News tagged as 'Tea Party'

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


The Coming Conservative Landslide


Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election. They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee, can’t connect with women, has a large likability gap and is slightly behind Obama in most national polls as well as in the key swing states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

The despair of faint-hearted conservatives deepens when they contemplate President Obama’s disastrous performance in office. His record of fiscally reckless extremism is unparalleled in American history. In three short years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has climbed from 20% to 24% while the national debt has exploded from $10 trillion to $15.5 trillion. By the end of his term, Obama will have increased the national debt by a staggering 67%.

Add to this record President Obama’s continual disrespect for the Constitution, his unceasing regulatory attacks on free enterprise and small businesses, his rhetoric of class warfare, his deceptive demagoguery and his spendthrift economic policies that have fattened the wallets of his political cronies but created so few jobs that millions of Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force, and many conservatives can offer only one explanation for Obama’s current lead in the polls.

America, they conclude, must have lost its can-do spirit of rugged individualism and replaced it with what Governor Chris Christie recently called an attitude of “paternalistic entitlement” championed by a coalition of political elites, acolytes in the mainstream media, crony capitalists and an ever-growing dependency class.

Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer, however. The United States remains a center-right nation. This November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin.

You can read the rest of the story at The Daily Caller.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Romney’s Team Suggests VP Selection is “Liberated” from the Tea Party?


Stephen Hayes writes today at The Weekly Standard that an unnamed source on the Romney team may have set back the steady progress Romney has been making with the Tea Party movement over the past several weeks. Here’s the quote, said to be from a top operative in the Romney campaign, taken from a Washington Post article:

“The conventional thinking has been that after a long and divisive primary campaign, the challenge of uniting the GOP would force Romney to pick a running mate with strong appeal to tea party activists and evangelicals. But Romney’s team thinks he may be liberated from that pressure if he can finish off remaining rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the next few weeks. ”

Hayes wonders if Romney can build on the “great strides [he’s made] with Tea Party leaders in the past two weeks.”

I have the quick answer to that question:

Not if he and his team think they’re “liberated” from us.

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 book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was published by Broadside Books on March, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Super Tuesday Explodes Two Myths About the Tea Party


Results from yesterday’s “Super Tuesday” Republican primaries in ten states exploded two myths about the Tea Party movement.

Myth #1 – The Tea Party is losing its political power.

The mainstream media and the Democratic Party keeping flogging the dead horse that the Tea Party movement has peaked. They point to the lack of public rallies of the sort that characterized 2009 and 2010 as evidence. Balderdash, respond local tea party activists from around the country. We’ve moved on to more important things–like organizing to get-out-the-vote.

Yesterday’s results proved that the Tea Party movement is not only live and well–it’s thriving.

The Tea Party movement claimed another victim among incumbent GOP politicians in Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District, where 4 term GOP incumbent Jeanne Schmidt was upset by tea party challenger Brad Wenstrup, 49% to 43%, despite outspending him by a 3 to 1 margin.  The  noise you hear in the distance is the fearful expectations of a pair of old GOP Senate bulls about to experience serious Tea Party challenges in their primaries–Indiana’s Richard Lugar and Utah’s Orrin Hatch.

Exit polls also showed that GOP Primary voters are strongly supportive of the Tea Party movement. 62% of Tennessee voters fit that category, as do 59% of Ohio voters.

Myth #2 – Tea Party supporters won’t vote for Mitt Romney.

Exit polls in the two most contested states provide evidence that this oft-heard claim is untrue. In Ohio, supporters of the Tea Party movement virtually split their support between Rick Santorum (39%) and Mitt Romney (36%). Gingrich and Paul lagged far behind. In Tennessee, Santorum (39%) beat both Gingrich (27%)  and Romney (25%) among Tea Party supporters. While it’s clear that Tennessee tea partiers prefer Santorum to Romney, a 14% margin is not exactly a tsunami. And Romney beat Gingrich, the only one of these three who deserves credit for helping launch the movement in 2009, in Ohio, and effectively tied him in Tennessee.

While it’s true that very few local tea party leaders have endorsed Romney, that strong opposition appears not to have translated into unbending opposition among the tea party rank and file.

With a hat tip to Mark Twain, it’s fair for those of us in the Tea Party movement to let the Democratic Party and the mainstream media in on this poorly kept secret: “Reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.”

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 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 .

