Many of my readers know that I have been what some would call “critical” of the Tea Party movement. While I support their cause wholeheartedly, I have never thought that getting together at a rally where nothing is actually done besides a support system and a lot of “feel good” speeches accomplished anything except emotional support. While emotional support for those who are in the Tea Party may be a good thing in keeping them from feeling alone, it does exclusively that: emotions. Emotions are not actions and that is what I have always thought the Tea Party should be about. After all, if your numbers have Congress and the MSM afraid of you, why waste that fear? Why not put that power into action and do something with it? However, I saw very few Tea Party activities besides rallies and speeches; and neither of those things accomplishes anything. Therefore, in order to encourage Tea Party members in their activities to make a difference, I have the following suggestions for getting active and doing something.
Please take these suggestions in the spirit they are offered: not as a criticism, but as a list of things people may have the time, be willing to make the effort, and have the wherewithal to do without having to do it all themselves, and without having to feel as though they weren’t cut out for one particular item that every Tea Party member is already doing because there are no other ideas put forth. I try to run the gamut of ideas that require differing amounts of effort, money, time, personal nerves and attendance. Not everyone will wish to do every suggestion; not every suggestion will be right for all. Pick one or more that you are comfortable with and do those. As the Bible says, “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Eph. 4:11-12). No one person is supposed to be everything. Choose which you will do and follow through with all your heart.
The list of possibilities:
• Start attending Brevard County Board of County Commission meetings and speak against items that would mean the BOCC voting to spend your money. This is a necessary step to help lower taxes at home. Remember, with the manned space program (so far just the manned) shut down, there will be fewer people to pay for the things the BOCC wants to spend money on. There will be fewer homes occupied and there will be fewer people paying property taxes in order to fund those BOCC votes. It’s your money; do something to protect it. There should be no fewer than forty or fifty Tea Party members at each BOCC meeting and at least that many at the Budget meetings.
• If you do not wish to attend BOCC meetings and speak on spending items, then attend smaller meetings: workshops, budget discussions, etc., and speak against the spending items there. Again, the car pool organizers would be vital here. If you do not wish to be involved in the BOCC or budget discussions because you “don’t do numbers”, then do something else in a County Committee or Board. Request that your County Commissioner appoint you to represent your area. If you get to vote on spending items, vote against them. If you do not get to vote on spending, then vote in the most conservative way possible. Boards and Committees are usually stepping stones for those wishing to become political candidates. Being assigned to Boards and Committees means making political connections. Keep your eyes open and find out who is trying to use it as a stepping stone and what their political bent is (progressive or Conservative). Inform the present of the possible future. (If you live in an incorporated city within Brevard County, do the same things as suggested above for the “County” section, but at your City Council meetings. That’s a given.)
• Become a candidate. If you are the right person for the job, you can do so and be elected, especially in today’s climate. I know it’s scary and that there are a lot of requirements and very little time left (if any) to qualify. But if that is what you are being called to do, go for it. Campaigning between now and August primaries is going to be difficult, but you can do it. Look at all of the people who went to the Tea Parties and request their help with getting you into office. If you have been at the Tea Parties, they may recognize you. If not, show them what you’re made of and stand for lower taxes at all times; before the election, and if you win, after the election.
• If you choose not to become a candidate, be sure to vote for the most CONSERVATIVE person on the ballot, no matter what the party designation is behind the candidate’s name. Conservative people are for smaller government and lower taxes, and that’s what the Tea Party is all about. We all know that there are way too many RINOs in the Republican Party nowadays to believe that the “R” party designation means that they won’t vote for higher taxes (think Mary Bolin and Chuck Nelson on the BOCC: both ran as Republicans).
• Contact your local representatives and tell them that you are forming a group of people who would like to meet with him/her on a regular basis to advise them on what the people are thinking. IF they agree to meet with you regularly, excellent! They’re interested in what their constituents think. IF they don’t agree to meet with you, get together with the group of people and talk about what this representative (BOCC member, Senator, whatever) is doing and discuss your reactions to what they are doing. Take notes on what was discussed and send those notes to the representative on a regular basis. This will let the representative know that they are being watched and whether you think they are doing a good job, a terrible job, or just middling.
• Visit your local representatives’ offices individually (just you and/or your family): BOCC, State and U.S. elected officials should become familiar with your face and with your name. This reminds them that their votes have an impact on individuals, not just groups. It makes it more personal when they see that you have a war injury and walk with a cane and that vote is going to affect your veteran’s benefits; or that your little boy has aspirations to be an astronaut and the space program is important to the future, too. Write to them, call them and visit them. Let them know that you are watching them and that you have the vote and you will use it. Don’t stalk them; just let them know that you are watching their every vote.
