Thanks so much to Jim Teller for the fine work he's doing with the State Leadership Forum. We are reproducing the words of former chairmen of both the Republican and Democrat Party in Colorado, both of whom now work with and advise the Denver Tea Party. Fascinating stuff. As Jim says, "The bridge to the tea party is much different than most 'establishment' people think."
From Steve Curtis, former GOP chairman:
The abundance that surrounds us in America can make it hard to convince others and even ourselves that we live in a land of increasing tyranny and continually eroding wealth and morality. Steve Curtis, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, now serves as on the Denver Tea Party's advisory board.
As the saying goes, “I’d rather be poor in America, than rich in any other country in the world.”
But the promise of America was never to be the richest poor guy, reliant on others for your daily sustenance, or to live under the constant fear of having the fruits of your labor taken away to advance the utopian dreams of someone else.
And yet, somewhere between the Pilgrims and Patriots of yesteryear, and the bureaucratic ruling class of today, the vision of what constitutes a truly free and prosperous people has changed.
Gone are days when a common belief in providence, sacrifice, and purpose united a people, and helped overcome the hardships of everyday living in order to build a great nation—one where future generations could worship freely without fear of recrimination and enjoy the blessings of their innovation and hard work.
George Washington’s sincere faith in ‘Providence’ has been supplanted by a religious-political complex and its variety of prosperity and social gospels. For generations, each election has moved us as a people further from reliance on our creator and our own abilities to reliance on failed governments eager to preach, teach, take, poke, prod, lie to, condemn, and even imprison the very people they claim to serve. For most, the American spirit is as lacking as any true statement to emanate from a politician’s lips.
If you want a clear picture of the moral depravity of the ruling elites, look no further than yesterday’s budget busting big spenders posing as today’s deficit hawks.
And yet, most of us aren’t moved to take action to stop this meddling bunch. In fact many don’t even seem to notice. We accept their lies as a normal part of American life. We go about our days trying not to think of the personal sacrifices that may be required to free ourselves from an intrusive system that has replaced our foundational beliefs in faith, family, and freedom.
Make no mistake, while the system is flawed, it is merely a manifestation of those who use the mechanisms of government and political parties to serve no one but themselves. They preach hopelessness, and then offer up themselves as our nation’s best hope. They preach fairness then discriminate against those that disagree with them. They pick winners and losers instead of assuring equal access to jobs, education, and markets. And, they believe the solution to every perceived problem requires action by government.
Only the hopeless need hope. Only the enslaved need their freedom. America once stood as a beacon of both hope and freedom but it took great sacrifice to gain these elements, and it may require an even greater sacrifice to regain them.
So what do we do?
Without question, the solutions to restoring the United States to the status of a truly great nation will be comprehensive and will require much more than a reversal of current political trends. Having said that, there are three principles at the core of the Tea Party Patriot movement that can help to restore our government to the founder’s intent, allowing the American people to once again focus on the aspects of life that are far more important than politics.
When the core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets prevail, governments will not have the mandate, power, or money to interfere as they do today. Citizens will freely innovate and produce, creating the economic abundance for charity and goodwill to flow from neighbor to neighbor.
Families can once again plan for their own future needs and care for one another without the threat of penalties for working too hard, earning and saving too much, or being involved in legitimate commerce that someone else may find objectionable.
Individual faith in a power higher than ourselves will take its rightful place in the hearts of individuals which by its very nature will cause them to care about each other more. These characteristics will be a constant reminder of those who sacrificed for our liberties and an example for future generations to aspire to.
Tea Party Patriots have it right when they demand that governments return to their constitutionally mandated role. The power of the individual is maintained when any candidate, regardless of party affiliation, must work to earn each vote. This power is lost when by virtue of political affiliation a person’s vote is taken for granted, without fear of reprisal, because the goal is to win a majority of seats for a specific political party.
Today, both major political parties behave no differently than unions when they suppress the talented and elevate the tenured. Politicians mislead us with the false doctrine that our nation was built on a two party system. Human thought is oppressed by both of these practices and our nation suffers because of them.
It’s time once again for true liberty to reign. It’s time for every citizen to educate themselves about the truth of what has happened to our failing society. In the political realm, the ideals set forth by our nation’s founding fathers have found new life in the Tea Party Patriot movement, and I am proud to count myself among those who share in those principles.
From Phil Perington, former Dem chairman:
George Washington in his Farewell Address offered these words:
“The common and continual mischief’s of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public counsels and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasional riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”
Phil Perington, former chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, is now an advisory board member to the Denver Tea Party.
