Tactical action suggestions for Tea Party enthusiasts (organizers or
participants) are elaborated below
|Whether we had
600,000 - 800,000 by my count, or 1+ million by other counts, the
Tax Day Tea Party
turnout dwarfed what the DNC and Organizing for America got in March as
“pledges” of blank check loyal support for Obama’s budget plan. Their
214,000 pledges in response to 13 million emails and sending all their
campaign volunteers into the streets was dwarfed by the Tea Parties -
and yet we were scorned and mocked while Congress has continued to ram
this budget and their social agenda down our throats.
Even if millions turn out on July 4, or on 9/12 in DC, what difference
will it make? Much of the damage will be done already. We need to
reorganize in each Congressional district and state to get in the face
of these arrogant politicians whenever they show up for a speech,
fundraiser, or any other public appearance back home. National rallies
won’t do it. Tyrants will only fear their loss of power.
liberal insurgents in their home states and Congressional districts
that the word is not "incumbents", but "insurgents". We
need to focus the Tea Party energy. The strategy and tactics need
to focus on the real enemy we face today. Republicans lost
There are certainly spineless,
specious, and ineffective Republicans who
still deserve to be recycled because they are too preoccupied with their
own political careers, power, and special interest groups, rather than
defending the Constitution which they swore to uphold for the
benefit of all Americans.
The point is that Republican "leaders" are mostly
harmless now. They have already lost power. They may
change their behavior and listen to "we the people" again - or else they
will be recycled, too. They are not the primary threat to
American liberty and pursuit of happiness.
They just aren't yet part of the solution.
They're still part of the problem - but they are not the same as the
liberal insurgents who are rapidly exercising their unchecked power to
harm us. Instead, they might actually help us to defeat
those insurgents now - or they may continue to be irrelevant.
Action: Forget big national protests
for media attention. Get in the face of each politician.
Creating a series of larger and larger Tea Party protests nationwide is
not a solution to the problem. Tyrants fear the loss of their own
power. They don't fear criticism. Large rallies and
complaints won't deter them. They need to feel that they are
personally at risk of defeat. Examples: Arlen Specter, Chris Dodd.
Their actions will only change as they struggle to figure out how to
avoid their own loss of power.
Politicians make many public appearance in their home states or
Congressional districts. These are generally scheduled and
publicized well in advance, and held in public places, even if they
involve private audiences (donors invited to fundraisers, influential
interest groups, etc.)
Track their scheduled local appearances. Organize locally to
have protesters at their events. Instead of holding big "Tea
Parties" on nationally scheduled dates, organize them locally by
networking people who can show up on short notice to express their
concerns directly to their own public officials.
This is more effective than writing letters and e-mails
for their staff to tally and ignore, or to answer in perfunctory ways just to
create the illusion that the politician is listening. Instead, show up at their event
and ask to personally deliver hundreds of letters. Ask them to
address the protesters and take questions (politely!). If they won't do this, spread the word.
Make it transparent that they don't want to listen to you, or to
those who agree with you. Let them be dismissive and arrogant, but
Make it clear to them personally that
opposition to their actions is growing, and won't fade away. Stay
organized and share information about what they are doing, and what you
are doing about it. Use each appearance they make to grow
organized opposition to them.
alternatives locally, and visibly support them now. Don't wait for
2010 or 2012.
should be intuitively obvious to most Tea Party enthusiasts that we need
many new elected officials whose interests are not defined by growing
and perpetuating their own power as career politicians. The
reality is that competing for votes is difficult and costly, and doesn't
necessarily attract the best people for the job. Many potentially
good candidates in terms of their capabilities to perform well in office
may not be particularly interested in the job, or may not be very
effective at the campaign process. They may need to be encouraged
to run for office, and assisted to do it successfully.
Take action -
become a Republican Precinct Committeeman in your county. Learn
about taking the country back at the grassroots level by helping to
select and turn out the vote for better candidates. For more
information, refer to
Precinct Project's Blog. Network with conservative
committeemen. In Illinois, look at
http://www.conservativeprecincts.blogspot.com/ All the Tea
Party rallies, petitions, and online networking to share information and
organize locally have been helpful to attract public attention to
harmful national policies and to limit the damage, but at the end of the
day it is the next election results through effectively organized party
work at the local level which will determine the outcome. Do it
today. Deadlines are approaching. There are many local
vacancies in such volunteer positions.
Look around you for better candidates.
Encourage them to run, and help them to do it.
easy to criticize the incumbents. It's much harder to find better
alternatives, and to help them win against a well-established incumbent.
It takes more than just money. It takes the determination and
organization to win despite all the obstacles or personal attacks along
The motivated enthusiasts at the Tea
Parties who volunteered to stand up for what they believe in should be a
good place to start the process of finding better candidates.
Share information about potential candidates, and their pros and cons.
