Dear Readers: A common misconception of mainstream media’s political pundits is the claim that the “Tea Party” movement is merely a covert Republican operation. That is simply not true. I am a founder of one of the largest grassroots organizations in the nation (Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, LLC; SoCal-TRC). I am also a registered Democrat.
For example, here is a video of Leslie Marshall on Fox News Channel’s show with Neil Cavuto shortly before the April 15th Tax Day Tea Parties, in which she claims that the rallies are essentially a Republican operation:
SoCal-TRC policies are based on a sound understanding of basic economics derived from practical experience in the world of small business. This is because all of SoCal-TRC’s founders run small businesses, and appreciate that liberty and personal freedoms are best served through the fair practice of free enterprise. Our group strives to maintain a message that is focused on sensible fiscal policy and limited government intervention.
In fact, we have had issues with the local Republican party operation attempting to take credit for the rallies our organization hosted (e.g., local GOP Chairman Tony Kravaric snuck in 5 minutes before the end of our April 11th Tea Party with his crew and shanghaied all the film crews at the event, in order to give the impression that a “new” GOP was somehow directly involved with this non-partisan effort). We have also upset some potential political candidates by focusing on citizen speeches during our events. However, we have managed to create an environment where Democrats such as myself can also share our concerns about over- taxation and how the local, state, and the federal governments spend our tax dollars.
As a demonstration how essential it is that this movement remain non-partisan, here is Leslie Marshall debating yours truly. Because I am a fellow Democrat, the talk is focused on the relevant topics:
This country’s economic system was founded on a principle considered unique at the time: Wealth can be created. I strongly oppose the idea that government should be in the business of “spreading wealth”; the type of job created by government is “make work” and not “make wealth”. Government should not be indebting the next generation to service the current one. Government over-regulation stifles dynamic enterprise, capitalist creativity, and directs new business to start in friendlier environments. These basic concepts are understood by everyone who attends a Tea Party: Democrats, Libertarians, Constitution Party members, Independents, Republicans and other newly-minted tax revolt activists.
In honor of the upcoming July 4th holiday, I will note that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He went founded the Democratic Party in 1792. Jefferson had this to say: To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
I would like to promote Jefferson’s message by inviting everyone to the next local Tea Party events. The North County Conservatives are hosting a rally on 2:00 pm, Sunday, June 28th, at Grape Day Park (130 Woodward Ave.; Escondido, CA 92025). The San Diego Tea Party Meetup.com group is hosting an event 11 am, Saturday, July 4th, Mission Bay Park (E Mission Bay Dr. San Diego, CA 92109).
It is also my experience with the Tea Parties that everyone is disenchanted with their own political party. For example, the Wall Street Journal indicates the ranks of both Republicans and Democrats are thinning:
In the months since Barack Obama won the presidency, independent voters have rocketed to their highest number on record. Meanwhile, the ranks of Republicans and Democrats have thinned dramatically.
Independents hold the balance of power in the Obama era. That’s the conclusion of a recent, 165-page Pew Research Center survey that shows independent voters climbed to 39% from 30% of the electorate in the five months following the 2008 election. During that same time, Democratic identification fell to 33% from 39%, while Republicans fell four points to 22% — their lowest since post-Watergate.
Then, there is Peter Schiff of the Libertarian Party making a case that they need to “infiltrate the Republican Party”.
Based on my experiences to date, I think that voters during the 2010 election cycle will be more focused on specific candidates and issues than towing the party line — any party line. 2010 is really shaping up to be the “No Incumbents” election. Ultimately, I think this benefits all of us — Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents….in other words, all Americans!
MUT’s MONEY LINKS:
From Hot Air: Today’s Gallup poll has generated a lot of e-mail today, with conservatives claiming victory in the battle for public opinion. True, it does show self-described conservatives outstripping moderates and liberals, but in this case the mechanism appears more to be a retreat in the middle.
UPDATE: As I find them, I will post comments from other Democrats who go to Tea Parties.
WAGRUBBS: I have been a registered Democrat since 1975 when I turned 18. During that 34 year period, I have written a few letters and e-mails, but never attended a protest event.
Over my career, I have started or helped start over 60 companies and created tens of thousands of high-paying jobs her in the USA. Now, it is almost hopeless to try and raise seed capital funding to start a new company. No one wants to lock up their cash for 5-10 years only to have it taxed at a much higher rate than when they invested. I do not blame them — I can get a 10% dividend from a Fidelity corporate bond fund and buy and sell it as I please on-line.
Also, most entrepreneurs know that the trillion dollar per year deficits will fall on their shoulders if they work 100 hours per week and become successful. Why bother?
I went to the Raleigh, NC Tea Party yesterday and found over 1000 people like me who are scared for America and our children. The crowd was polite and well-behaved. I did not see a single law enforcement officer there, so I guess that Raleigh PD knows that the Tea Party type is not about to cause trouble.
This is a real grass roots, multi-party movement. I would expect the attendees to be the campaign workers in 2010 and 2012 to execute a “contract with America” style populist revolt to shift the power in Congress to a new generation of Republicans to stop and reverse Obama’s plans.
The DNC is not going to be able to suppress this movement by ignoring it.
My advise it to cover it hard and listen carefully to the message. Many people in the crowd were Democrats and not eager to vote for Republicans, but they will as long as the Democrats vote as a block and not individually.
UPDATE: As I said before, it’s not a whiff of desperation from the Democrats — It is a pulsating, nauseating miasma of political putrefaction. Hot Air provides a link “proving” our citizen protests are being ginned-up by high power GOP operatives. Damn, as you can tell from my post above, those GOP operatives are mucking things up!