Therein, is the reason the Tea Party exists. America has reached a fork in the road, and as Yogi Berra once said, it’s time to take it. One road has become deeply muddled by staggering levels of greed and corruption, unmanageable and impossible to navigate. It is filled with high hubris and bluster, a cartel of multi-national conglomerates fueled by political hucksters and consultants, entrenched bureaucrats, party bagmen, lobbyists and union bosses bulging with swag. All this neatly wrapped in the guise of Party loyalty and honor, while using the American taxpayer as their source of renewable green energy.
Tea Party Patriots have chosen to take another road. Their mission and message is simple and straight forward. When you boil it down, all Americans really want is a good job and family in a safe home, quality schools, decent healthcare, security of the homeland, with respect one to another and probably most important…taxes that don’t drive them into the poor house before they retire.
Sadly, our political system has become a runaway train focused on ego and celebrity with arrogant party wonks choosing the winners and losers. Respectful debate between the Parties has metaphorically morphed back to the days when the Redcoats and Colonial Army stood in an open field madly firing away at each other, until one side finally succumbs, only to regroup and start again another day. Sound familiar?
The irony of the Tea Party is that cynical pundits and assorted talking heads say it’s just another Johnny come lately, “minority party.” They shout balderdash, sticking their noses in the air and then mucking the headlines with false incriminations.
Au contraire, the Tea Party is not an organized political party controlled by any individual leader or special interest money. It’s basically a state of mind, a nationwide belief that citizens, united can make a difference. Just like the Colonial Minutemen and their families who fought for liberty, freedom and the right to not be taxed without honest representation. The Boston Tea Party of 1773, most condescendingly declared by King George III to be an, “Intolerable Act,” was perhaps one of the greatest acts of open rebellion by a group of fearless citizen patriots in American history. It was a Tea Party boldly declaring people had finally had enough of old King George and his addiction to taxes without representation. It was an indictment of the King’s ability to reach into his subject’s pockets anytime he chose without explanation or recrimination.
Congress and the Executive Branch are getting dangerously close to also becoming addicted to King George’s specious little habit. Many in Congress have forgotten they were elected by people who sent them to protect and guard their money and property. They were elected to follow and obey the law of land, otherwise known as the Constitution of the United State of America.
Every year in good faith, citizens send to the U.S. Treasury, under threat of IRS prosecution, their hard earned money. And what happens? Congress then overspends hundreds of billions of dollars not yet deposited into the treasury and could care less. The taxpayers are on the hook and there is little or no recourse, its business as usual.
If Bernie Madoff was sent to federal prison for that type of conduct, then why does
Congress not suffer the same punishment? Millions of American taxpayers are asking that question through the efforts of the Tea Party. It’s beyond party affiliation. It’s a statement bound by a common purpose. It’s a political rebellion firmly allowed in our free democratic republic. It’s about playing by the rules. It’s about obeying the Constitution and not just making it up as you go. Even Indiana Jones couldn’t come up with some of the antics our elected officials cook up.
It is the sincere hope of Tea Party Patriots, in all 50 states, that our elected officials understand they are just temps, subject to removal at the ballot box. Public service is an honor, not an entitlement or lifetime career path. It’s a privilege bestowed by trust. Nor is it an opportunity to become a millionaire or inside trader working for a select few.
Republicans be warned, you may now be benefiting from the Tea Party, but that can change in one election cycle. The landslide of change that occurred last November was no fluke. It was not some easy ride into Congress to be treated lightly by the fortunate newly elected. The Tea Party is watching and keeping score in every state, for both local and federal future elections. Promises broken will be remembered and accounted for.
Democratic Party leadership should seriously think about setting aside their Tea Party misconceptions in favor of what is for the greater good of the Country as a whole. The time has come for both parties to put down their minutia and partisan swords and begin working on the basic common issues that affect the safety and security of the America we love, fight and some have died for.
It’s time for everyone to help pull the wagon including tenured public sector unionists, ”too big to fail” corporate moochers and assorted hedge fund miscreants, just to name a few. What good is “Liberty and Justice for all” if America goes broke.
Our Father, President George Washington, said it best… “There are few men with virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” Vigilance is, and always shall be, the guardian of freedom. To that end, America should welcome the Tea Party Patriots and be proud of the service these men, women and young adults have volunteered for.
I think I’ll have another cup’a tea.
Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?
Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.
- Bob McConnell
- Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
- I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep the faith.