News tagged as 'Tea Party movement'

Why Young Americans Under 30 Should Look to the Tea Party as Their Answer for a Bright Future


You have the most incentive of anyone to not only join the Tea Party movement, but become its most passionate leaders.

Stop laughing. Just hear me out.

I’m 35 years old. And though you make think I’m already old enough to draw Social Security, I can assure you that I’m not and can still clearly remember what it’s like to be young(er).

Because of that, I understand why the Tea Party isn’t exactly the coolest thing on campus. Though toga parties seem to remain a winner, I haven’t heard of any where people are sporting knee-length pants, tri-corner hats, and powdered wigs. I’m not really a partygoer myself, but even I would be creeped out by something like that.

But the Tea Party isn’t about being cool (obviously) or social networking or feeling good about oneself; it is primarily about one thing: saving some semblance of freedom for your generation.

I know, it sounds melodramatic—but it’s true. There are many examples of how your freedoms are being rapidly stripped from you in ways you likely don’t even see, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the one I believe to be the biggest.

The national debt.

While this topic may seem well suited for a crowded lecture hall where you normally catch up on sleep, believe me, it’s hard to overstate its impact on your future. Consider that the national debt is roughly $15.5 trillion. That is real money our nation owes to real people who expect us to pay it back. And the payments must come from the taxes we forfeit from our own wallets.

It may be difficult to conceptualize what the total debt means to you personally, but all you have to do is divide it by the 320 million people living in America, and you discover that your share of the load is $48,437. If that weren’t bad enough, America’s unfunded liabilities (future debt for which no money has been set aside) are estimated to be anywhere from $60 to $118 trillion. Let’s be conservative and take the low number, adding it to the $15.5 trillion, and round down what we collectively owe to an even $75 trillion. That increases your individual share to $234,375. And this doesn’t even include any student loans for those of you that have—or will have—them.

Is this getting real to you yet?

Now—answer this: Which demographic is suffering the highest employment in America?

You got it: young people. In fact, the Associated Press just reported that more than half of four-year college grads under 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.

The staggering national debt and high unemployment rate, especially among young people, are a direct result of the Big-Government policies our nation is advancing. It took America roughly 200 years to accumulate its first trillion in debt, but President Obama has accumulated five trillion in three years alone. We’re borrowing at a rate of 333 times as fast as we did over our first two centuries of existence. And this is done by the same person who when he was Senator Obama less than four years ago said, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents—number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back—$30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic” (emphasis added).

I would add staggeringly immoral to that assessment, for he was exactly right: to fund our government’s reckless spending we were (are) borrowing from nations like China and foisting the debt on future generations (you) who had no say in the matter. In fact, most had no idea it was (is) even happening. Furthermore, we have also inflated our money supply at an unprecedented level, making our dollar worth far less than it used to be.

So to summarize: you have been saddled with an enormous debt without your permission, you face a terrible job market to try to make some money to actually pay off the debt, and the little money that you do have holds ever-diminishing purchasing power. Oh, and by the way, the $75 trillion America owes is more than the combined money supply of the entire world. There is simply no way to pay it off. Which means that your generation as inheritors of this debt is facing blinding taxes, resulting in far greater unemployment and a loss of freedom you probably can’t even imagine.

Okay, let me stop here and say that I’m not trying to depress you. Honestly. I’m simply illustrating the fruits of Big Government … and offering you a real solution.

The Tea Party.

Our support for limited government and fiscal responsibility are your best shot at hanging on to some semblance of freedom and not spending the rest of your life working for the government to pay off all the money they borrowed in your name. If you want to have any ability to provide a good living for yourself (and possibly a family someday), you will join with us in demanding an immediate and dramatic reduction in government spending across the board and a balanced budget to start getting our debt under control. And to jumpstart our dying economy, you will help us push for a simplification of the tax code and massive reductions in regulations and taxes on businesses, which would help them grow and create jobs and bring many back that have been shipped overseas.

Believe me, I know that declaring yourself a member of the Tea Party may treat you to some strange looks or snickering at your upcoming social gatherings, but in the long run that will seem like a small price to pay for preserving your freedom. So join with us in protecting your future by helping your local Tea Party—or starting one of your own, especially if you’re on a college campus—to find and support those political candidates who will advance the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Plenty of them will be running. And if we elect enough of them this November (and beyond), your generation may help prevent an economic catastrophe for all of us, but especially for you.

