Do you ever feel like Dan Blackford? Dan is an original Tea Party organizer. He’s been at it since 2009. And he’s just about worn out. According to the Wall Street Journal, Blackford’s given up his position in the Houston Tea Party.
All the protests, the organization, the fundraising, the block-walking, has it done anything? Are we better off than we were two years ago? I say 'No.’
How many other people feel the way Dan feels? Do you think the past two-and-a-half years were a waste?
You Are Not Alone
Sometimes I do. Since the end of 2009, I have been ready to throw in the towel many times. Each time, my friends bolstered me. They reminded me how far we’d come since February ‘09. The reminded me that nothing has stopped our movement, locally or nationally.
So now it’s my turn to bolster the spirits of those like Dan Blackford.
Rome Didn’t Fall in a Day
First, let’s get something straight: your expectations must match reality. The United States has been on the path to bigger government, more debt, and less liberty since the Constitutional Convention. Larry Elder points out:
Congress began ignoring its lack of authority for charity before the ink dried on the Constitution. When Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist French refugees in 1792, James Madison – a Founding Father and principal author of the Constitution – wrote, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Read more: Charity: Not in the Constitution
The tendency of government to grow is not new. Nor will it go away. Let’s accept what we cannot change and move on. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming we could roll back sixty years of rapid government growth with a single election.
Next, let’s look at what we have accomplished. Let’s begin with the fact that Dan Blackford gets quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal more than two years into the Tea Party era.
Do you know how many nascent movements and organizations are born and die in any two year period? Do you know how rare it is for a movement to survive 30 months? Do you realize much rarer it is for a movement that’s only two years old to drive 100 percent of the conversation about government?
Sure, it’s easy to say, “conversation” is all the Tea Party’s gotten for its work. That’s what Ellen Gilmore of LaGrange Tea Party told WSJ. I would tell Ellen that driving the conversation is a very big deal in a republic.
Tomorrow’s decisions—in primaries, in general elections, in school board meetings, and in Congress and the Supreme Court—evolve from to today’s conversations. In 2008, no one cared what Ellen Gilmore or Dan Blackford thought about anything. Today their thoughts are on the front page of one of the most read papers in the world.
If we give up now, Dan and Ellen will be correct: it will have been a waste of precious time, money, and energy.
But we’re not giving up. We’re not standing still. We are still advancing.
The After Party
Over next several weeks, we will roll out a plan. The plan builds upon our accomplishments and strengths. It looks reality squarely in the eye. And it begins to fill the void we feel in our movement and in ourselves.
Once we fill that void, we’ll begin moving the debate a little faster. We’re going to launch an upward spiral of effective action.
Beginning Sunday, August 7, read every episode of The After Party series on www.stlouisteaparty.com. And put a placeholder on your calendar for the 3rd Thursday of every month.
It’s time to launch the next wave. And you won’t be alone.
IF YOU WOULD St. Louis Tea Party Coalition is taking on an ambitious project. Your prayers and any financial help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Please use the Donate button on the sidebar at stlouisteaparty.com. Thank you.