The Tea Party Needs to Remain Unplugged

There's something in a people's movement that resists being defined by an outside power structure -- whether it's academia, political parties or the media.

Ever since Rick Santelli's  impassioned simple call from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February 2009, the ideas and principles of the American Revolution have been quoted, blogged about, embraced and debated.  The United States Constitution found a new, 21st century instrument of dissemination--the American Tea Party. 

By the summer of 2009 beautiful, glorious, non-violent dissent was in the air. Everyday people gathered at town halls and exercised that most miraculous of all rights: the right to be heard without fear of retribution.

When those in power felt threatened by the groundswell of freedom-loving citizens, they tried to discredit the uprising by accusing the indefinite movement of being financed and organized by the Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi never did present any evidence for her Astroturf theory, and that accusation went nowhere. Needless to say, insult after insult followed with the now legendary charge of racism becoming weak from falsity and overuse.

Now, the 2,500 tea party groups that meet in small towns and big cities have a sacred, humble task in front of them-to remain true to the original intent of the ordinary, hard-working taxpayers that spoke out and challenged their elected representatives this past year.

The earnest and sincere Michele Bachman recently initiated the Tea Party Caucus on Capitol Hill with forty-nine House members. She stated that the caucus "will be a listening ear to the tea party and nothing more." 

Bachman, FreedomWorks and other well-connected and well-financed entities are no doubt guided by a love of country, but their involvement in the tea party movement is unwise at best. The opposition has been schooled in "freezing targets." The Tea Party's David vs. Goliath courage has come from its simplicity, its anonymity, and its method of attraction rather than promotion. The Alinskyites can deal with anything but a vibrant, spiritual and constantly moving force that defies the odds.

If the leaders of various tea party groups remember that they are servants of the people, and that they should guard against affiliations with any established individuals or parties, then the groups will grow stronger.  Otherwise, they will put themselves at risk of diversion from their primary principles. Plugging in to any power source will compromise the autonomous and unconscious spirit that has defined the movement until now.

So, thanks, but no thanks to the newly formed Congressional Tea Party Caucus. The stakes are too high to connect ourselves to such a volatile outlet as Washington politicians. 
There's something in a people's movement that resists being defined by an outside power structure -- whether it's academia, political parties or the media.

Ever since Rick Santelli's  impassioned simple call from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in February 2009, the ideas and principles of the American Revolution have been quoted, blogged about, embraced and debated.  The United States Constitution found a new, 21st century instrument of dissemination--the American Tea Party. 

By the summer of 2009 beautiful, glorious, non-violent dissent was in the air. Everyday people gathered at town halls and exercised that most miraculous of all rights: the right to be heard without fear of retribution.

When those in power felt threatened by the groundswell of freedom-loving citizens, they tried to discredit the uprising by accusing the indefinite movement of being financed and organized by the Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi never did present any evidence for her Astroturf theory, and that accusation went nowhere. Needless to say, insult after insult followed with the now legendary charge of racism becoming weak from falsity and overuse.

Now, the 2,500 tea party groups that meet in small towns and big cities have a sacred, humble task in front of them-to remain true to the original intent of the ordinary, hard-working taxpayers that spoke out and challenged their elected representatives this past year.

The earnest and sincere Michele Bachman recently initiated the Tea Party Caucus on Capitol Hill with forty-nine House members. She stated that the caucus "will be a listening ear to the tea party and nothing more." 

Bachman, FreedomWorks and other well-connected and well-financed entities are no doubt guided by a love of country, but their involvement in the tea party movement is unwise at best. The opposition has been schooled in "freezing targets." The Tea Party's David vs. Goliath courage has come from its simplicity, its anonymity, and its method of attraction rather than promotion. The Alinskyites can deal with anything but a vibrant, spiritual and constantly moving force that defies the odds.

If the leaders of various tea party groups remember that they are servants of the people, and that they should guard against affiliations with any established individuals or parties, then the groups will grow stronger.  Otherwise, they will put themselves at risk of diversion from their primary principles. Plugging in to any power source will compromise the autonomous and unconscious spirit that has defined the movement until now.

So, thanks, but no thanks to the newly formed Congressional Tea Party Caucus. The stakes are too high to connect ourselves to such a volatile outlet as Washington politicians. 

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