Look for new talent. Get organized to decisively back somebody so
that the "insurgent" incumbent already sees growing and effective
opposition as soon as possible.
Before you try to unite around one candidate, start to
unite around what you expect of any candidate. There may be
many differences of opinion on individual policy issues, but focus on
core principles and values on which many people can agree. Focus
on integrity as a representative of "we the people", rather than as a
specious politician who will do anything to get elected and stay in
office. This isn't about favoring one interest group. It's
about representing all Americans in that state or district at the
national level, and proving that through public service performance at
the state and local level too.
The way to win isn't to divide and conquer through
pandering and promises to every group with enough voters to potentially
swing the election results. Officials are not elected to be
pirates on our behalf, looting Washington or state revenues to bring
more treasure back to their districts or supporters.
Consider using social networking group tools like FaceBook, MeetUp,
Google Groups, LinkedIn, Plaxo Pulse, Ning, or others to organize people
in your area independently of political party affiliation.
Organize around shared principles and values, or shared opposition to an
incumbent, or shared support for a challenge, but get organized.
One idea is to use tools like
Tea Party Nation
to set up groups and organize local events by Congressional district,
rather than by city or county. In short, organize the way the
votes are counted in the races which matter to you.
Republicans at all levels (national, state, and local) to restore
Unfortunately, many national Republican "leaders" still don't get it.
Even after 600,000 - 800,000 voters took to the streets in April for the
Tea Party protests, they are still debating how to bring themselves back
to power, and are launching a "listening tour" or other initiatives with
a focus primarily on the 2010 and 2012 election cycle rather than on the
actions necessary right now to restore limited government.
The point should be obvious. They lost the power to
stop this liberal insurgency in Washington because we the people no
longer trust them to do so. As we pressure the liberal insurgents
to stop harming the America in which we still firmly believe, we expect
the Republicans to stand up with us and support us, rather than simply
hoping that our frustration will eventually cause them to pick up some
This is a time for action, not for campaign rhetoric.
As indicated above, we need to convince as many of the liberal
insurgents as possible, as quickly as possible, of their certain defeat
in the next election if they do not change their actions. That's a
huge and difficult task, because they still have many eager supporters
who believe that the role of government is to provide them with manna
from heaven as though there was no cost associated with it, because they
are not the ones who pay those costs.
There are unfortunately Americans who will gladly
support officials whose aim is to plunder the federal or state
treasuries like pirate privateers working on their behalf.
If Republicans think that the way back to relevance is
to be less offensive pirates, then they misjudge our ability to
distinguish between what is right and wrong from the perspective of all
Americans, rather than just our own personal greed. We are not
looking for Republican pirates to compete with Democratic pirates for
plunder and power on our behalf. We are looking to finally get rid
of all these pirates, and stand up for our Constitutional rights to
limited government as the change in which we
We don't expect the Democrats to listen to us, because
they are philosophically opposed to the idea of a limited government, as
proven by their actions. They believe that government has a
responsibility to oversee and regulate almost everything according to
what they think is more "fair" at the time. We believe such
pirates will not moderate their behavior. They must be put under
pressure, and defeated. A small handful of pirates must not be
allowed to reverse over two centuries of progress in America.
for Unity and Tea Party 2.0" - blog post at Liberty for USA about where
the Tea Party movement is going. It also references the blog by "Liberty
Belle" in Seattle, which mentions preparations in the state of
Wasghington for future protests that will be listed soon at
Phillips, one of the many Tea Party organizers, posted some similar thoughts
in his blog on May 6 as a suggestion for "Tea
Party 2.0" to start targeting specific members of Congress for
replacement. This is interesting, but the key point is that it still
has to be driven at the grassroots level by local volunteers who are fed up
with their own incumbents, rather than as a national top-down political
in Chicago posted "OK,
seriously ... what's going on with the Tea Party effort" at the
TaxDayTeaParty.com website on May 4. Eric was one of the original Tea
Party organizers, but clearly is not happy with the direction which some
other self-proclaimed national "leaders" have taken recently.
Homeland Security hastily
withdrew their new "Domestic Extremism Lexicon"
in March after well-deserved
criticism. See page 8. I guess we're all radical right-wing
extremists now if we "reject federal authority in favor of state or local
authority". Have they read the Tenth Amendment lately?
the tea parties, it's time for conservatives to take over the GOP" -
interesting blog post on the Champion News Network site in Illinois by John
Biver on April 11. They had further Tea Party stories after the event.
search of political magic fairy dust" on May 6 and "Citizens
in name only"
Country Deserves Better" PAC has launched a new "Tea Party Express"
http://www.teapartyexpress.org/ to promote a series of Tea Party
rallies across the country from August 28 to September 12.
Liberty for USA blog: "Turn up the heat on the Elite" for some
initial thoughts about how to actually have a meaningful impact through
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