In my last post, I made reference to the Tea Party movement and some of my concerns about it. Since I published it, I was contacted by Jennifer Madsen, who is the Vice-President of the Baton Rouge Tea Party with the following comments. I thank her for sharing her experience.
I would argue about the "failure" of the Tea Party movement. If you define success as overthrowing the current government, yes we will fail because we are not trying. However we have great success in getting people active in the political process and questioning a candidate's stance instead of the letter behind their name. In order for our representative republic to work properly, the electorate must be involved. The Tea Party movement is doing that. We are helping people who are concerned about their government connect with each other outside of the traditional political parties and social clubs.
In Baton Rouge we have a great deal of success in defeating bad ballot and legislative issues. Our members testified before house and senate committees to repeal the Stelly tax. We organized phone call and letter writing campaigns to do the same. We spoke out against the Internet tax, bringing several hundred hand written notes into the committee chamber with us. We are actively fighting a local bond issue that would raise property tax and winning. See the cover story of Friday's paper.
It is easy to be cynical and hopeless, but it is much more difficult to fight. These are small victories, but they are a start. Our organization is barely six months old, but we are managing to derail a wildly popular mayor's plans. We must take an active role in restoring our government to the that outlined by our Constitution. This will not happen over night. People are waking up and becoming active and that is all we have ever wanted to do. You may consider that a failure, but I consider it success.
You have a great Tea Party group in your area. Red River Tea Party. The men and women are committed to their community. For years I sat behind my keyboard and complained about every thing that was wrong with the government. Now I am challenging them. In the council chambers, the committee rooms, on the Internet, on the steps of the capital and in the streets. You seem passionate and well read. I urge you to take it to the next level. Get active and help stop this growth of government.