What the Tea Party Movement Stands For
The absolutely amazing thing about the entire Tea Party Movement, which has grown exponentially, is the unity and deep conviction of those involved. The Tea Party movement is drawing people from all political stripes, social causes, and income brackets. It is drawing people who have never participated in any kind of political or grassroots movement before. What we have in common, and what holds us together, is a very deep love for the uniqueness of the United States of America, a desire for the limited government that our Founding Fathers created, a fairly “strict” interpretation of the Constitution, a belief in capitalism and free enterprise and a strong sense of personal responsibility. Tea Party Movement people are feeling an urgency. They are sensing that we must take action NOW, not next year. There is a general sense among the majority of Tea Party people that both major parties are to blame, neither were fully responsive to voters and that it’s time to clean house.
The Tea Party Movement is not endorsing one particular solution, candidate or party.
We know that there are many good ideas out there, and excellent people behind them. We know that some groups have worked on these issues in a formal way for years, and perhaps feel that the Tea Party movement is eclipsing their efforts. That is not the intention of the Tea Party Movement at all. We are choosing to “major on the majors”. That is the strength and the power of the Tea Party movement. It won’t matter if it’s fair tax, no tax or flat tax if our country is bankrupted. It won’t matter if you want the Federal Reserve abolished if Congress keeps appropriating power for itself, and voters are ignored. It won’t matter how you feel about the federal funding for abortion, or the Marriage Amendment if our government usurps power and does not reverse its current path, your voice will have little impact.
We see ourselves as serving as a springboard for the people. We are a starting point. We are a powerful voice saying to all elected officials – local, regional, state and federal – “the government belongs to US the VOTER, the taxpayer, not you”. The incredible, laser-like power of the Tea Party movement is the lack of factions. We cannot be ignored. Even the framers of the Constitution chose to set aside some issues, (like the issue of slavery) at the time in order to focus on the foundational issue – the founding of a constitutional democracy.
The issues and ideas that are at the core of the Tea Party movement:
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.
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”.
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 bills passed in the last few months, despite massive public disapproval.
The Tea Party is a wake-up call to all Americans.
Karen Miner Hurd is a wife, mother of 5, businesswoman, patriot and a lover of cheesecake. She is the Founder and organizer of the Hampton Roads Tea Party. More of her writing can be found at http://freedomwize.org Her passion includes history, Bible study, indie movies, entrpreneurship and preventative health. She lives in Virginia Beach, VA, and still misses her home state of Michigan sometimes.