Life As You’ve Known It Is About To Change

You have a choice. You can drive that change, or you can be swallowed by it. In a free society, people have liberty to do anything except a few prohibited things.

In a totalitarian society, people have liberty to do nothing except a few permitted things.

In a free society, the people have a black list of things they must not do, and government has a white of a few things it may do.

In Barack Obama’s America, the government has the black list and the people live by a short white list.

You have a choice. You can live in a society where a few things are prohibited but everything else is up to you. Or you can live in a society where you must get permission to do anything.

Yes, the choice is that stark. It's up to you whether your society is free or controlled.

And voting is not enough. If you want a free society, you must bring others like you to the polls.

We can help you do that.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday St. Louis Tea Party’s Liberty HQ is open all day. We can provide everything you need to sustain the free society, including a walk list—paper or smartphone—so you can call out others to vote for freedom with you.

Come to 9966 Lin Ferry Dr, St. Louis, MO 63123, at Lindbergh and Tesson Ferry, to control your destiny.

You are not alone. But you will be if you don’t act.

Excellent Commercial by Ed Martin for Missouri Attorney General

Ed Martin’s new TV commercial is excellent for many fundamental marketing reasons. Ed’s energy, commitment, and love of people shines through. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzJS2bqIlyY]

Still, the commercial is a waste of time and money unless people see it.

Here’s how you can helpbuy air time. If you want an Attorney General who will protect Missouri’s sovereignty and treasury, you can simply buy air time for this ad.

And there’s more you can do. Get involved in GOTV projects. Visit the Victory Fieldhouse in Valley Park (141 at I-44), the AFP Field office in St. Peters, MO, or the St. Louis Tea Party-Madison Project Liberty HQ in South County.

  • Put bumper stickers on all your cars, front and back
  • Put up yard signs for Ed Martin, Todd Akin, and other great candidates
  • Call some of the 1.2 million Missouri conservatives who don’t vote consistently
  • Go door-to-door to get out the vote of people who believe what you believe but don’t always vote
  • Donate to conservative candidates who don’t get big checks from billionaires

If you weren’t the kind of people who work hard to keep America strong, I wouldn’t bother asking.

St. Louis Tea Party’s HQ is open Noon to 8 pm Monday-Friday and Noon to 3 Saturday.

See you there!

3rd Anniversary Tea Party: Thank You!

The 3rd Anniversary Tea Party rocked . . . because of the great patriot-activists who have decided it’s time to act and win. 3rd Anniversary Tea Party--Mike Leahy Keynote

Although Dr. Larry Schweikart couldn’t make it (because of the Chicago snow storm), Friday’s event was better than planned or expected.  Tea Party champion Michael Patrick Leahy jumped into fill a last-minute void, and the crowd loved it.

I had the the pleasure of reading and advanced copy of Mike Leahy's new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement in December. It blew me away. (I’ll publish a review shortly.)

Mike’s interaction with the crowd, via Skype, lasted an hour. The conversation showcased the intelligence, integrity, and commitment of both Michael Patrick Leahy and the St. Louis Tea Partiers who attended the event.

But the star of the show on Friday might have been the food. Boaz Steiner, one of our hardest working freedom Boaz Steiner's Banquet at 3rd Anniversary Tea Partyfighters, prepared a remarkable banquet of hors d’oeuvres.  From mounds of gigantic shrimp to stuffed peppers to chicken tenders, cheese trays, veggie platters, Crab Rangoon . . . I can’t even name it all.  It was fabulous. The Crowne Plaza in Clayton should be your first choice for lodging, banquets, and conferences in the St. Louis area.

Saturday began at 7:30 (yes, that’s really early). Again, a fabulous hot breakfast led off.  The eight sessions, plus Bill Federer’s lunchtime keynote address on 6,000 years of human history, earned praise for Michelle Moore’s planning and logistics.

Darin Morley at 3rd Anniversary Tea PartySo did the hard work of Donna and Kathy, two of our most dedicated workers. These ladies handled the front desk of the event perfectly.  Professional event staffs I’ve worked with would be delighted with such great hospitality, efficiency, and cheerfulness.

Mr. Raz Shafer, who left it all on the field for Ed Martin’s 2010 Congressional race, returned to St. Louis to deliver more 3 hours of training on campaigning, social media, and countering leftist tactics. Big thanks to American Majority Action and to Raz for giving up a weekend to help us.

