Even 80 Year Olds Have Helped Build the Tea Party Movement

By: April 27, 2011

The other day, listeners to the Mark Levin Show were treated to a delightful conversation between Mr. Levin and 80 year old Beulah Garrett of Edinburgh, Texas.  Ms. Garrett, a veteran online conservative activist, had promised herself a few years ago that if she made it to 80 she would celebrate by phoning Mr. Levin. She made it, and on her 80th birthday, she called Mr. Levin’s program and was put on the air.

One of the points Beulah made is that everyone who supports the Tea Party movement, regardless of their age, circumstances, capabilities or disabilities, can make a contribution to our cause.  This, it seems to me, is an excellent topic for an e-book, as well as personal stories that illustrate the point.

Beulah Garrett herself offers an example of how older supporters of the Tea Party movement can help. Though she doesn’t get out as much as she used to, Beulah continues to make significant contributions to the Tea Party movement by her energetic use of Twitter. Indeed, Beulah’s Twitter involvement played a part in launching the Tea Party movement.

It was Beulah who suggested that Top Conservatives on Twitter, the online conservative activist group that I co-founded back in late November of 2008, should use the hashtag ” #tcot ” to organize tweets of its members. We adopted Beulah’s proposal, and from December 2008 until today, #tcot has remained one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter. It helped fuel the growth of Top Conservatives on Twitter, and our group’s regular pattern of conference calls for “action projects” was the natural vehicle to launch the Tea Party movement.

Without Beulah Garrett’s contribution, history might well have been different.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and the author of an upcoming book on the ideological origins of the Tea Party movement. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .





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