If anyone would have asked me on Friday, February 27, 2009 at our first Orlando Tea Party rally what the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution is and how has it affected the relationship between the state and federal governments, I wouldn’t have been able to answer the question.
Did we rise up because we knew what James Madison wrote about federalism in The Federalist Papers? Or because we understood the purpose of the legal system from Bastiat’s The Law? No — but like me, the American electorate arose from its slumber because, simply put, we knew something was wrong. Policies enacted in the Bush administration that continued with Obama’s approach to governing were contrary to the kind of common sense on which America was built.
Since the tea party movement began, however, many leaders and members have sought to quench a thirst for greater knowledge of American History, for understanding our founders’ original intent, and for an overall study of the proper role of government. Groups around the country are searching for material through book clubs, weekly seminars, conference calls, webinars, podcasts and even video.
To achieve the long-term preservation of our Republic, I believe we must make education the foundation of the tea party movement. In order to identify and properly vet candidates, to support the difficult decisions we expect of our representatives, and to ensure we do not return to an attitude of apathy and disengagement, we must arm ourselves and the public at large with the truth. We must look through the lens of our founder’s original intent, which will in turn require a clear understanding of the writings by which they were inspired.
Broadside Books has a tremendous opportunity to enlighten the electorate by answering the questions: What is Liberty, what does it mean, and how can we apply the lessons from the writings that inspired our founders to what we’re experiencing today?
Jason Hoyt was on the conference call that launched the Tea Party movement on February 20, 2009. In the two subsequent years, he has emerged as a Tea Party leader in Orlando, Florida. He can be reached on Twitter at @JasonWHoyt .