What is the “Tea Party?”
A lot of people want to know, exactly, “What is the Tea Party?” First it is not going away, as some Democrats, and maybe a few Republicans, would want you to believe. I believe we can clear the air, and share what the history of what the Tea Party is and what it means.
The Tea Party IS:
- Loose affiliation of grassroots political organizations
- “We the People”
The key, foundational principles supported by the Tea Party organizations ARE:
- Smaller, Limited Government
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Free Markets
- Lower Taxes
How the “Tea Party” Started
In January 2009, a stock trader Graham Makohoniuk, posted an informal message on www.market-ticker.org that invited traders to mail teabags to every member of Congress in protest for those who voted for the bail-out stimulus bill of 2008. He replicated a tactic used by the Libertarian Party in 1973.
Stephanie Jasky loved the teabag idea and extended a formal invitation to the entire forum to stage a “Commemorative Tea Party” modeled after the historical Boston Tea Party in 1773. Everyone agreed to send teabags in a coordinated effort on February 1, 2009. The founder of www.market-ticker.org, Karl Denniger, was on Glenn Beck and CNBC Reports, and relayed the idea of a “Tea Party”. In addition, Dave Ramsey of Fox News, Fox and Friends, waved teabags on the February 11th taping saying “It’s time for a Tea Party”. The word spread and protests were organized independently across the U.S., urging people to convene and bring signs and teabags. On February 19, 2009, CNBC Business News Network editor Rick Santelli criticized the government and famously ranted about a “Chicago Tea Party in July”. The next day, guests on Fox News had begun to mention the new “Tea Party”. At the same time, about 50 national Conservative leaders participated in a conference call that gave birth to the national Tea Party movement!
What the “Tea Party” is Not
It’s not a party, it is non-partisan (Conservative is not a party, it’s a philosophy); there is no central organization, and Tea Party groups retain the freedom to operate as they see fit. NO single entity speaks for the Tea Party as a whole.
In addition, the Tea Party is NOT:
- Racist, Terrorist or Ignorant
- Going Away
- Going Straight to Hell
- Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Tea Party Express (although they all represent the philosophy of the TEA Party quite well)
The Tea Party is “We the People”, and is open to all people’s; anyone tired of bigger government, over-bearing government regulations (not “no regulations”), increased and added taxes, anything not supported by the Constitution, or any of the other fundamental principles stated above. We The People are the Tea Party!
Bogus Tea Party Organizations
Just because someone creates an organization and adds the name “Tea Party”, does not make them true “Tea Party”. Remember the basic principles; if a “Tea Party” organization does not support those basic principles or supports candidates that do not support those basic principles, then they are not part of what was started back in 2008 and early 2009. They are not Tea Party anything! There are many groups that will put “Tea Party” in their name, but only to take advantage of the phenomenal success of the real Tea Party. How do you know? How can one be sure they are helping a true “Tea Party” organization? First, do not just listen to the leaders of the group! Apply your own test to gauge if they follow and support the principles the Tea Party was founded on. Do the candidates they endorse and support follow the principles of the founding of the Tea Party? Do they exclude someone that doesn’t agree with “their” personal philosophies & principles verses the real “Tea Party” principles? If you are honest with yourself, if the answers to any of the questions are not what you expected, you will know they are not a “Tea Party” organization. If any answer is in doubt, then find a “We the People” Tea Party organization and get involved. This election will decide the direction of our country! Don’t be fooled by friendships, words, or mislead ideology; stick to organizations that support the Tea Party founding principles 100% to the “Tea”.