Friday, April 16, 2010

What Is The Future of The T.E.A. Party Movement?

A lot of attention has been given to the T.E.A. party recently in the media as a result of the current debate over health care reform, the 2010 midterm elections and the influence this group has on politics today as well as in the future.
Who Are The T.E.A. Partiers? 
One would think that this group of people are easy to understand. People are angry with our government because it is creating debt at an unprecedented rate while ushering in a new era of unprecedented government expansion into the daily lives of Americans. And who is financing all of this? The American taxpayer. And who will be forced to suffer the consequences of the poor decisions made by our elected representatives? The American taxpayer.
Yet, despite all the media coverage about the T.E.A party movement, it is still an enigma to members of the general public. As CNN points out, "the Tea Party movement, now in its 14th month, is not well-known to nearly half the country. Forty five percent of all Americans say they do not know enough about the Tea Party to say whether they support it or oppose it. Those who are familiar with the movement are divided right down the middle - 27 percent support the Tea Party movement, and 27 percent oppose it." (Source.)
This movement, is only in its infancy. But its growing:
"the number of people who say they’re part of the Tea Party Movement nationally has grown to 24%. That’s up from 16% a month ago, but the movement still defies easy description."(Source.)
Facts About The T.E.A. Partiers 

The most important and easiest thing to understand is that pols show that the T.E.A. party movement is not some fringe group but made up of Americans of all walks of life:
The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal. (Source.) 
The Winston Group found, in three national surveys conducted from December through February and published April 1, that the Tea Party movement is composed of a broad cross-section of the American people -- 40 to 50 percent of its supporters are non-Republicans. Indeed, one-third of self-identified Democrats say they support the Tea Party movement.(Source.)
Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That's the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement. (Source.)
Getting Involved In Politics Is Not A Wise Idea

Given that this movement is growing, what should the T.E.A. Party be doing right now?

First let us discuss what they should not be doing. 
Some people believe that this movement might form into an alternative third political party. It is not a political party. And neither should it form into one. Those who leave the two major parties are relegating themselves to political irrelevance. Ross Perot's Reform Party and  Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party have faded into political obscurity. 
Neither should the T.E.A Party be endorsing those who wish to get into political office. Politicians who rely only on the support of the Tea Party movement have yet to win an election. Debra Medina, Patrick Hughes, Adam Andrzejewski, Doug Hoffman, Larry Naritelli, and J.D. Hayworth are all T.E.A Party favorites who are or will fizzle into the footnotes of political history.
If this political movement cannot and should not be in the business of forming a political party or actively supporting candidates for political office, what should the T.E.A movement do? 

Trust And Credibility 
In order to answer that question, consider that a recent poll shows that the T.E.A. party has more credibility with the American party than politicians in Congress:  
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.
When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.
Finally, 46% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is more ethical than the average member of Congress. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say that the average member of Congress is more ethical.
I don't think the T.E.A party realizes the significance of what this means. It means that Americans are staring to trust one another. They are looking to their friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow church goers for answers to the challenges of this country. They are starting to realize that they can no longer look to the federal or state government for answers. That is why the T.E.A. party movement is growing and getting more stronger everyday. That is why the general public is starting to believe this movement rather than the government when it comes to solving the financial issues that face our country.
Trust is the one thing that that the media, politicians and our public education system do not have.

This is what the founding fathers wanted. They set up a government whereby people were free to rely on one another and not to rely on the government. They wanted citizens to be the ones on the watchtower to warn of threats to our freedoms. They wanted Americans to teach each other about the Constitution and what our country is all about.

If we simply protest just to change the laws, endorse political candidates or form a third party, such actions will only bring a temporary halt to the growth of government. No meaningful or lasting change will come from it.

To make a permanent change in America and restore this country to what it was created to be, we need to change the hearts, mind and soul of every person in the United States. When that happens, society changes. And when society changes, the government is transformed because it will reflect the heart, mind and soul of the citizens.
Thus, the T.E.A. parties should just be doing what it is doing now. Organizing. Protesting. And most importantly, educating. 

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