Thanks also to Ruth Carlson of Eagle Forum for her extensive training on how to caucus in Missouri.  And to Darin Morley who educated us on Social Media in two wildly popular sessions.  Mrs. Frieda Keogh of Missouri Precinct Project (MOPP) taught us about MOPP and bringing new  conservative voters out for the 2012 election.

donnaandkathy

My personal thanks to Michelle Moore, Ben Evans, Jonathon Burns, “NRA” Ed, Donna and Kathy, Boaz, Raz, Bill Federer, Michael Patrick Leahy, and everyone who put in countless hours to pull this thing off. It was way more successful than I expected. And it lays the groundwork for victory in 2012. As Mike Leahy says, we will “drag the candidates across the finish line” in November.

Mostly, though, thanks to you who attended. You have rejected apathy and embraced responsibility for liberty—liberty for you, me, and everyone.

In the end, we completed over 500 training hours in addition to Friday’s great conversation between St. Louis Tea Party Coalition folks and Michael Patrick Leahy.

What I heard most of all, loudest, and clearest was this: “we’ve needed something like this for a long time, and we need to do more of it.”

Stand by.

MoveOnUp.org was never supposed to happen

MoveOnUp.org co-founder Christopher ArpsThis weekend, MoveOnUp.org held its first conference. The location was the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the airport. The event launched the Sherman T. Parker Scholarship for African-American Political Science students. But that’s not the big story.

The big story is this:  MoveOnUp.org has cheated history.

Why “cheated?” Because the past 50 years of American liberal history has prepared American blacks for one purpose: compliance.

Using victimhood, welfare, crime, destructive education, and programs designed to destroy families, American liberals from Ted Kennedy to Barack Obama chained African-Americans to “Uncle Sam’s Plantation,” as Star Parker so aptly puts it.

The entire statist system, in fact, was designed to prevent blacks from ever realizing their personal or community potential. 

But this weekend in St. Louis, a network of African-American conservatives threw off the chains of government limitation.  Fighting through a barrage of racial smears—Uncle Tom, Sambo, self-haters—these champions of human dignity cheated history, defied their Democrat Party masters, and planted their flag in the heart of dying Civil Right Industry, Inc. ™

Adding insult to statist injuries, Martin D. Baker—a Navy veteran and conservative warrior—announced his intention to unseat 1st District overlord, Lacy Clay.  Here’s the announcement.

I could not be more proud than I am to have witnessed history change. Congratulations to Chris Arps, Martin Baker, Stephanie Rubach, Andre Harper, Stacy Washington, and everyone else, including attendees, who have begun restoration of the American promise.

Hollow Holiday

July 4, 2011, felt hollow, like celebrating the birthday of someone deceased. Independence Day celebrates the birth of an idea: that people create governments and empower them, not the other way around.

Do we still believe that?

st louis tea party

Yes, I still believe that.  Morally, at least.  And you probably do, too. 

Does America still believe that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed?  Or do we, as a nation, believe that government has a monopoly on liberty and dispenses it at its will?

As Harvard University pointed out, people who vote for the Democrat party no longer believe what the founders believed.  The Democratic party believes that the federal government owns liberty; you and I must apply for our freedoms. There is no guarantee. 

Do you realize how profound that is?

Once upon a time, we learned that both parties wanted the same end via different means. But that’s no longer true. Now, one party and many independents still believe that people are bigger than government.  But our government is in the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, and unions who believe that we are their servants.

At some point, majority or minority becomes irrelevant.  A dictatorial or oligarchical tyranny won’t allow a mere majority to end its rule. 

How close are we to that grim eventuality?  Or have we crossed the line?

On August 4, 2011, St. Louis Tea Party Coalition will rally in Kiener Plaza for the third time.  We come together in celebration of Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration, the USS Nautilus’s first voyage under the North Pole, and Christopher Columbus’s launch for the New World which all occurred on August 3.  It’s also Barack Obama’s birthday.

Our mission is to restore the meaning of Independence Day.  Our purpose is to re-energize the idea of liberty in our land.  Our plan is to hold a Tea Party in abject defiance of Barack Obama’s power trip.

You won’t be alone.

Please forward the link to this message to 10 of your friends.

Growing the Pie

If the Tea Party brings lasting change to America, it must introduce grow-the-pie thinking on the right.

Growing the pieFor years, the tug of war ground on. Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives, Collectivists and Individualists all fighting for the same piece of land.  The strategy was simple: if you’re behind, discredit the other site until you get the lead. If you’re in the lead, reward your friends to keep them loyal.

There were two problems with this game.

First, the conservatives never quite pulled the rope as far to the right as liberals pulled it to the left. So each round left the Left a little stronger and the Right a little weaker.

Second, conservatives fought a fixed-pie battle.  While preaching dynamic pie economics, we practiced fixed-pie politics. We didn’t believe we could grow our base. 