Tagged as: Super Tuesday,  Tea Party

A Better Tea Party Slapdown


I do not dispute Michael Patrick Leahy’s claim (“Tea Party Slaps Down Mitt Romney in South Carolina”) that a fair measure of Newt Gingrich’s wide victory margin in South Carolina can be attributed to Tea Party influence. I would agree with that claim. The Tea Party is angry. Newt Gingrich is angry.

Gingrich, the winner of our third presidential contest, gives voice on a national stage to the Tea Party’s outrage and frustration over enlarging socialist public policy, liberal media bias and entertainment industry antagonism. He goes after them directly and does not tend to mince words or shrink from a fight. The tea partiers are hearing from Newt what they want to say themselves — and how they want it said. And voting for him over Romney in this Southern primary sends a message to all concerned that this is their attitude toward a whole host of adversaries; some included the Republican establishment.

The question for me is this: Is a primary election the proper place to vent a frustration that could give improper cover to a candidate that does not deserve their attention and which could give the false impression that this candidate, above all others, understands and respects their values and will carry them forward into national policy once in office?

I think not. The stakes in this election are high and missteps along the way are amplified. When the Tea Party calms down and takes a careful, steady look at the candidates still standing, they would be wise to seriously consider the candidate who has been with them all along and even heralded their very emergence: Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the quintessential Tea Party politician and has been for decades preceding the rise of this populist movement. Physician, veteran and congressman Ron Paul consistently articulates the Tea Party position on a range of public policy issues. He opposes unconstitutional and immoral entitlement programs, corporate bailouts, stimulus packages and capricious military adventures that materially harm our national security. He would happily dismantle federal agencies that do nothing but prop up union power and favored special interest groups at taxpayer expense. He is the primary spokesman for ending the central banking cartel that controls monetary policy, debases our currency, prints endless supplies of debt-based money and manipulates interest rates that trigger devastating economic booms and busts. In Congress, he has steadfastly voted for lower taxes, for a balanced budget, for gun rights, for an unregulated internet and for stricter limitations on the power of the executive branch.

“A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, 1801

Both the Tea Party and Ron Paul have long agreed that the country is moving in the wrong direction. If you are driving your car toward the edge of a cliff, you need radical change. Ron Paul is precisely that type of change. And we need it now, not later, when it’s too late. And I think it is also important that we lend our considerable support to a candidate who not only has the right message but who delivers it consistently as a seasoned statesman with an even temper.

So, consider wisely and vote accordingly. We all have a lot to loose. A national victory for Ron Paul would be the hardest slapdown the Tea Party could possibly deliver.

Tim Peck was a co-founder of the Asheville, North Carolina Tea Party.

The Tea Party Should Help President Obama Spread His Message About the Occupy Movement


Referring to the Occupy Wall Street movement, President Obama said, “The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side.”

In words I don’t utter often, I agree with the president. The Tea Party should help him inform not just the Occupiers but everyone in America that he sides with their movement—the one that has produced, among other things, widespread illegal occupation of city property, public masturbation, property damage, attacks on police officers, drug dealing and usage, open calls for violence, mass arrests, and sexual assaults; the one whose goal is the destruction of the entire capitalist system.

In the same interview, President Obama said, “In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party.” Really? This is where my agreement with the president ends–abruptly. While the Tea Party may have some slight overlap in some of our grievances (e.g., with the Federal Reserve, and bailouts for huge corporations), our overall agendas and our people are from different universes. In more than two and a half years of enormous protests across America in many of the same areas where the Occupiers are now camped, we have had no incidents like those described above. Instead, we have followed the law, acquired the proper permits, paid the appropriate fees, respected the people and property around us, kept our pants on, left our areas when our time was up, and peacefully and honorably advanced the cause of liberty. Also, our aim is to restore and strengthen our economic system, not destroy it.

The soul of the two movements could not be more different or more apparent. This seems like a no-brainer, but Voices of the Tea Party should include an e-book highlighting these differences to help inform everyone in America who the Tea Party is, who Occupy Wall Street is, and whom the president supports.

