Where Have the Tea Parties Gone?

It’s a question a lot of people – even those on our side of the political divide – are asking these days, especially given the conspicuous absence of the massive Tax Day rallies that characterized the movement on April 15 back in 2009 and 2010. To the eyes of untrained, inattentive or Liberal observers it would appear that the Tea Party minutemen stacked up their metaphorical muskets and went back home to their farms and the embrace of family and friends. I’m pleased to say that, in truth, the Tea Party movement has been busier than ever before.

Let’s not forget that the movement is a relatively young one to which tens of thousands of otherwise uninvolved, garden-variety Americans – galvanized by the election of a Marxist to the office of president – were drawn, united by the termination to stop the socialist madness and return our nation to its free-market, republican roots. To be sure, 2009 and 2010 were years filled with major rallies and protests, but during and especially after that time the hundreds of Tea Party organizations that sprang up like mushrooms after a rainfall came face to face with the reality of the political process, rolled up their sleeves, and got down to the business of moving and shaking local and state legislatures.

I certainly got an education last night at a meeting of the Somerset County Tea Party (of which I am a proud member). What I observed was a vibrancy of activism that operated on a lower frequency – one the ordinary and mostly uninterested observer would have trouble detecting, in much the same manner that a dog whistle is inaudible to humans. At this forehead-smackingly boring level of operation, Tea Party members prove the measure of their worth as they doggedly attend all manner of meetings at every level of government to ensure that our elected (and appointed) representatives understand they are being watched very carefully.

George Hathaway (vice-president of the SCTP) recounted in detail the sustained and concerted efforts of numerous Tea Party organizations to combat the scourge of Agenda 21, the Regional Transportation Plan and an effort by Democrat legislators in Trenton to empower New Jersey to purchase foreclosed homes for conversion to Section 8 housing.

In this clip, Hathaway discusses the Democrat plan to acquire foreclosed real estate:

After Hathaway spoke, SCTP president Jim Lefkowitz shared an early e-mail from charter members and offered a few words of gracious praise for the old Bulldog:

The keynote speaker for the meeting was Morristown Tea Party president Nick Rago, who delivered a stemwinder that evoked memories of the spectacular 2009 and 2010 rallies on the Morristown Green, where speaker after speaker urged the crowd to become part of the solution. In particular, I was intrigued by Mr. Rago’s recollection of his encounter with Congressman Leonard Lance at one of his speaking engagements:

In the opinion of this writer, Rago’s words are every bit as relevant today as they were a couple of years ago, making it all the more imperative that we join forces to dump Leonard Lance – a garden-variety RINO stooge – and replace him with David Larsen – a bona fide conservative.

Newly reelected SCTP president Jim Lefkowitz ended the meeting on an upbeat note and strongly encouraged fellow Tea Party members to carefully vet the candidates and choose wisely:

For those who labor under the delusion that the Tea Party movement has melted away like a freak snowfall in May, make no mistake: the days of public rallies and vocal protests have been supplanted by afternoons and evenings of lobbying and political engagement.

It’s time for the Tea Party movement to make a difference and alter the course of American history.

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