The problems are related.  The reason that the left gains more in its peaks than it surrenders in its valleys is because it seeks constantly to grow its active base.  The right relies on the strength of its arguments to naturally attract adherents.  While this works to a degree, adherents are not activist by nature.

What the Tea Party has done is two-fold:

First, we’ve turned some adherents into activists.  We see this in the email and letters from people who say, “I always voted Republican, but I never really thought about why. Until now.” 

Second, we’ve begun, in tiny measures, growing the base, attracting new activists. We’re winning converts from the other side, and we’re inspiring fence-sitters to our team.

But we face a challenge.

The Republican vanguard seems to feel a bit threatened by the grow-the-pie mentality.  It’s easy to manage a fixed pie--you have to train them only once. When new blood constantly flows into the team, the job of organizing never ends.

 
To fight this, the vanguard puts up litmus tests to keep out converts.  Former Democrats are not welcome. Labor union members and leaders can’t be trusted. First-time candidates carry too much baggage. 

Conscious or unconscious, the Republican vanguard squeezes the pie to keep it small, like a child squeezing its growing dog to keep it a cute little puppy. The vanguard is living up to the most damning accusation hurled at the Tea Party from the left:  closed, narrow, biased, anti-intellectual.

This squeezing has an effect.  Newcomers to the liberty movement feel unwelcome.  Potential donors to causes, groups, and candidates lock their vaults or continue to fund safe, traditional races and issues. Rewarded with power from the work of the newcomers, the Republicans do precisely what they’ve always done: reward their friends with tax dollars. 

Recently, a friend of mine--a Republican--told me about a supposedly conservative Republican state rep.  The rep bragged to my friend of passing a law to save some people millions in property taxes by rezoning their land.  The “some people” tend to be Republican donors.

Those who are little involved in politics but who pay attention say, “The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is who they redistribute money to.”

In St. Louis, now, we’re seeing this dynamic play out.  Gary, a former police union president joined up with the Tea Party in August of 2010. He began just wanting to learn more about us.  What he heard struck a chord.  Soon he was banging doors and making phone calls for our candidates and causes. 
After the election, he stuck around.  The network he built as a police union leader became an important tool in advancing the cause of liberty.  In fact, he was doing so much for us that we recommended he register as a lobbyist to avoid potential ethics complaints.

He did.

And the vanguard reacted. 

First, they challenged the wisdom of “selecting” an “official” Tea Party lobbyist.  When we explained that that’s not really what happened, they shifted.
Next, they attacked our recruit as a union hack who doesn’t represent Tea Party values.  I  posted Gary’s thoughts on the matter--including a long list of Republican endorsement that Gary personally won from the union through his remarkable skills of persuasion. They shifted again.

Now, they’ve attacking Gary for publicly supporting . . . brace yourself . . . a Democrat for Governor and Attorney General when he was president of the police union. Some want Gary to publicly renounce his union’s previous endorsements of the Democrats. 

While I can sympathize with those who believe in political purity, I can also put myself into Gary’s shoes.

Gary hasn’t studied the nuances of political philosophy for decades as many of us have.  He’s been involved the retail politics of union negotiations, but not the philosophical thinking so common among conservatives. 

To illustrate my point, at a recent meet-and-greet with a candidate for Senate, the early conversation centered on whether repealing the 17th Amendment would make problems worse or better in the states.  These are conversations you don’t hear very often outside of Tea Party gatherings.  At Republican events, such “theory” drives away all but a few college students, and Tea Party types.

When he approached our Tea Party offices in August, Gary came, hat in hand, to learn.  I’m sure that our kindness and welcome helped him feel at home.  I know enough about human behavioral sciences to know that kind acceptance earns reciprocation.  As researcher and author Robert C. Cialdini points our, reciprocity is the strongest of the six tools for influence.

We had real work for Gary. We didn’t doubt his sincerity, mostly because of his honesty.  “I agree completely with what you guys stand for, but I sure don’t get the way you think sometimes.”

Gary’s introduction to practical politics meant you do things to get things. Reciprocity.  But the Tea Party does a lot of things that have no obvious return. 
We handed out US Constitutions, door to door, paying no attention to the party affiliation or voting frequency of the occupant.  We held rallies and protests in support of principles that were often in conflict with our short-term self-interest. This thinking makes no sense to a practical politician.

By putting Gary to work in the most important jobs, like calls and canvassing, we earned his trust by offering the same to him.

Over time, Gary has become more conversant in--and comfortable with--the principled approach to politics. But full understanding won’t happen overnight.  And it will never happen if the recruit, the student, feels he’s being singled out for ridicule.

And that’s exactly what’s going on now.

Opponents of Gary’s high-profile work for the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition want Gary to recite a mea culpa for having supported Democrats in the past. 