Right up to November 2012.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virginia Tea Party. His novel, Fatal Reality, is available on Visit his website at

As We Go Forward They Go Backward


The Tea Party is familiar with the often-cited four-step pattern of political change: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” With some of the most powerful people in the world calling us hobbits, barbarians, terrorists, SOBs, and wanting to send us straight to Hell, I think it’s safe to say we’re firmly in stage three of that process. We are but a single step from victory in our principled cause.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, as the Tea Party progresses toward that victory is that the Big-Government champions we oppose regress along that same pattern. This struck me in observing the response to the recent Attack Watch website President Obama launched in a lame attempt to help his reelection cause. Many conservatives chose to mock the website and the President (see a hilarious parody here). In fact, parodying the absurdities of the Left is becoming quite an art form now among conservatives.

This is a stunning reversal in light of the change pattern. A mere two and a half years ago when the Tea Party was just getting started, I feared the Big-Government champions had already reached stage four and nothing could be done to stop them from ultimately transferring all the power from We the People to We the Government. The Tea Party organized its protests across America, but we were largely ignored. Stage one.

As our movement exploded, though, the media and politicians could no longer pretend we didn’t exist and we were promptly upgraded to being laughed at and then attacked. Stages two and three.

Conversely, it’s now clear to me that the Big-Government champions actually had never reached stage four; and as we advanced, we relentlessly attacked their ideology and policies, pushing them back to stage three. Their subsequent counterattacks have mostly been weak and even downright absurd.

Now we’re officially laughing at them, downgrading them further to stage two.

That’s not to trivialize the collective danger they still represent and national destruction they are capable of inflicting, especially as the bill for their reckless fiscal policies comes due; but I thought it important to note that in less than three years, a new and spontaneous grassroots movement of liberty has taken three of four steps toward victory while knocking a century-old movement of government control back two steps.

None of us should rest, though, until the Tea Party finally achieves the total reversal, entering the fourth stage of victory ourselves and rendering the Big-Government champions so powerless that we can ignore them.

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

The Real Debt Ceiling Story Needs to Be Told

Everything you need to know about career polititicans, the media, and the Tea Party was illustrated in the recent debt ceiling debacle.
It had it all: the Big-Government advocates demanding compromise, yet clearly having no intention of doing anything remotely fiscally responsible; the so-called conservative Republicans passing and then undermining their own bill (Cut, Cap, and Balance), only to ultimately (and predictably) compromise everything away, agreeing to another kick-the-can-down-the-road bill; the American people ending up worse off than they were before, as S&P downgraded our AAA credit rating for the first time in American history; and everyone in the political class, including the media, blaming the Tea Party. They’ve gone so far as to dub S&P’s action the “Tea Party downgrade.”
Sometimes all you can do is marvel at the Big-Government advocates’ total disregard for reality and the intelligence of the American people. They’ll say whatever they want, regardless of its open absurdity, and assume people will believe it.
Slicing through all the rhetoric, though, you get to this simple and undeniable fact: many, if not most, in the Tea Party compromised and reluctantly supported the only legislation that could have prevented the downgrade by increasing the debt ceiling the full amount President Obama requested while implementing real spending cuts. S&P sovereign-rating chief John Chambers said that the two criteria for maintaining our AAA rating were (a) $4 trillion in cuts, and (b) bi-partisan support. The Tea Party largely endorsed the Cut, Cap, and Balance approach, which cut spending by the appropriate level and was passed in the House with support from both Republicans and Democrats. Both criteria were met.

So the Tea Party was the only chance this nation had at maintaining its AAA rating.

But the political establishment, knowing they look silly and are losing ground daily in the eyes of ordinary Americans, are desperate to shift the blame to the only organization that deserves none. They are terrified of us, because we represent an enormous group of engaged and principled Americans actively pushing for real fiscal responsibility, regardless of the political ramifications. They know their only chance at continuing to grow government and spend America into an economic black hole is to discredit the powerful nationwide movement fully committed to stopping them.

This entire story is screaming for a Voices of the Tea Party e-book. Simply describing the events from start to finish of how the debt ceiling was raised in 2011 will illustrate everything wrong with Washington and everything right with the Tea Party movement—a movement convincing the nation it’s finally time to return to America’s founding principles and shift the power from We the Government back to We the People.

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

Third Party or Exisiting Parties?


In November 2010, the Tea Party flooded voting booths across the nation and delivered a historic victory for the Republican Party. While many Tea Partiers (including me) are independents—and some even are Democrats—we largely supported the GOP as our only immediate chance to restore some semblance of sanity to this nation’s fiscal policies.

