There has been quite a bit of discussion about who attended the TEA Parties, and questions like ‘what do you want?’ have been pretty popular. When you have a true grass roots effort – like this one – there are bound to be different, sometimes disorganized messages. Hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it certainly should prove this is not a well funded and organized effort by Fox News or the GOP.
Since April 15, we had the CNN interview, but we’ve also got the St. Louis Fox station reporting the Constitution Party – a group referred to as radical and extremist – ran the TEA Party protest (lie) and David Axelrod stating the TEA Parties are unhealthy, and so far they are just expressions. Plenty of stories implied protesters have no clue about what’s going on.
This is a movement with – quite honestly – no leadership. There are plenty of very good state and local leaders that are giving up their time to organize these events, but there is no common message. The media and the left is taking advantage of it.
I’m describing these events – to those who will listen – as the tipping point. Remember $4 gasoline last summer? That event was called a tipping point that changed the behavior of Americans.
The culmination of the bailouts and stimulus packages created this tipping point. If the government wondered how far they could push, they may have found they went too far.
I did not attend one of the TEA parties, but if I did go, I’d have this Top 5 talking point list ready for the media.
- The federal government has too much power. They are spending money they are not authorized to spend per the U.S. Constitution. This puts elected leaders at the federal level – especially those involved with appropriations – in very powerful positions. If your state wants federal dollars for a special project, you’re asked by your leaders to contribute to the political action committees and election funds for representatives and senators from other states. Example – Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Congressional approval ratings are at 21 percent and 43 percent of voters think most members of Congress are corrupt.
- As the federal government provides funding for schools, brick crosswalks, entertainment centers and local police departments, the cities and towns get “hooked” on that funding and expect it – and more – in following years. Without the funding in the future, they suffer. A perfect example is Congress pulling funding for DC vouchers. Today, those families are learning the hard way; what the government gives, they can take away.
- If I told you just two year ago the federal government would be officially backing car warranties for GM – and GM would promote that fact in advertising – you’d think I was nuts.
- The federal government – and liberals – want to create a dependency on government. By providing funding for everything from education to health care to retirement, they enforce the nanny state; you need government to take care of you. Seat belt, helmet and trans-fat laws are good examples. By the way, you don’t need guns since the trained police have them and they will take care of you – that is their job.
- The government may not be able to take your guns away, but what they (liberals, schools, media…) do seem effective in doing is shaming Americans into thinking that our “gun culture” is a bad thing. As an example, I was at a retailer to buy ammunition for a training class. I had 20 boxes in my hand-held carrier in the check-out lane, and a boy – maybe 8 years of age – asked his dad what was in all the boxes. Dad did not answer, I did not answer. The store clerk lied to the kid. What does that tell you?
The TEA Parties must focus on bringing control and spending authority back to the states and communities. I’d even be fine with the government as a whole collecting the same amount of money (2008 levels) from taxpayers, but cut federal expenses to include only U.S. Constitution authorized spending. Then, drop federal taxes and let the states, cities and local towns jack up taxes to cover what they loose in federal dollars.
This would immediately put states, cities and towns in competition for business (residents) as they try to provide service, on time all the time; at the lowest justifiable cost; at the highest justifiable quality. Sure, they try to do that now, but since local leaders can blame everything on a lack of or reduction in federal support, there is no accountability.
Exit questions. Do you know the names of the members of your town council (or equivalent)? Do you know the members of the school board? How about the town manager? Your state representative? State senator?
I’m willing to bet 80 percent of the voters you ask do not know who those people are, and that’s the biggest problem we face. Because states, cities and towns are so dependent on federal dollars, we tend to – and at this point must – bitch, moan and complain about our inside-the-beltway leaders. Severing our dependency on the federal government, and on government in general, may allow us to reverse that trend.