What could be cooler than that?

Jonathan Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party. He is the author of Saving America: A Christian Perspective of the Tea Party Movement and the novel Fatal Reality (a thriller), both of which are available on Visit his websites and


What’s Next for the Tea Party Movement?


Astroturf Anarchists


 The phony spectacle known as “Occupy Wall Street” continues to unfold with the help of the mainstream media and President Obama’s allies at and the union leadership of the SEIU and AFL-CIO.  

The chaotic incoherence of  the “protesters” with no clear  message, little diversity (they appear to be almost exclusively white), and a proclivity towards odd rituals and an apparent antipathy towards freedom of speech (if you’not seen this video, yet, you must watch a group of young white “protesters” who refused to let Civil Rights icon John Lewis  speak at their Atlanta event) can best be described as “astroturf by useful idiots.”

In New York City, hundreds of these protesters were arrested for disrupting traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. Soon, several hundred followed with an assault on police barricades. In Washington, dozens stormed the Air and Space Museum, causing officials to close down that facility.

Despite this disruptive tactics, the protesters have been encouraged by the President .

In contrast to these heavily covered and highly orchestrated events where “hundreds” show up, the Tea Party was organic. I know, because I was there at its origins, as were these 96 other founding mothers and fathers of the Tea Party movement.

All of this brings us to the consideration of this question as an  interesting topic to consider for a future Voices of the Tea Party: Why does the mainstream media continue to misreport the organic nature of the Tea Party Movement while failing to report the true astroturf nature of these left wing anarchist events?


Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published in July. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Ron Paul Is Just the Latest to Claim He Started the Tea Party Movement


A little more than two years ago, I dialed in to a conference call.  It was another in a series of calls that a relatively few people joined to talk about how we could stop Congress from passing the Stimulus, and TARP, and the Auto Bailout, etc.  But this one was different.  I was galvanized by what someone said on a cable news channel the day before.  I did my best to tweet and retweet the clip and the conference call details so that as many people as possible could join in.  I had a feeling that this call was going to be special.  When I hung up a little more than an hour later, I knew my life was not going to be the same for a long time.

The ideas set into motion on that call changed the course of not just my own life, or the lives of the 96 other people who bravely stepped forward that week to help organize a series of rallies; but the shape of American politics.  (Maybe one day, if you’re interested, we can talk about it.)

As is often the case when an idea is successful, everyone wants to claim it was theirs.  This is certainly true of the Tea Party movement.  But before we get too far down the road, I’d like to offer a few corrections to help set the historical record straight:

1. The populist, grassroots movement whose core principals include Constitutionally Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility, and Free Markets, that is generally referred to as “the Tea Party movement” was  born out of the nationwide rallies that were inspired by Rick Santelli’s rant in February, 2009; and organized and launched within a week by 97 Americans across the country who agreed to a general set of operating strategies, many of which are still in practice today.

2. The Tea Party movement  is a decentralized movement – an alliance of peers – run most often on the spare change found between the sofa cushions and a lot – A LOT – of volunteerism.

3. There is NOT a national leader, co-ordinator, or spokesperson for the movement.  I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

4. Ron Paul is NOT the ‘godfather’ of the movement.  Many Tea Party people are small-“l” libertarians, and like very much what Paul has to say on some things; but that’s it.

5. Big-“L” Libertarians tried for YEARS to spur a widespread acceptance of Libertarianism through initiatives named after the Boston Tea Party.  For whatever reason, it didn’t resonate with everyday Americans.

6. The Tea Party movement is NOT a third party.  In those rare instances where you see a political party called “Tea,” it is often the cynical creation of a political opportunist, and generally not supported by the local Tea Party groups.

7. The heart and soul of the Tea Party does not live in the offices of any national organization.  It lives in the hearts and minds of the millions of hardworking men and women across the country who see that the path to lasting prosperity and freedom in America begins at our own kitchen tables.

With its growth and vibrancy over the last two years, I expect a certain amount of situations where people and organizations try to harness, frame, re-frame, lay claim, lead, and otherwise ‘own’ the Tea Party Movement.  This list is long and growing.

