Is America Headed For Tea Party 2.0?

The American people are normally a pretty flexible bunch. We have grown a pretty high tolerance level for things the government does that we don’t like – some would argue we are far too tolerant.

We mumble and grumble about it, but we work around whatever it is and live our lives.

The right had never seen a true mass protest or resistance movement, at least since the 18th Century.

Then came Barack Obama. We have all tolerated presidents we didn’t agree with, and Obama would be no different, right?

But after Bush – followed by Obama – went wild with trillion-dollar bailout schemes for Wall Street, that changed.

And the threat of a government takeover of healthcare from Obama and company pushed things over the edge.

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The Rallying Cry Goes Out

In February of 2009, CNBC commentator Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and began to explain how this bailouts would “subsidize the losers’” mortgages. 

He called for a “Chicago Tea Party” to protest the federal government interfering in the housing market. And a movement was born.

After the financial meltdown of 2008, Americans watched as giant financial firms were bailed out and deemed “too big to fail.”

Many of us who would be footing the bill – taxpayers – had had enough. On April 15, 2009, Tea Party rallies were held all over the country. People were tired of government intervention where there clearly was no allowance in the Constitution for it.

The movement grew to include the impending proposal of government health care, otherwise known as Obamacare. Barack Obama’s showcase piece of his presidency, conservative Americans felt, was a massive intrusion into their private medical care.

And they were prepared to speak up about it.

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Issues Spark Movements

The Tea Party was borne of these two major issues.

Millions of people, most of whom had never been involved in politics or even saw themselves as “political people” now realized they had to become involved and speak up abut the direction of the country.

As the 2010 midterm elections approached, the Tea Party had their own candidates, people running for office who identified as Tea Party members. The Tea Party also spawned a lot of other things as well.

Conservative websites and radio shows sprung up to further the conservative cause. And the conservative cause was pretty simple to understand: more freedom and less government.

Now, in the midst of a world wide pandemic (for which we still don’t know the cause), the government is attempting to sneak into every facet of Americans’ lives once again.

Under the guise of “public safety,” people are beginning to be coerced into getting the COVID vaccine. 

Those who wish to exercise their freedom to chose their medical care are essentially being told they will be second class citizens if they do not comply. People who just want their children to be educated are now being told they have to force their kindergartner to wear a mask for eight hours a day. 

But it doesn’t stop there. Local school boards are ignoring the wishes of parents, and introducing critical race theory into their curriculum.

After 50 years plus of striving to achieve Dr. King’s dream of all Americans being judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, white children are being told that from the time they enter the world, they are the “oppressor.”

Black, Hispanic, and Asian children are being taught that no matter how hard they work, no matter how smart they are, no matter how much success they achieve, they will always be victims.

Why? The color of their skin. 

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The Pushback

There are lots of parallels to what is going on in the country now and the causes of the Tea Party’s birth.

The left of course, tried to blow it off as best they could. It was ‘planned,’ it was just a bunch of racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes all getting together to drag their knuckles around, and it certainly wasn’t the completely organic movement it was. 

The same thing is bubbling up now. Parents want to make medical decisions for themselves and their children. They do not want their children taught that they are cryptofascists based on the amount of melanin in their skin. 

It is a matter of time before these gatherings move from the school board meeting to the town hall meeting with their Congressmen and Senators. At that point, does it go one step further, and there are rallies and more candidates who identify with this group of people, no matter if they call themselves the Tea Party or something else?

With any luck, conservatives and Republicans are waking and realizing that this is the time for action. This is the time to stand up and speak out, no matter how many times you are censored on social media.

In St. Louis, the first Tea Party gathering was on a cold February morning. About 100 or so people stood on the banks of the Mississippi and threw tea bags into the icy water. 

So gather your teabags, and dust off your Gadsden flags. It is time. 

 

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