Dear Readers: I am going to start a mini-series today (now entitled “Operation Steadfast“) with this theme: YOU must rely on YOU for real political change. You cannot, absolutely cannot, just send in a donation to some national organization and consider yourself done.
That’s not what our Founding Fathers intended. As Benjamin Franklin noted to an inquiring colonial woman, America remains “a Republic, if you can keep it.”Note, he did NOT say “if some national political group of elites” can keep it.
Or, as Smitty of The Other McCain reports, ‘Politics Is Not A Spectator Sport’.
I am starting a series of posts highlighting this self-reliance and its application in our continuing Tea Party movement. The source of this theme is from my personal hero, Kevin Dujan of HillBuzz. Basically, when distorted uber-liberalism is presented as fact, you have to ask yourself “What are YOU going to do to stop it?”
I bet there’s 30 minutes when you first wake-up and are enjoying your coffee in the morning…or 30 minutes right before you go to bed…when you could write an email or send a fax to a Congresscritter telling that person what a terrible job he or she is doing in representing you as a constituent. I bet if you planned your day accordingly, you could reserve 30 minutes to write a heartfelt and expressive Letter to the Editor of your local paper on a topic that affects the people in your community. A half hour a day could be reserved for making connections to other like-minded neighbors and friends who could be encouraged to start telephoning and emailing the big political donors in this country to make them aware their activities are being watched…and that they will be held accountable for the actions of the people whose elections they keep funding.
It really is a smart idea to pick one or two areas of focus for you to become expert in. I think this is part of why the Left is so successful in most of what it does; there are different groups and sub-groups on the Left who become professional antagonists for specific causes and continually play the same roles over and over again each election season (instead of racing off to whatever new issue arises on the horizon, the way conservatives seem to do).
Instead of giving some distant group money to do the work, I might suggest you donate to pundits proven to get the conservative message across (and help promote your local efforts). Think about the websites you read daily, and consider if they have ever linked to you or provided a solid platform to spread your message. These are people who have been forced to buy server access so their blogs don’t disappear on the whim of WordPress or Google. As an example, here is who I have donated to in the past month:
I assert that the money I spent with these fabulous patriots will be 1000 times for effectively used than it would be if I sent it to some central planning committee — who would then use it to hire limos that take them to deluxe resorts for conferences with elite, politically connected pundits.
Another theme will be that the Tea Party must respect differences of opinion, and that we can’t be “messaged” with top-down policy dictates determined by a small number of organizers. In fact, Tammy Bruce posted a great piece from a guest blogger from Canada that touched on this subject: A Warning from Canada for the GOP: Don’t Ignore the Grassroots. The money quote:
The splintering of the PC party, a direct result of the establishment placing a higher priority on centralizing federal power than on promoting the will of the grassroots, led to 13 years of corrupt and aimless Liberal Party rule, while the grassroots worked tirelessly to organize and establish itself as a viable national alternative under Harper. But now that a principled conservative party is in charge (not that it doesn’t have its share of RINOs, but that’s for another day), we have a principled government in Canada that, with the majority mandate earned in the 2011 election, is finally beginning to peel back the layers of federalist socialist intrusion into the lives of Canadian citizens.
That means policy dictates coming from a DC-connected crowd probably isn’t the best way to affect Tea Party-style change. Sadly, it seems the heady atmosphere of Washington makes some organizers light-headed and inclined to set the agenda for the rest of us rubes. How else to explain an email exchange between our Sarah Bond (aka Lipstick Underground) and a board member of Tea Party Patriots, Debbie Dooley?
For anyone involved with Tea Party Patriots, the full exchange is essential reading: What the Hell is Jenny Beth Thinking?
In essence, Jenny Beth Martin (Tea Party Patriots President), decided that it would be a wonderful idea to partner with the Southern Republican Leadership Council to set up another GOP debate.
Egads, another debate! I have been clamoring for a list of Congressional and Senate primaries with links to citizen candidates who I can support from California. I want my dollars to go directly into the coffers of citizens willing to challenge tired incumbents. Seems that with TPP, all I get is another useless debate.
Instead, I have to rely on lone pundit Legal Insurrection to provide links for OPERATION COUNTERWEIGHT. This is why Professor Jacobson gets my money, not some big-name national group.
But I digress. Let me share what Sarah had to say about this “partnership”.
Word is that Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots is steering the umbrella organization into co-sponsoring a GOP presidential debate with the Southern Republican Leadership Conference…on CNN. WTF?!!
Uh…for anyone who’s conveniently forgotten, the tea party began as a reaction to the crappy job the GOP was doing representing the interests of the taxpayers. Playing footsie with them corrupts our roll as a platform for ALL taxpayers.
Instead of taking this as a warning, and an indication of how many local organizers feel, Tea Party Patriots national leader Debbie Dooley insulted Sarah, the co-founder of SoCal Tax Revolt Coaltion. Here are examples of Dooley reaching down from headquarters in response to Sarah’s concerns:
Maybe you should re-think your “the whole world revolves around me” attitude and realize that just because you and some groups in California think a certain way, then all groups feel that way in all states.
Gee, Debbie, I am pretty sure I know Tea Party activists in Colorado and and Michigan who feel the same way Sarah does (UPDATE: It seems citizens in Tennessee, Kentucky and Oklahoma feel this way as well; check back for more updates as I hear from Tea Party activists in other states. UPDATE 2: Texas chimes in and agrees with Sarah! Indiana, too!). And, as if that condescending tripe weren’t enough to insult Sarah (who has been very involved in local politics), Dooley dials up the inanity even further:
Sarah, then work to change the GOP in California and move it in the direction you want it to go in. In other words, beat them at their own game. It can be done with the proper strategy. The GOP establishment wants you guys to stay distance and not get involved with them. They know that come general election time, they will siphon off just enough tea party activist / conservative votes to keep putting them in office. They do this by pointing out how worse the Dem would be. If you guys started showing up at local GOP meetings, it would send them in panic mode.
Debbie, Sarah has had tons of solid experience dealing with the local and state GOP, thank you very much. Here are three items that you may want to read, in order to educate yourself about local matters before you demean one of our savviest activists:
The Tea Party Patriots leadership decided that it was a wise idea to market a “Steadfast Patriot” campaign. It was a classically messaged tool to cull donations and get us rubes to do lots of free work to make them look good. I have some breaking news: I already know how to be steadfast.
I am steadfast in my resolve to kick elite political ass this year. If this includes people claiming to be “tea party”, then I will make sure to don extra sharp cleats before I kick.
I do not need to be preached to. I do not need my compatriots insulted. Instead, I need to know how to support my fellow citizens who are pushing back on crony capitalism, regulatory imprisonment, and fiscal insanity.
Above our life we love a steadfast friend. (Christopher Marlowe, English dramatist).
More on this subject will be following.
Check out MY kick ass cleats. They are PUMAs.