There may not be demonstrations filling the streets right now, but don’t be fooled. The spirit of the Tea Party lives on like an underground river. You can’t see its strength, but it is there, raging on and unstoppable.
The citizens of America who support the values of the Tea Party Movement might also be called the “Silent Majority,” a term from a previous era. These people are the heart and soul of America, and it is this group that will save our country.
As a descendant of one of the original American patriots, I am a Son of the Sons of Liberty. I have always considered myself part of the Tea Party Movement. I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, fiscal responsibility, and traditional American values. Of course, these are all things that the Progressive Socialists in power (some people call them Democrats) are against.
I never became a real fan – or a member – of any of the multiple Tea Party organizations that sprouted from nowhere when the movement began. The founders of these groups have turned them into money-making businesses and they do well in their efforts to promote themselves. I am sure they are sincere in a lot of ways, but the minute that profit and/or the potential for fame enter the picture, there are bound to be questions about motive.
Whenever I see one of the Tea Party organization leaders as a talking head on television, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable that they are trying to speak on my behalf. Sometimes they take positions that I don’t fully agree with or support a candidate that I don’t like, but because they speak for a “group,” the media labels them “Tea Party spokesmen.”
The real success of the Tea Party Movement will be its lack of a formal organization. It doesn’t need to be a corporation or a political party. It doesn’t need a “spokesman.” It is a movement of ideas, cultivated by the inspiring philosophies of the Founding Fathers who instilled in multiple generations the love of liberty, opportunity, responsibility, and accountability. Such movements succeed because the ideas are bigger than the people.
If those of us who believe in the values of the Tea Party Movement do anything, we should be meeting with like-minded people, sharing ideas, and finding ways to inspire other Americans to adorn themselves with the Tea Party label. We need to use our power as voters to turn our country around. We must kill apathy and inspire involvement and activism.
The Tea Party Movement doesn't need corporations, dues, subscription fees, or profits from souvenirs to expand its brand. We just need regular Americans to open their eyes and embrace once again the real American values that made this nation the hope of the world.
I’ll pay for my own “Don’t Tread On Me” sticker. I’ll express my opinions in this blog where the only thing I make any money on is the book I wrote in 2009. I don’t want or need your money for any Tea Party group, promotion, or product.
I just want all of you to love America the way I do…..
Charles M. Grist
Author of the award-winning book My Last War: A Vietnam Veteran’s Tour in Iraq