I was recently asked to write an Op-Ed column explaining “What Motivates a Tea Party Member” Here is my response.

What really motivates the TP believer …even deep down in their deepest darkest areas …will no doubt disappoint all of you. Very simply:

They like it here (in the USA), by and large they have lived their lives responsibly, paid their bills, made their choices and lived with the consequences…even if they were the wrong ones. The idea of our current debt boggles their minds and the degree of irresponsibility it took to get us here; by members of both parties… offends every fiber of their soul. They had always stayed on the sidelines and not involved themselves politically (except to vote), because by and large their way of life wasn’t profoundly affected and things kept moving forward in an acceptable way. Under Bush the debt grew larger which woke some people up, and 9/11 woke up even more, all to the reality that their way of life was being threatened. Then came Afghanistan, and after that, Iraq and the rest finally came out from under the ether and they all looked around at the role the USA was playing in the world, our eroding freedoms and our unsustainable level of debt. One by one these people woke up to the reality of a different America than they have ever known…didn’t recognize and definitely didn’t like.

This new America:
– Valued illegal immigrant workers ahead of our own legal workers, this new USA
– Ignored laws on the federal level it didn’t want to enforce and enforced only the ones it wanted too, this new country
– Had allowed political correctness to swing the pendulum too far in the wrong direction:
– By offering DMV exams in 26 different languages,
– By ignoring, and in many cases denouncing US exceptionalism,
– By giving billions of dollars in aid to countries who hated our guts and promoted violence against us,

The educational system they woke up too:
– Spent all of their time indoctrinating their children and grandchildren according to left wing ideas on social issues that they felt should not be taught, or championed in the schools.
– And to the degree they were unavoidable, should reflect their values and the values of the majority instead of the minority…and all of this indoctrination was coming at the expense of the actual learning children are supposed to be doing in school as reflected in our dropping test scores.
– They saw a wholesale repudiation of their values and the values they know were the foundation this country was started on and over its 200 years what made it great.

They woke up and looked at where their tax money was going and didn’t like it at all, they discovered that:
– 25% of Americans now collected food stamps

– We have created an entire generation of dependent people, which, with the birth of their next generation had established an entire dependent class of people.

– They saw bailout after bailout of their money being voted on and approved by the leaders who were supposed to be representing them…but clearly weren’t

– They saw public employee unions who had organized public employees against the public they served.

In a nutshell, once they realized where this country had gone and was still headed, they saw their freedoms taken away (for their own good) every time they went thru an airport, they saw with Obama, a man who was not who he claimed to be and who did not represent anything they held to be true, a man incapable of telling the truth about anything and who’s recipe for America was a recipe for disaster. It had nothing to do with race …it had everything to do with what they and we feel is necessary to protect our values, our place in the world, and our way of life ….The bad guy to the tea party is the one they can have the most immediate and most dramatic power over …and that is a government filled with leaders who based upon the job they have done so far …aren’t fit to lead a girl scout troop, to cut off governments blank check, force it to live within it’s means (just like we all do) and to return the power to the people that the government has slowly taken away.

In short they want to pull the plug on this runaway train and not allow it to be plugged back in until it is heading in the right direction and it’s problems are on their way to being fixed. How can anyone be against that? And how can anyone sit back marinating in the false facts, beliefs, and motives the left  has decided they possess and mis-characterize them the way they do …the left is welcome to not support their agenda of bringing greatness and respect back to this country but is it really necessary to vilify them with bad information, false choices, mistaken impressions and all out lies the way they do?

We are 15 trillion dollars in debt! …what part of that are we supposed to like? Then to add insult to injury BHO submits his budget which has 1.6 trillion dollar annual deficits forecast out as far as you can see? He even had the nerve to stand up and tell us all that the healthcare plan would reduce the deficit …a claim he knew wasn’t true when he said it. If you think the deficits from the Reagan era were ‘colossal” then how can you continue to vote for BHO who has added more red ink to the books than any other president ever…and he has only been at it 3 yrs and not 8. Reagan increased the deficit from 1 to 3 trillion but he lowered it as a % of GNP from 6.3% to around 3% of GNP by growing the economy and adding 20 million jobs! If I get to choose between what Obama has done and what Reagan did then please sign me up for Reagan.

Tea Partiers aren’t trying to live in the past …they are simply drawing on the collective and cumulative wisdom of the people who have come before us. Tea Partiers aren’t trying to defend a moment in time but a system of values and relationships; of priorities and responsibilities. We aren’t trying to stifle progress only in preserving a structure that was designed to see us thru good times and bad

How can some people point their fingers and call names at those who are simply pointing out that the direction this country is going is absolutely unsustainable and rather than empowering a giant government in order to save everyone …where we are heading gets us nothing but a government who can help no one. The biggest threat to SS and Medicare Medicaid isn’t a GOP candidate running for office …it’s the leftists of this country being allowed to rocket us down the path to financial collapse

  1. Christian said:

    A good summary. To me it rather begs the question why the TP are viewed as radical wing-nuts? I’d suggest that it’s presentation rather than substance, coupled with a penchant for being overly shrill and finding fault with others rather than setting out one’s own stall. Even you fall into the trap: TP should attack BHO on the credibility of his record and not on their perceptions of him as a man. Likewise you focus too much on rhetorical questions and hand-wringing about the Left’s doubting of your sincerity – sod what they think of you and just focus on holding the Left to account for the consequences of their own policies. The TP needs desperately to escape from the fringes and to become what it ought always to have been : patriotic, fiscally conservative and in tune with the founding principles of the US. No-one wants to elect a rabid radical fringe and the TP needs to prove it’s more than that.

  2. shawn corrigan said:

    awesome ! i only read the first half ill finish later .

  3. How did you get to be this good? Its amazing to see someone put so much passion into a subject. Im glad I came across this. Im glad I took the time to read on past the first paragraph. Youve got so much to say, so much to offer. I hope people realise this and look into your page.

  4. I appreciate your submission, previously it was interesting and compelling. I have found my way here through Google, I’ll go back one more time 🙂

    • Nick … don’t give up! I have been in a writers funk since xmas … CEJ

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