Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | April 22, 2009

Reflections on the Tea Party

I spoke at the gathering of about 500 people in Newport News, Virginia.  I saw a few of the usual crowd of Conservative Republican buddies.  And a lot of people I’d never seen before in my life.  When they spoke, here is what I heard.

  • Personal not partisan.   The political outrage was personal, not partisan.  Even though some Republican tax and spend pols have tried to get out in front of the Tea Party passion – like Cong. Rob Wittman at the one where I spoke in NN –  the folks I listened to -blamed the Republicans for starting the disastrous turn of events and Democrats for taking them too far.   The Tea Party wasn’t R vs D.  Although the Rs have the most to gain in the next election cycle if new candidates run as Constitutional Republicans.  Folks have just had it.  Enough taxing and spending.  Enough from Richmond and enough from Washington.
  • Informed on the issues.  The folks knew what was happening.  They think – and feel – like their country and their children’s future is threatened by socialism.  Even if you call socialism ‘change’.    Or ‘hope’.   They know their issues.
  • Don’t know what to do.  The folks know enought to know where to go to protest for the first time in their lives.  They have no idea how to get involved in the party politics to nominate a candidate – a Constitutionalist – and get them elected.  No clue.   They are frustrated about not knowing what to do.   They are looking for direction.  And leaders.


  1. I just hope that Rs stop acting like Ds until then I won’t EVER vote for Rs again.

  2. Thanks for your comment. We’ll see. Power corrupts.

  3. A great many people will act if they see something specific they can do that has some prospect of yielding concrete results. Generally, leaders try to channel that energy by focusing it upon themselves (Obama, for example). If Tea Party organizers yield to temptation to “solve” our nation’s problems by wrapping their hopes up in a particular candidate, they will lose.

    There is no simple solution. We must organize to further specific changes, and we must see the solution in our own obedience to honorable, Godly behavior. We must each become involved in our communities and in community politics. That is the only way we can throw out the foolish politicians who will not stop and reverse the insane growth of government.

  4. CT: Let me give a bit more nuanced agreement. My point is that the only thing that counts is the exercise of political power – as the means to ends. That = money and/or votes.

    We – Constitutional Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents – need candidates to run for offices at all levels to accomplish the ends we support – issue by issue.

    Of course, we should not put our trust in men. New candidates will be corrupted as much as old conservatives. If we elect 10 folks – 8 or 9 of them will need to go in a few years. Our government is designed for men as they are – not angels or even good men.

    You can analyze ‘what is to be done’ in a time line of months, years, etc.

    Specific issues are good for election cycles – like cut taxes, cut spending and reform entitlements.

    The most fundamental thing that will change everything is if more voters became daily Bible readers. Biblical literacy can bring wisdom.

    After that, there is much to be done in historical and political education.

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