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Monday, April 20, 2009

What the Tea Party Means to Me

I have been asked this question many times, since the First Tea Party in Tulsa on February 27, 2009,
"How did you get involved with the Tea Party?" 
Well, I wasn't intending to be the organizer, and I am not some "Great Leader", I am just an American Patriot, who woke up one day, and realized that my country was being taken over by the very thing that I had joined the Army out of high school to fight against! We were slowly being made into a Socialist nation, through the passing of legislation, and the manipulation of our economy, and it seemed like there was no end in sight! First President Bush, and TARP, then the "Stimulus" Package was passed with little, to no review or debate, and finally, the mortgage bailout. I didn't know what to do, but I knew something had to be done!
 Then I saw this:
And I was moved to action by these words! This video spread like "WILDFIRE" on Twitter, and people like the TCOT (TopConservativesonTwitter) started talking about doing Tea parties in cities around the country. So I asked,
"Is anyone doing one in Tulsa? I would like to help!"
For three days, I kept "tweeting" that question. Then, on Sunday, I received the response,
"Why don't YOU organize one!"
My initial response was, "NO WAY!" But, then I started thinking about it. "Why not?"  I thought, "How hard can it be?"  So, I decided to go ahead and try. I called the Tulsa Parks Department, and got permission to use Veteran's Park.  So, I had a venue, but noone to speak at it, and no way to get the word out. that's when several fantastic people contacted me, and pointed me in the right direction. I finally ended up with a good lineup of speakers, and some much needed help from local Talk Radio Station KRMG, and their morning host Joe Kelley. Now, we just had to wait and see if anyone would come out! The weather had been beautiful all week, but Friday morning came, and the wind chill was 15 degrees! I thought we were sunk! I arrived about an hour early at the Park, and already there were 10-15 people there with signs, and sign making materials, to help us get started. By the time we started, there were over 200 people there, and by the end, we had close to 400! I was amazed at the phenomenal turnout, and support! Nationwide, over 50 cities, with nearly 30,000 people, had started something that would begin to grow!

What Now?
That was the question after that modest success, and I immediately turned my attentions on
organizing the next rally, set for April 15th, Tax Day. Now, other cities were waking up, and
climbing on board! Conservative groups all across the nation began promoting the teaparties, 
and eventually, National Talk Radio caught on! Locally, a different conservative Talk Radio station,
KFAQ 1170, jumped on board, and began promoting the teaparty heavily. Eventually even bringing
in a National Talk Radio Host, John Gibson, of Fox News. KRMG also promoted another Tea Party in
another part of town. We also added an evening event, anding up with three locations in Tulsa.
This was all WAY too much for me, so I asked for, and got, volunteers to form an organizing committee.
We set about getting things set up, including a website.
The Tax Day Tea Party was a HUGE Success! Between the three locations, we ended up with over 7000 
people attending! 
Now, we ask the question again:
What's Next?
I believe that this movement must now begin to bring into focus, what we believe in, and begin
finding, or spawning, candidates for office that TRULY believe in these principles!

1) All forms of government must abide by the boundaries set forth in state
and federal constitutions.

2) All pork and earmarks in the stimulus, omnibus bills, and bailouts must
be reversed and repealed. The national budget must be balanced. Spending
cuts, not increased taxation should be used to balance the budget.

3) Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness implies personal
responsibility, not handouts, free-enterprise and capitalism, not government
controlled economies. Some people choose to be irresponsible (and of course
some fall on hard times due to circumstances), but it is not the
responsibility of the general public, vis-a-vis government intervention, to
guarantee or bailout irresponsibility and failure. Private individuals and
organizations give out of compassion and generosity, not compulsion through
taxation, laws, and pork barrel projects.

4)ALL elected and appointed officials are under the employment and serve at
the will of We the People. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Government of the
People, by the People and for the People”.

5) Excessive tax burdens kill prosperity.

6)Excessive national debt is generational theft, and stealing the future of
our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

7)Neither major political party is “clean” on these issues. Both Democrats
and Republicans have taxed excessively and neither have
restrained the hand of government effectively. There are certainly
individual representatives who have been faithful to their constituents and
to the Constitution. However, too many are engaged in protecting their
congressional positions and turf. The majority of government officials have
insulated themselves from the people they serve, and hold themselves above
the law. We are simply saying, “No, you aren’t above the law”.  Stay within
the Constitution, or we will retire you at the next election.

8 ) The American public at large is ignorant of the purpose of government,
the founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. As a result,
they allow politicians to sell them false hope and “rights” and
“entitlements” that are not guaranteed by the Constitution.   By educating
the American people on the foundations of our history, we hope to bring
sanity to the election and legislative processes.

9)As a group, we are appalled at the audaciousness and arrogance of our government in the last few years, particularly the proposals and billspassed in the last few months, despite massive public disapproval.

The Tea Party is a wake-up call to all Americans!

I can tell you what the principles are, but who are the candidates? Who is going to step into the gap, and
challenge the status quo? Who is going to take the risk, and invest the time, and effort, and
personal sacrifice, to run for office against the career politicians who currently dominate the
landscape? Who has the COURAGE of their CONVICTIONS? I ask again
"Who has the COURAGE of their CONVICTIONS?!?"

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