I can’t think of a better formula to drive Gary--and many other less conspicuous converts--right back into the welcoming arms of the hard left. 

For me, it’s a matter of growing the base and expanding the pie.  I believe the best way to do that is to give meaningful work to converts based on the the skills and passions they bring, under the careful tutelage of a confirmed true believer. 

I believe in growing the liberty base, not in redistributing the wealth to my friends, so I will stand by Gary as long as he welcomes my support--and as long as he remains true to our core principles. 

Left Doubles Down on Threats

What would you do? 

Suppose you did something stupid.  You blamed the wrong person, for instance, for a capital crime.  Then supposed one of your comrades compounded your . . . error . . . by threatening to kill someone on national television?

BillMaherAngryIf you’re an American leftist, you might double down by issuing even more death threats to even more people.

That’s what’ happening right now in America.  Death threats are pouring into Trent Humphries, Tucson Tea Party organizer, Dana Loesch, Sarah Palin (who vows not to be silenced), Glenn Beck, and more.  The self-proclaimed conscience of America—collectivist lefists—have essentially declared war on the right. 

Gateway Pundit and the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition issued a press release on January 17 denouncing the left’s continued threat of violence as means of advancing its anti-liberty agenda.

To counter the left’s increasing vitriol and violence, please publicly thank three people today.

I’ll start:

Thank you, Jim Hoft, for bringing to our attention the mounting threats Trent Humphries is receiving.

Thank you, Jen Ennenbach for crafting a great press release on the issues.

Thank you, Dana Loesch, for continuing to keep our voices in the national ear.

And a bonus:  thank you for honoring by reading my little web missives. 

*UPDATE* J. Eric Fuller issues apology to Trent Humphries.

An Extensive Interview with Missouri News Horizon

When I hear all the lies, slanders, and threats against the Tea Party movement from folks on the left, I wish I could counter with a fuller examination of my beliefs. Luckily, with the help of Missouri News Horizon, I can. The Friday before the 9/12 Tea Party, I sat down with Rebecca Townsend to talk about the Tea Party.

Rebecca and I chatted for an hour.  She led me through just about every aspect of the Tea Party’s history up to that point.  We also talked about its future.

The time of the interview’s release was tough.  It went to press on 9/11, the day before Gateway to November.  Immediately after, we opened our Victory HQ on Hampton and dove into full campaign mode.

Rebecca’s totally fair coverage—she published the transcript and video whole, without edits—deserves more exposure.

Please feel free to point out this interview to anyone who wants to know how I think or what I believe.

Here’s an excerpt:

Q: WITH THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF WHAT?

The ultimate goal is to make sure people understand the founding principles of our country. Those founding principles may be well known, there’s key phrases we all know, but the thinking behind them I think we tend to forget about because we know the phrases so well.

There’s a reason why Jefferson said the “pursuit of happiness” instead of property, which was the popular phrase of the day – life, liberty and property.

Pursuit of happiness may include the pursuit of private property, but it goes far beyond that. There’s a school of thought that says he chose that because property was so closely associated with slavery and he didn’t want to codify the idea of owning another human being. That may have been part of it, but I believe there’s more to it than that.

The pursuit of happiness: There’s a Harvard researcher named Nancy Etcoff, who begins a fantasticTED.com talk by saying, “We are wired to pursue happiness.”

The way she phrased that is very important. She didn’t say we are wired to be happy, but we’re wired to pursue happiness. She went on to say “not only achieve it, but pursue it again and again.”

We know from neuroscience and psychology that a person who is paralyzed and a person who wins the lottery one year after the event will have an equal degree of happiness. Because happiness…we’re driven to want to better ourselves and the world around us. The pursuit of happiness – and Jefferson couldn’t have known this because we didn’t have the science at the time – but he was right, he was way ahead of his time. The pursuit of happiness is as important a right to human beings as the right to defend ourselves from attack.

Going back to the idea that of the negative emotions prevent us from being eaten by tigers and positive emotions prevent us from becoming tigers, if we’re denied the pursuit of happiness, we’re denied the right not to become miserable creatures –miserable to ourselves and miserable to those around us.

In the old Soviet Union in Moscow they did make sure everybody had their basic needs were met. And everyone I’ve met who lived through that era said life was just miserable. Everyone was unhappy. They squabbled, they complained. It was like existing but not being alive.

That’s what happens when government tries to replace our pursuit of happiness with their idea of happiness. Until we establish a good understanding of how important the pursuit of happiness…the unfettered right to pursue of happiness so long as it doesn’t deny someone the right to pursue happiness… until we understand that, we’re in danger of losing that and living the way the Muscovites lived for 70-some years.

Please post your comments on the interview below.