The American Family Council was the first to try – although their cute little “TEA” acronym, “Taxed Enough Already,” stuck.  Next was Newt Gingrich.  A few of the original organizers periodically try, building an impressive record of bullying and lawsuits along the way.  Matt Kibbe, Dick Armey and their pals at FreedomWorks tried, too – going so far as to write a book about it. #fail

Those on the left, in the media, and especially the establishment right have desperately sought to define, identify, and quantify the Tea Party movement.  When they can’t find the leader, they pick one for us.  We know their names: Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and the aforementioned Ron Paul.  When they can’t find a spokesperson, they’ll take who they can get — which mostly amounts to generally well-meaning people that are not so much “Tea Party organizers” as a guy with an email list. Along the way, a few cunning entrepreneurs and opportunists have made a good living trading on the name and good will of the growing movement.

It’s no wonder.  While the Democrat and Republican Parties are losing heaps of membership and contributors, the Tea Party movement is growing by leaps and bounds.  All of the excitement and energy in American politics today resides in this well-known, people-driven movement; yet there is a distinct mystery about the movement — an ‘otherness’ that makes the Tea Party seem like something from another dimension.  Who is the leader?  How do they know what to do?  Who is paying them?  Are they a political party?

These are all questions worthy of a Voices of the Tea Party e-book. Mark Kevin Lloyd, who’s already written an e-book for the series, wrote a parable that describes the nature of our movement better than anything I have seen to date.

Consider a tall-ship sailing the high seas.  Picture the vessel as it pitches and rolls over the angry swells, its billowing sails straining against the lines.  The experts spend their time describing for the rest of us the curve of the hull, the planks of the deck, the stout masts, and the elegant rigging of the ship.

Is the she sea-worthy?  What about the crew?  Where is the captain?  How will they survive with no pilot at the helm?

They predict the inevitable destruction of this grand craft.  Surely the inexperienced crew will sail it into dangerous waters and crash it on the rocks.  So they begin the tragic tales that are to be told of how the ship and its crew were lost at sea, and the tales will become legend.  That may well be the case.  But it will not matter.

You see, the ship and the crew are not the Tea Party. The Tea Party is the wind.”
Mark is right.  The Tea Party is the wind.  It lives in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans; and it is they who will lead it, by leading themselves.

Christina Botteri is a co-founder of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, and is the social media strategist behind the successful launch of the Tea Party movement in February, March, and April of 2009. She can be reached on Twitter at ChristinaKb .

Bringing the Truth to Young People


In my last post, I discussed my passion for reaching minority communities with the Tea Party message. Just as important, though, is reaching young people—the future leaders of our nation. If we don’t convince a significant portion that constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets are the best approach, America will ultimately become the most powerful Big-Government force the world has ever known. The implications of that are scary.

The professional Left is way ahead of us on this one—they have been indoctrinating our children for decades. They own the school system from top to bottom, as well as pop culture, and use both to teach that Big-Government is the solution (never the cause) of all our problems. They also own the mainstream media—though that is changing rapidly, and opens an opportunity for Voices of the Tea Party to play a significant role.

E-books are an excellent vehicle to reach today’s young people, whose electronic devices are merely an extension of their minds. So naturally I’d like to see an e-book detailing the facts about our dismal economic and debt situation. Young people are largely skeptical of the Tea Party movement, but whenever I interact with them (not that I’m old myself at 34, but the youngest ones probably think I’m already drawing Social Security), I make the case that they have most incentive to join our cause, because they are the ones ultimately on the hook for the trillions of dollars of debt and tens of trillions of unfunded liabilities we’re racking up.

Watch the scales fall from college students’ eyes when you tell them that without their permission the Federal Government has already put them in the hole—along with every other American—$45,000 of personal debt (it’s a staggering $400,000 when unfunded liabilities are included). Add this to their student loans and the reality that unemployment is higher among young people than any other demographic with no hope of turning around because of the Federal Government’s disastrous economic policies, and they start to get a glimpse into the truth that their future has been stolen when they weren’t looking. And once they understand this, it won’t matter what Stephen Colbert or anti-American college professors say anymore.

The straightforward truth always wins—if someone is willing to tell it. Our case to the young is easy to make, and we should be making it every day, turning the rising generations back toward our founding principles. This is the only hope for their future. Our future.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party.