litter as they went.

Also, in the experience of myself and my family members, at those TEA Party rallies we attended, there were no arrests, no violence, no theft, no public sex, no apparent substance abuse, and no public defecation or urination. In short, none of the acts which are getting OWS on the news no matter which part of the country they are demonstrating in.

While I strongly believe in the right to protest, I also believe in the rights of law-abiding citizens to have access to their communities without being inconvenienced and intimidated by law-breakers. When so-called demonstrations become perpetual propaganda parties of illegal activity, it is time for the protestors to go home and let citizens who belong in the areas get back to their lives. Peaceful rallies are one thing; violent demonstrations are something else entirely.

Most TEA Party members are doing the majority of their "protesting" at the polls. They are voting against tax hikes at all levels of government. It was seen recently in Colorado where a temporary tax hike to fund public education lost by a landslide 30%! In Texas there were 10 proposed amendments to the Texas State Constitution. Among the few that failed was the one proposing a new tax. The recent political victories in Virginia are specifically being credited to TEA Party enthusiasm and organization.

It isn't just tax issues and elections being affected by the TEA Party movement. The TEA Party organizations and members are changing aspects of the political landscape and way of doing business in many areas. Michigan is seeing a shift in people interested in running for office seeking not just Republican or Democrat support, but going to the local TEA Party caucus for endorsements. Polls show that most people believe the TEA Party influence will have a significant effect on the 2012 elections. One big difference is the way Independents are being engaged in the process in a way not usually seen in our primarily two-party system.

While OWS seems to be fading away, whether as a result of the cold weather, crackdowns by communities, or simply boredom, the TEA Party seems to be here to stay. A force to be reckoned with as we move closer to 2012. Like those patriots of 1773, we are willing to board the ships of government and throw the unwanted excesses of taxation overboard. We will not go quietly into serfdom. We will be recognized as citizens and not merely taxpayers.

So, the liberal media and the Far Left Progressives might want to read the news stories from 2010 and 2011 to learn a few more facts about who and what the TEA Party really is. It is possible we are the future. Not the far right. Not the far left. Not even just the center. But the main body of American citizens . . . who are seemingly fiscally conservative.

© Suzann C. Darnall, NOVEMBER 2011

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