In that year, in the city of Brotherly Love, an intrepid group of the most extraordinary men who ever lived formalized the most extraordinary document of its kind ever created in human history – a document that both declared the independence of the United States of America and elegantly summarized the rights of all mankind.
That thought in mind, fast forward to the observation that “history repeats itself…first as tragedy and then as farce” – again a sobering reminder that a slim window of a little over 100 days remains for those of us who love this republic and cherish all its represents to turn tragedy into triumph and alter the course of a history that sometimes seems as though it was chiseled into stone on that fateful Election Day in November of 2008.
By now, most Tea Party and conservative groups in New Jersey are aware of the recent emergence of the American Tea Party Congress, an organization of sovereign Tea Party and conservative groups that have united in the cause of liberty and the preservation of the republic bequeathed to us by the Founders and Framers.
Shortly after it saw the light of day on July 14, the ATPC became the object of intense scrutiny and conversation, with much of the latter confined to comment threads on various blog sites and e-mails sent in my direction. As it turns out, some individuals have voiced objections – both to the ATPC per se and to membership in that organization.
Objection #1: This is just another attempt by an outside agency, one of the member groups or even an individual to co-opt and ultimately dominate the member groups.
If it is an attempt at a takeover, then I will be the first to characterize it as one of the stupidest I have ever seen, because the organizational structure of the ATPC places ALL of the decision-making power in the hands of the constituent members – namely the Tea Party and conservative groups that have allied themselves. No other individual or group stands in authority over them.
Nor could the office of Moderator ever be hijacked for that purpose. As one who has served in that role for a scant two weeks, I’m convinced the word “moderator” (derives from the Latin moderatoris,) really means “one who herds cats.” The difference in the present case is that the cats are, for all practical purposes, lions – and my whip is nothing more than a parliamentary gavel.
The constituent organizations that comprise the ATPC jealously defend their sovereignty – and rightly so. If they suspected for one minute that I was engaged in some sort of infernal plot to ride herd over them as if they were cattle, it wouldn’t be long before I found myself trying to explain to the attending physician in the emergency room of the nearest hospital how a gavel found its way into my backside.
Objection #2: Member groups will ultimately be forced to sacrifice their sovereignty and take orders from the honchos who run the ATPC.
What honchos? Do you mean the Officers who, according to the proposed Charter, are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the member groups? The only “honchos” who run this organization are the groups who have consented to join forces as part of the organization – without sacrificing their sovereignty.
This merits some explanation: Let’s say that Organization XYZ is considering joining the ATPC but is reluctant to do so because the ATPC will likely endorse political candidates – while XYZ has a strictly enforced policy of non-endorsement. How can the two positions be reconciled?
Simple: in the event a motion to endorse Candidate Joe Doakes comes to the floor of the ATPC for a vote, all that Organization XYZ need do is abstain from voting. No further action is necessary and the ATPC will never compel XYZ to do anything that violates its mission statement, the collective conscience of the organization or any local or regional operational agenda it embraces.
Moreover, all major decisions require a super-majority vote, which pretty much eliminates the possibility of one or two rogue groups acting as spoilers or kingmakers.
Objection #3: Groups who wish to become members of the ATPC would be required to pay $200 per year in dues.
Horrors! To think that an organization dedicated to focusing the combined energies and power of its constituent members for the purpose of defeating statism and preserving the republic should have the temerity to ask those members to put some skin in the game and contribute to defending the cause of liberty. It’s…well…unthinkable – unless, perhaps, you belong to a Tea Party or conservative organization that asks yearly dues of its own members.
Then again, the objection is made in response to a proposal: the ATPC may very well delete this provision in the course of this Saturday’s session. On the other hand, the members may very well increase that amount. If so, ought that deter groups who share the vision of liberty embraced by the ATPC? I should hope not: when weighed against the awful possibility of an Obama victory in November, a couple of hundred dollars might just as well be 35 cents.
Objection #4: Any organizations that have Establishment Republicans in their ranks would not be welcome in the ATPC.
Unless the organization itself is essentially a RINO front group, this objection is unfounded. To be sure, there are groups out there that include county and state level Republicans in their membership rolls, but this hardly disqualifies them for inclusion in the ATPC.
While it is true that the American Tea Party Congress is no shill for the GOP Establishment, neither is it an avowed enemy. There are many solidly conservative Republicans in the ranks of the New Jersey GOP – and in the ranks of the ATPC, which is intent on preserving the integrity and sovereignty of both its member groups and itself from partisan political interference.
Objection #5: There already exist regional coalitions of Tea Party and conservative groups.
Were these groups to join the ATPC, there would be nothing in the Charter or By-Laws to prevent them from pursuing a local or regional agenda. Indeed, it is very likely that, as the ATPC in New Jersey expands and evolves, its agenda will focus more sharply on statewide and federal issues, leaving local and regional matters to individual organizations and area partnerships.
The ATPC is a legal entity with members – including several of the largest Tea Party organizations in the state – from all over New Jersey, not just a single region. Since this is not a loosely knit organization, but a formally structured statewide alliance, it will have much more power than regional coalitions and smaller organizations.
Let us not lose sight of the single, most important issue we face: if Barack Obama is re-elected and/or the Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate, the sum total of all the “regional efforts’ of loosely knitted coalitions will have as much impact on thwarting the present assault on our Constitution as bird shot on an Abrams tank. Need I remind our recalcitrant friends of the precarious state of affairs that attend our republic today?
The Executive branch of the United States government has arrogated to itself a degree of power beyond anything ever imagined or exercised by King George, where a Man-Child President has determined he will rule by executive order and administrative decree.
The Legislative branch has become a Parliament populated with either corrupt and serviceable villains or feckless and pusillanimous weaklings.
The Judicial branch is in peril of being overrun with jurists more interested in rewriting the Constitution than interpreting it.
The once limited federal government of our ancestors is today a bureaucratic Leviathan – a juggernaut of regulation and control whose abuse of power dwarfs by any measure in our day the over-reaching arrogance of the British government in the days of the Founders and I have no doubt that if he could be made to witness what his American colonies would one day become, King George III would blanch in horror.
Does ANY local or regional issue warrant more attention than the issue of saving this republic? And how else can that be accomplished unless the many join as one – and in that unity become a political juggernaut that can change the course of American history?
I suppose a regional coalition could easily respond that it is likewise engaged in similar efforts to effect change on statewide and federal levels. If so, then would not the effort be immeasurably augmented and amplified if the members of that loosely knit coalition were to join a tightly knit statewide alliance that has all the potential to become a nationwide alliance?
Objection #6: Our Coalition is much further along in activity and experience than the ATPC, which is just beginning to form.
A larger group with more people and a dedicated staff can do a lot more in a shorter period of time than any loosely knit coalition can ever hope to accomplish in the long run. The ATPC has already established formal committees that have been charged with specific duties and tasks and these have already begun to act.
Objection #7: There is no rush to join right now…we can join the ATPC any time.
Getting in on the ground floor enables members to have immediate input in the formation process of the organization. Moreover, once the Charter is ratified and the By-Laws enacted, there will be a more rigorous vetting procedure for new members – joining now allows the founding groups to pass this muster without much difficulty.
On behalf of the American Tea Party Congress, I implore all reluctant Tea Party and conservative organizations to consider how much more powerful the effort to restore liberty would become if they joined the ATPC and lent their voices to an ever-growing chorus that has drawn a line in the sand and declared to those who would eviscerate the Constitution, destroy our prosperity and trample our liberty: THIS FAR…AND NO FARTHER!