There is no better historical model of independent “Tea Party espoused values” thinking than Thomas Jefferson. As a grassroots Tea Party leader, caught up in the day to day tactics of influencing the political process, I find it refreshing and invigorating to renew my acquaintance with the fundamental principles upon which our nation was formed.
Jefferson has been a big hero of mine since childhood. I am an ardent admirer of his writings. Though I live not far from Monticello, the business of everyday life prevents me from visiting Jefferson’s home there as often as I would like. I’ve read many of his biographies, but find myself, in moments of reflection, eager to learn more about Jefferson’s thinking.
The other day, instead of driving down to the stone front book store over 20 miles from our farm, I decided to check first over the Internet and see if there was anything new in the e-book options that I could access instantly.
What a pleasant surprise was in store for me!
I found a 700 page e-book biography, The Real Thomas Jefferson, published in hard copy by the Center for the Constitution Studies way back in 1983. There is no way I would have found this treasure had I gone to a physical book store in our rural area. But there it was, online, available for my use in seconds. Since I had a few spare minutes, I downloaded it to my Kindle and started reading it immediately. It was an exhilarating discovery.
Since his death, Jefferson has been both attacked and praised by writers of various backgrounds. The Real Thomas Jefferson explains his life, ideas, and stand for freedom in his own words. Most Americans are fed up with today’s compromised “old guard” government leaders. In the pages of this e-book, I found a strong reliable voice to support exactly the kind of positions many of us in the Tea Party movement support.
In our country today, our great new conservative freshmen are holding the line in congress. They are badly beaten down while taking a stand to reduce our national debt and balance the budget. How can reading Jefferson help me support the Tea Party freshmen?
These words of Jefferson stand out to me: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” Jefferson’s words renew my commitment, and serve as a reminder to encourage others as well, to get behind conservatives in office who will not give up their values for the hollow compromise being pushed by those supposedly “in the know.”
I’ll take the bold colors of the classic Thomas Jefferson over the dim staleness of those “in the know” every time.
Rita Grace is an educator, founder and organizer of Constitutional Tea Party in Culpeper, Virginia and surrounding counties. She serves on the EC of VTPP Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation as Events Chair. She is also a wife and homeschooling mother of 5 children, and grandmother of 9 . She can be reached on Twitter at RitaGraceTP.
Thanks for this fascinating post. I wonder if a 700 page e-book on Thomas Jefferson is too much for today’s busy tea party activists to process readily. After all, the idea behind the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series is to provide important, usable information that can be digested quickly. Is there a need for an e-book that presents a more streamlined version of Thomas Jefferson? Perhaps an e-book title along these lines might be worth considering: Who is Thomas Jefferson to the Tea Party?