Post Tea Party Commentary

So here we are, post tea parties…for now.  More are coming, of that I have no doubt.  Since that’s the case, I wanted to offer a few of my own personal observations on this amazing event.

First, there’s a lot of people asking “where were you when Bush was pushing for TARP?”  First, I’d like answer that I was in the exact same place.  I had the opportunity to speak at the Albany Tea Party.   Speakers focused on different things, but I focused on bailouts of banks, car companies, and people who bought homes they couldn’t afford.  Obama didn’t cause this crisis, that I’ll agree with 100%.  However, his policies aren’t going to end it either.

A great number of people at the Albany Tea Party made a point of saying that BOTH parties up in Washington were responsible for the mess we’re in.  And no, these weren’t just Libertarians.  These were people from various walks of life and political affiliations.    They were just as sick of the spending as I am, and I’m thrilled to have them as allies.

There’s been a lot of talk about Republicans co-opting the tea parties as a way to try and build back momentum.  Here’s the thing to keep in mind.  Tax protestors are now energized.  We’ve been part of something beyond my imagination just a few months ago. There have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 tea parties in the United States today.  Never in my life have so many locales coordinated in protest.  My mother, who vividly remembers the civil rights marches and anti-war protests of the 1960’s can’t either.  3,000 different places.

My point is, so what if Republicans tried to co-opt the message.  All over the place, people were focusing on the message of taxation and spending, rather than partisan BS.  Republicans can try and hijack the message, and they’ll fail.  We Libertarians are the largest party in the United States that had nothing at all to do with this mess, and that will come out in time.

As for the allegations of funding for the tea parties from wealthy Repubicans, I’m looking forward to the check for my speaking fee! (this bit blatantly ripped off from another speaker at the Albany tea party).  However, I don’t think I’ll ever see a dime from it, and I’m very OK with that.

Regardless of the backstory, something amazing happened today.  A coordinated protest the likes of which we’ve never seen took place.  People from all walks of life gathered to be heard.  The quesion is, does anyone in Washington even care?


9 Responses

  1. Helen Blocker Adams from my blog spoke at the Augusta Tea Party and said it was a great event.

    Think the Albany TV coverage was solid for the Dougerty and Lee.

  2. I was a little disappointed in WALB’s coverage. They lumped the two tea parties together in their report and didn’t show much of anything with what was going on. WFXL had, I felt, much better coverage.

    I guess we should probably be happy we had coverage at all 🙂

  3. Small Town Leesburg, a city of 2600, hosted a tea rally, the final numbers are in, we had over 500 people fed up with government not listening, spending, bailouts and taxes. These people came from all over. I don’t care what any one says, but this was 100% grassroots. Self funded and not from any political oranization. Yes, there were some complaints, needed more tables, lines were too long to sign a petition, need to have clip boards, better sound system, would have a better responce if not on church night. But when the same people were asked, it great for a first time orgainizer. Next time, it will only be better. I have received 2 offers for use of portable sound systems, more offers of help and support. It was worth all the time and effort.

  4. Completely agree. Though next time, I might suggest to stay on point with a taxes/spending issue only and not delve so much into the FairTax and theocratic beliefs.

  5. Oh yeah, and next time SWGALP will have multiple people ready and willing to speak, just let us know! 🙂

  6. All this Libertarian psycho-babble is all well and good. But until the LP decides to grow up and become a real political party it will continue to be the usual 2-5 percent vote getter in a three way race. You build a party from the bottom up, not the top down. The GOP did this but has since lost touch with it. Elect city councils, school boards, commissioners and legislators before you worry about governors and senators.

  7. CCR:

    Actually, you’ll find that SWGALP is working to do it exactly the way you describe. We’re organizing to get an official affiliate going right now, and then our current plans are to spread the word and grow our following over the course of the 2010 midterm election before hopefully running a few local candidates on our own in 2012 and beyond.

    I personally completely concur with your statements, and in fact have already been encouraging some who would want to directly oppose a certain US Senator in 2010 to instead go for at MOST a State Representative spot.

  8. So, the Tea Party push for “change” got me thinking and I wrote this blog post today:

  9. CCR,

    At the risk of sounding a lot like Publius, I agree. I personally feel that while the idea of a Libertarian running for President is all fine and good to build visibility, it is at the local level that we must focus our efforts.

    I see it this way: If your local affiliates are strong, the state level will take care of itself. If the states are strong, the national will take care of itself. But without local support, there’s NO ONE to vote Libertarian. This is, I feel, one of the biggest blunders that many Libertarians make. They expect a Libertarian Revolution, and it’s just not going to happen that way. We have to approach it right, and then we’ve got a shot.

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