Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Tea Party Conclusion

After the excitement and intensity of last week one can only ponder where we go from here. The Tea Parties were a resounding success. Everyone had the opportunity to blow off steam and criticize those in Washington and even local politicians who fell short of their advertised expectations. We prayed, we sang, we applauded, we cheered, and we waved our flags and bobbed our signs. For once, we felt that we were “doing” something. Private complaint is not the equal of a public protest. More important, we were happy as we perceived a restoration of the people in the process.

All of that was important. I certainly hope and pray that the title of this post is not a prediction. Historically, the Boston tea party was not just a dramatic statement to seek redress from grievance. It was a bold announcement of things to come. It sent a message to London that an intolerable level of governance had been reached. And, like highly placed leadership in every corner of the world today, it was heard and largely ignored. The powers at that time figured that now they had that out of their system, the people would return to their lives and the oppression could continue.

Our version of the Tea Party, as far as we have taken it, has had a profound affect on those who would lead. I do not look to the noisy leftist critics for an evaluation of the progress we have made. Rather I look to the lack of comments from the White House staff and the president himself. He claimed that he had no knowledge of the activity of a million of his fellow citizens engaged in protest in every state in over 800 cities on a common date. Media comments were equally dismissive and events were under-reported. This was a singular moment in the American experience and apparently those who should be on the alert to changes in the American mind didn’t notice.

Observing this “head in the sand” approach, I am now convinced that the Tea Parties had a profound influence. The message was heard and prompted “the one” to announce an improved surveillance of wasteful spending in government. His idea: answer the $3.2 trillion in porkulus with a reduction of 1/32,000th of that amount. One of us is woefully under educated in mathematics. I seriously doubt that Mr. Toft (God bless him) would have let me out of my algebra class without seeing that relationship clearly. Plainly stated; in Washington if the figure is not followed by at least nine zeroes; it aint “jack.”

This then necessitates the question; what now? We had our day in the park (capitol steps, city hall, stadium, rotunda, etc.) so what is required of us now. The pep rally isn’t the game. We (the people) are now charged up and ready to go. We are excited, willing to work for what we believe, and ready to engage the enemies of the treasury. To continue the sport’s metaphor we need to maintain the momentum. Every Sunday afternoon you can see what happens when the home team fails to do just that. Once you have the lead; bury them! If you fail to do so, you risk the fate of failure.

If we do fail to continue the pressure by expressing displeasure with the actions of the Washington elites we shall have no one to blame but ourselves. We have heavily advertised that the current movement is grass roots. Using that descriptor we must conclude that it is of the people. We are not following a charismatic leader. We have no political action committee to hand down our marching orders. This by no means implies that we should not respond to that leadership which rises to the top to encourage us. If a neighbor, friend, fellow congregant, or unknown asks for your assistance in organization, land use, or in any supporting role; rise to the occasion. The most effective speeches I have heard in three experiences have come from ordinary people who understand their plight and that of all citizens in facing the ever mounting debt. Although well prepared, they spoke from the heart and were easily understood. Public speaking is easy if you actually know what you are talking about. If you don’t; get a teleprompter or shut up! Educate yourself, have the correct figures, know the people involved, understand the programs, and most important, innovate.

Stay alert to events in your area and state wide. Dial your radio to local personalities who are eager to announce community events. Scan the news at every opportunity for hints of upcoming events. Find the clearing house for keeping abreast of local developments. If necessary, let it be you. And, most important, share your experiences with your friends and neighbors. There is more good news coming over the back fence than there is on television. Once you get the word of an impending event; share it. This is what grass roots is all about. The people carry the message to the people.

We cannot let this die! If each and every one of us who understands the perils which the nation now faces acts within the reach of his talents and abilities we will prevail. Review the history of our nation and realize that the truly great leaders of our country always recognized the un-named citizenry without whose help they could not have led. This is our job; let's do it!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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