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Monday, August 3, 2009

The Lasting Legacy of the Tea Parties

I just received this email from American Liberty Alliance.

Fellow Illinois Patriots,As you might have seen, Patriots are popping up all over the country to counter protest pro-socialist Government healthcare rallies.

Well, we have a chance to do so right here in Chicago tomorrow evening in downtown.There is an astroturf, union fueled pro-Obamacare rally happening tomorrow evening.

The details can be seen on this PDF.

When: Tuesday,

August 4th, 4:30PM to 6:00PM

Where: Federal Plaza (Adams & Clark)

Who: US Rep Jan Schakowsky

American Liberty Alliance is headed by Eric Odom who organized the first two Chicago Tea Parties. This email is also indicative of where the tea party movement has headed.

The real legacy is of the tea parties is that it woke up millions of activists that were mostly watching the politics from the sidelines with great cynicism. The tea parties gave those folks an outlet not to merely bemoan in silence but to come out and voice their opposition.

That energy has not gone away and it continues to percolate with every new policy that the folks feels benefits the few at the expense of the many. In reality, neither of the two parties represents the will of the masses. Right now, neither party has much of a redeeming value. Some have called the tea parties a Republican tool. That's not accurate. There's plenty the Republicans have done tha the tea parties have problems with. It's just that the Democrats are in power and it is their policies that are now in the spotlight.

Over the last couple months, we have seen more and more viral videos that have shown citizens showing up to public events and giving politicians a piece of their mind. Here's one example of Rep Carnahan getting an earful when he claims that health care reform will save money.

There's been more videos of a townhall meeting with Arlen Specter and Secretary Sebelius that has attracted attention. In fact, it has become a bit of a custom to refer to these sorts of confrontations as giving the "tea party" treatment.

Another Great Win for Tea Party Patriots! This time in Philadelphia!

I think we'll look back at the Tea Parties as a political Network "we're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore" moment. It was the moment that millions of citizen activists stopped merely cynically criticizing our political apparatus and took their frustrations to the streets. Since then, they've organized, gotten involved, and they've taken every opportunity to tell their politicians how they feel.

We hear this loud and clear with the high profile confrontations that wind up on You Tube. Yet, what we don't see are the phone calls, emails, and faxes. Politicians said they saw an enormous response in voter contact on both health care and cap and trade. We will now see it with well attended and townhall meetings and protests and counter protests like the one I referenced.

It used to be the left and far left that organized and protested well. Now, the conservatives and libertarians have found their protesting and activist legs and they are just getting started. That's the lasting legacy of the tea parties.

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