Ken Vogel recently posted an interesting article on Politico.com regarding the perceived unrest within the Tea Party movement alive in America today. Within this article, he points to some of fracturing and disagreements within local movements and alludes to the idea that the Tea Party movement should organize at a national level, rather than being the independent movement that it is today.
I completely disagree with this idea. The beauty, the pure force of the Tea Party movement, is the fact that it is individual based. These parties are for the common man, one who is fed up with the high tax and spend that congress has taken as the status quo, individuals who have grown weary of big government forcing health care, bail outs, and cap and trade down their throats against their will. The reason that Tea Parties have such a voice is that they are derived of people, and issues, specific to the locale of specific parties presence.
Should the Tea parties begin to organize nationally, I agree that they will have a louder voice, but will that voice be as effective? Once you start to organize at a national level, people must now start to make compromises to “achieve a unified front”. Won’t that detract from the true purpose of the movement itself? The issues that affect the constituents of Vermont, for example, may differ slightly from those of Texas. If the party were nationally organized, whose ideals will win out to be the policy of the movement? The answer is simple, the area with the most active members. Isn’t that exactly the thing that the tea parties are expressing outrage at? Shouldn’t the people have the ability, and the right, to protest those things that most directly affect them?
The impact that the Tea Party movement is having is to force our representatives to listen to what we, the people, have to say. To remind them that they work for us, that they represent US. Should we organize nationally, then who do we aim our voices to? Since it’s a national voice, it will be aimed at no specific representative, but to the congressional body as a whole. I see this as being less effective than the current movement. Now, the Texas Tea party aims it’s anger and opinions to the Texas state representatives. As all the calls are coming directly from the people who elect them to power, then they will be more likely to listen. If it were a national voice, then what would force these senators when the opinions are coming from people outside of their districts. Yes, some of the opinions will be consistent (smaller government, less taxation, etc), but not specific to the issues that face geographic areas.
Again, the pure beauty of the Tea Party movement is that it is made up of like minded individuals speaking out on the governmental injustices that affect them. The core of it’s effectiveness is that it is comprised of people who refuse to compromise their ideals any longer. Tea parties are making a difference, you need only to look at the recent elections held in New Jersey and New York. I urge you to remain strong and stay the course. I know it can be frustrating for your phone calls and letters to go unanswered. I know that you can be disheartened to protest the albatross that is Universal Health Care, only to see your representatives to continue to ram it thru, but believe me, your voice is being heard. Congressional members are starting to worry about their jobs and for the first time that I can remember in my short life, the Republicans are starting to unite and vote against measures that YOU disagree with. You need only to look at the near unanimous vote against first health care iterations and the stimulus bill. Only RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only) went against the vote. Use these gatherings to become informed of the issues and continue to raise your discontent. Tea Parties are making a difference at the local and state levels and that is where the true power lies.