“When my son was finally home [from Iraq, I found that] I had become hyper-attentive to political issues. The accelerated spending had alarmed me, as had the reckless rhetoric and the government’s inability to face the mathematical realities of incomprehensible debt, collapsing markets, increasing unemployment, and devaluation of the dollar. Then in February I heard the recording of Rick Santelli’s famous rant, and realized that I was not in the minority.”
As a child, Mark Lloyd's grandmother always told him that he was a descendant of Patrick Henry. Though he's still trying to document the connection, he likes to believe that he is guided by Henry's spirit. As a resident of Campbell County, Virginia—the county of Henry's final homestead—Lloyd follows Henry's example every day, dedicating his life to ensure the liberty Henry fought for would be passed on to his own children and grandchildren. As an active grassroots Tea Party participant in the political elections in Virginia's 2010 Fifth Congressional District, Lloyd describes the Republican primary battles between the tea party and Establishment Republicans, the somewhat awkward General Election alliance between the two, and the challenge of holding the victor of the General Election—an Establishment Republican who defeated an incumbent Democrat only with tea party support—accountable to the principles that brought him to Washington in January of 2011.An excerpt from The Battle for Virginia's 5th District
When I was a child growing up in Texas in the early 1960s, my grandmother often told me that I have the blood of Patrick Henry in my veins. She knew this to be so because her mother and grandmother had told her, and the strong oral tradition of our family reinforced that idea again and again. We were a working-class family, descendants of backcountry Virginians who had migrated first to Tennessee and then to Texas. Years later, I would try to confirm her story. My research has brought me tantalizingly close to a connection—the same county in eighteenth-century Virginia—but I have never been able to completely confirm or disprove the claim. Still, with seventeen children and fifty-six grandchildren, Patrick Henry did his part to populate the frontier.
But whether I share a portion of his DNA or not, I certainly share Henry’s ardent libertarian convictions. As I look back at my own life, and the events that drew me to the Tea Party movement, I am left with one inescapable conclusion. The spirit of Patrick Henry has guided me.
When my son was finally home [from Iraq, I found that ] I had become hyper-attentive to political issues. The accelerated spending had alarmed me, as had the reckless rhetoric and the government’s inability to face the mathematical realities of incomprehensible debt, collapsing markets, increasing unemployment, and devaluation of the dollar. Then in February I heard the recording of Rick Santelli’s famous rant, and realized that I was not in the minority. I knew then that something was up, and I was in. The planning started locally with some friends for a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Lynchburg, Virginia, and around the country. I traveled to Dallas that April to meet a newborn grandson, and attended the Tax Day rally hosted by the Dallas Tea Party. I loved it. The speakers were saying the words I had been thinking, and I could feel something growing inside me. For the first time in my life I felt in sync with the hundreds of people surrounding me. I knew they were all feeling the same thing. It was obvious that all those in attendance loved this nation, but I believe this was the moment we became something other than fans of the United States of America; it was the moment many of us realized we were being reborn as patriots. The same spirit shared by those who fought for independence was once again with us. I had found a political home.