Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My first tea party - Updated

Last night my daughter was surprised that I was going to a tea party. She probably thought the same as my son, who believed I was at a tea party with my niece (who has probably outgrown those parties). Surprisingly, when I searched on the Internet for details I found out they still have those kinds of tea parties in Laurens County, a southern genteel county about 30 miles from my home.

Instead, this tea party was reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party held in 1773. If you're a Mary Poppins fan, you know the initial event made the tea undrinkable, even for Americans. But more than that, it signaled a rebellion, a rebellion against a government that didn't listen to the people it governed. The current day tea parties, over 2000 scheduled to have occurred by the end of this week, also signal a rebellion -- a rebellion against government spending and a change in the philosophy of this country.

During the meeting that lasted slightly over an hour, I tried to keep myself from becoming engrossed in the speeches and to report the details. My goal was to learn what was really going on and to listen carefully to what was said. A good bit of the meeting was simply political presentations: one man running for congress, another for Lt. Governor, a state senator and a US Congressman. Much of it toed the right wing of the Republican Party line - anti-abortion, defense of marriage and anti-Obama.

But there were also some good points that were brought out that require more research - a call for thinner waste lines on government (pardon the pun), more transparency in government, accusations of overstepped constitutional bounds (discussion on six provisions in the Constitution given to government).

One of the most impressive speakers was Bill Connor, candidate for Lt Governor. Connor spent some time in Afghanistan serving our country in our efforts there. For that alone he garnered my respect. He also gained my attention when he spoke of the difference in English view of taxes and American views (fodder for another post). While I didn't agree with everything he said, I want to follow this man and see what his candidacy will look like.

Another speaker, Bobby Smith, Chairman of the Laurens County Republican Party pointed out that effort started with the individual, that we must not allow the government to be the source of our provisions. In a poor county like Laurens, this is a difficult step for a lot of people. Smith admitted this in his speech, but encouraged everyone to make the step. With the way the government rules over those it helps (see here), we should all heed those words.

The final speaker was Dr. Tony Beam, pastor and local talk radio host. Beam's speech outlined what I believe is the focal point for the tea party - it's not about taxes, it's about tyranny. His notes will be posted on the 'net later this week, once I find them I'll post a link.

To summarize, the tea party was a success. I counted close to 150 people and probably missed some (a local report said 200 - I don't doubt it). I hope to attend another party later in the week, maybe even two. My goal is to understand what is really going on and what all the talk is about. I'll report more of the ideas later.

* Update - Tony Beam's speech can be found here.


Brooke said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Randy. It was nice to hear about your experience.

MojoSteve the Lightningman said...

I *so* want to go to tomorrow's event in downtown Charleston. I even entertained the thought of writing something to read to the massed throngs, but alas...Wednesday is one of our busiest days at work and I won't get done till about 4:30 and things start at 5. No time to clean up & look presentable, and then there's parking and the crowds and what not....and even on a good day it takes me 90 minutes to get home from work, so if I stay awhile down there and then try to fight my way out of there to get home without it being 10PM and missing dinner.....you get the picture. Living way out in the sticks has its disadvantages...

Chance said...

it's not about taxes, it's about tyranny.I think this is a key point. Conservatives need to get across the idea that it's not that we just want to hold on to more of our money, but taxes are a symbol and an effect of a gov't that has more and more control of our lives.

"The Edge" said...

I've got my tea bag ready to mail in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.......

Ju said...

What was probably the icing on the cake for the tea parties was when Rick Perry, Texas' governor stated that Texas can secede from the union. That will draw a lot of attention but more importantly it sends the message that these movements are serious for such strong words to be used. While the media will say they Texas does not have the right to do this outright (there are some court cases which agree, there are certain paths they can take to get this goal).

While they do not have the right to do this outright, there are certain paths they can take to get this goal. Come on, you know this is possible because this is the same country which gives exceptions to tax cheats through cleaver legal

Really it is just using the legal system creatively.

Texas probably has the best chance at success. Here is just one way how it can work. The annexation agreement made when Texas joined the union provided that Texas would be able to divide into 5 states. This would create 8 more conservative Senators.

If Texas were to try to divide and be rebuffed, the US would be in violation of the agreement and Texas should be able to go free.

It is not all that far fetched.

Regardless of the TX situation, the movement was larger than expected. And it is just a start because the thing about grass roots is that it will only take hold, grow and spread.

Some pics here:


Randy said...

Ju, thanks for visiting. I heard about the possibility of Texas leaving this morning. I hadn't heard details, but I'll look at it more.

All, This was Ju's fist visit and I feel an obligation to my readers to "test" any URL's left on my blog. I clicked on the link and it's safe for work and small kids. Check out his information for more details on the tea parties.