So far they’ve delivered on virtually nothing, including in the House where they are the significant majority.* But with the debt ceiling issue they now have a unique opportunity to finally force significant and unavoidable spending cuts. Democrats–including and especially President Obama–are desperate to get the ceiling raised so they can continue to spend our nation toward an economic catastrophe, but this can’t happen without the approval of the House.

We empowered Republicans for this moment. But they’re sending signals that they may fold (again) and raise the debt ceiling, despite the public’s overwhelming opposition, without including any real spending cuts in the deal. If they take that course and miss this historic opportunity to start to pull us back from the black hole before it’s too late (the Cut, Cap, and Balance approach is a good start), I believe we’ll finally see an organized third party movement begin in America.

I’m not arguing for or against that here, I’m simply stating what I believe will happen. I’ve heard enough Tea Partiers in my home state of Virginia already pushing for a third party—and seen similar interest across the country—that I believe it to be a real possibility. If that happens, the Republican Party will be decimated, and they will have only themselves to blame.

With that in mind, I’d like to see a Voices of the Tea Party e-book describe the mechanics involved in (a) creating a third party and (b) using the existing party structures to take over one or both (as the Big-Government advocates started to do a century ago). The former is a long, complex process, while the latter is actually much easier than many people realize and is the reason the Tea Party has taken that approach so far. But because our members are so distraught with the total lack of principled leadership in the existing parties and many are ready to start a new one, it would be helpful if they understood exactly what’s involved so they can determine if that’s truly the best approach or if it would be better to stay the course and advance our cause through the existing parties.

* Obviously a huge part of the problem is that whatever fiscally conservative legislation they may pass will either fail in the Senate or be vetoed anyway. But that shouldn’t stop them from passing it and forcing politicians to go on record as voting for either fiscal responsibility or fiscal ruin.

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

A Moral Movement


Last week, I outlined a continuing series I would be writing on this blog about the Tea Party from a Christian perspective. My goal is to convince my spiritual brethren who are skeptical of our movement that they actually belong on its front lines. I believe an e-book (or a series of them) with the same goal would make a valuable addition to Voices of the Tea Party. This is merely one Tea Partier’s view on how our core principles relate to my faith.


As a Christian in the Tea Party, sometimes other Christians express concern to me that our movement doesn’t address moral issues. While they generally agree on the constitutional and economic stances we take, some are hesitant to join our cause because we don’t take a stance on some of the traditional issues the church is passionate about.

My response goes something like this:

–          Advancing constitutionally limited government—a defense against tyranny and oppression by a power-hungry government—is a moral issue.

–          Standing for fiscal responsibility (i.e., good stewardship) and against a government that spends money we do not have on programs that do not work, piling up an unfathomable debt that our children—who had no say in the matter—will have to repay is a moral issue.

–          Keeping markets free and fair so that government can’t reward and punish political allies and enemies through over-taxation and regulation is a moral issue.

–          Demanding virtue and accountability in our representatives (and in ourselves) so that they (and we) are trustworthy stewards of our God-given freedoms is a moral issue.

–          Because every person is created in God’s image and, therefore, possesses inherent value, protecting individual rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution is a moral issue.

–          Stopping government from destroying the value of the U. S. dollar—and countless lives—is a moral issue.

–          Allowing productive citizens to keep the fruits of their labor is a moral issue.

–          Insisting that government officials enforce and personally adhere to the laws we all operate under is a moral issue.

–          Opposing bailouts of massive corporations while you and I struggle to feed our families is a moral issue.

–          Fighting against forced redistribution of wealth (also known as “stealing”) and the promotion of envy by a corrupt, secular government is a moral issue.

–          Holding elected representatives accountable to their oaths of office by expecting them to act transparently, with integrity, and at least read and understand the bills they pass is a moral issue.

–          Simplifying the entire tax code so that it is comprehensible and fair to all citizens, favoring no special interest group over another, is a moral issue.

–          Becoming energy independent by using America’s own natural resources so that we no longer rely on tyrannical nations that seek our demise is a moral issue.

–          Protecting religious liberty is a moral issue.

I could go on, but you get the point. While these certainly aren’t the traditional moral issues that the church addresses, numerous Christian organizations are already doing excellent work on the others. Few, though—if any—address the issues related to constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and virtue and accountability—all of which contain strong moral components and align with biblical teachings. And the Tea Party, though not a religious movement, succeeds in advancing these founding principles that the Christian community often ignores to its own—and America’s—peril.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virgina tea party.