• Start “Tuesday Teas” (use whichever title you wish for them) in which you gather a few of your neighbors (5-10) each Tuesday and talk politics and taxes. These do not have to be Tea Party members, just people who need the information. Have facts and figures ready. Have the information available. Get online and be ready to prove your assertions. Have your computer set up in a convenient location for questions to be looked into immediately. “Fingertip knowledge” is very handy in winning people over to the truth.
• Coordinate a bi-annual Block Party for your street and get Tea Party speakers to come speak at your event. This should not be an election event; it should be an educational event. Tea Party speakers should be from a different area than your neighborhood so that people don’t see it as a “get out the vote” event. This will help with participation and ease suspicions. The Tea Party speaker may get some good feedback and people will talk, but they won’t be able to vote for him/her.
• If you can afford the expense, order pamphlets and books from www.wallbuilders.com and other websites to teach the truth of how America was founded and who America is supposed to be. Wallbuilders.com has one particular pamphlet that talks about “Separation of Church and State” and covers that subject thoroughly (did you know that statement was written in a private letter and taken totally out of context?) that sells for 50¢ each. Twenty of those will cost you ten dollars plus shipping. If you have that to spare, order it and loan it to your neighbors and after they read it, discuss it with them. Then ask for it back and ask someone else to read it. Or, just let them keep it but ask them to promise to pass it on.
• If the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc., have guest speakers, ask if you can come speak to their members and teach them about the Boston Tea Party for a merit badge event. Teach the members about the tax rebellion during our Founding and relate it to today’s Tea Party and what the governments (city, county, state and federal) are currently doing to us.
• Have a garage sale and have information about the Tea Party and what it stands for and what it is trying to accomplish ready to give to anyone who visits your garage sale. Some will not like it; some will not accept it; some will accept it and drop it on the ground right in front of you. Expect that, but at least you tried. With every purchase, have a plastic bag ready to put the purchases in; include your information on the Tea Party in the bag with purchase.
• Get involved in your child’s or grandchild’s school. Volunteer and watch the way the classes are run; what they teach the children and how they teach the children. If you see that the progressive slant is being favored, make a fuss about it and contact the School Board after speaking to the principal if he/she will not make a change.
• Check your child’s/grandchild’s school text books. If they are teaching “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, excellent! If they are skewing the information and Ronald W. Reagan gets a short paragraph and Clinton and Obama get a few pages of praise, they’re doing it wrong. Make a fuss at the school and at the School Board about the book being skewed.
• Volunteer to teach a class on the Founding Fathers and what they actually believed and wanted for America. Resources are available on the internet – especially at www.wallbuilders.com , www.askheritage.org -- among others. Teach the children the truth about our Founding Fathers and the fact that they started this nation as a Christian nation.
• Start a phone bank and man it. Be the person who puts together a phone tree and be the person who is the person to contact in case there is an action item, important development, etc., that the Tea Party members need to know about or act upon.
• If you cannot attend BOCC meetings, be the person who organizes car pools and pick-ups for those who wish to attend but have no transportation. This would be a vital service to get the Tea Party voices to the BOCC meetings and keep your taxes down.
• If you are a member of Toast Masters, Kiwanis, Elks, etc., ask to do an informational speech on the Tea Party and on what it is trying to accomplish. Be sure to have facts and figures readily available and proof of any political assertions you may be making printed out.
• Write a blog about what is going on in government, about the waste and spending. Your writing is not like mine and your writing may reach someone that my writing will never touch. This is due to the differences in writing styles. While I hit people on the nose with the truth, some do not like that style, while others respond favorably to it. Your style will be different from mine and your style may reach your neighbor, your friend at church, or whomever that I would never be able to reach. Print “web cards” (like business cards, but with your blog info) and put them everywhere.
• Write letters to the editor about the issues facing us with high taxes, job losses and the impacts it will have on your children or grandchildren (or you). Write not just to Florida Today, but to every printed item in your neighborhood including HOA newsletters, your area freebies (Coffee News, Hometown News, Senior Life, etc.), and any Club newsletters you belong to that may have the slightest possibility of publishing the letter: ‘Tis better to try and fail than never to have tried.
• Something EVERYONE CAN AND SHOULD DO: Get a copy of the U.S. Constitution (even if it’s printed out on your own printer) and carry it with you after you have read it four or five times through. Know the U.S. Constitution. Remember that it protects you more than it does the government.