Thursday, November 05, 2009

“Tea Party”

c. 2009 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

“An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting.”

- Thomas Jefferson

Local residents were treated to a unique political experience recently, when the Geauga County Fairgrounds hosted a boisterous ‘Tea Party’ event.

The rally was organized by Tammy Roesch of Kingsville, who operates The Narrow Way Ministries with her husband, Al.

Featured at the event were a full slate of notable speakers, including Matt Patrick of WHLO in Akron; Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher; Tim Cox of G.O.O.O.H.; and Doc Thompson, a radio personality from WRVA in Richmond, Virginia.

Roesch was glad to have the venue available.

“Some churches have declined to host these events, fearing the loss of their tax-exempt status,” she said.

Media reports have typically marginalized such events. Or, ignored them altogether. But those who gathered in Burton were enthusiastic about having the chance to express their political views.

Patrick, a professional broadcaster for thirty years, hosted the ‘party.’

“I’m lucky enough to work at a radio station that believes in what you believe in,” he told the crowd.

A local minister provided an invocation for the event, with hopeful reverence. Then, a young singer from Parkman offered her earnest interpretation of The Star Spangled Banner. Yet the blue-collar persona of Joe Wurzelbacher was best received by those who attended.

“All I did was as a question of someone running for president,” the erstwhile tradesman reflected. “Then look what happened!”

Cheers echoed wildly as he addressed the crowd.

“Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t matter,” he observed. “It’s up to us.”

The audience seemed to agree. Pledges of support were shouted as he concluded his remarks with a non-partisan call to arms.

“The most important thing you can do be active at home,” he said. “If you come here today, then do nothing else, that’s a waste. I don’t have time for that!”

Doc Thompson, an occasional guest host for Glenn Beck on his radio program, was the afternoon’s most animated speaker. He echoed the tone of citizen responsibility.

“You can’t just pop open a beer, and sit in your easy chair,” he proclaimed.

Several conservative organizations participated in the Geauga ‘Tea Party.’ Included were:

G.O.O.O.H. – Literally, their name (pronounced ‘go’) means ‘Get Out Of Our House.’ Founded by Texas computer expert Tim Cox, its stated aim is clear and simple: The organization intends to evict all 435 current members of the U. S. House of Representatives, eliminating the existing power structure. This grassroots idea is predicated on attracting 500,000 participants, who will then yield a national slate of candidates from their own ranks. G.O.O.O.H. does not associate itself with either of the dominant American political parties.

GEAUGA CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL – Founded locally, in 2008. The group’s mission is to “protect our great county by promoting constitutional rights, freedom, and personal responsibility.” They aspire to elect and support “GOD fearing people… who will serve the public with the same core values as originally intended by our founding fathers, who believe in and uphold the Constitution, who will be truthful, who will respect the people’s will, who will work for the people and not ‘The Party’ or big money interests.” Notably, this organization is supported by State Senator Tim Grendell. It is also a sponsor of The 2nd Amendment Forum.

NE OHIO VALUES VOTERS – Diane Stover is Executive Director of this group, based in Parma. Their ‘Guiding Principles’ include religious faith, a pro-life outlook, belief in traditional marriage and family structure, plus honor for the First Amendment, along with school choice as a sacred right. They also reject affiliation with any political party or religious organization.

THE 9.12 PROJECT – Created by media personality Glenn Beck; famously founded on nine principles and twelve values. The Nine: 1. America is good. 2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. 3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday. 4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government. 5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it. 6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. 7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. 8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion. 9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me. The Twelve: Honesty, Reverence, Hope, Thrift, Humility, Charity, Sincerity, Moderation, Hard Work, Courage, Personal Responsibility, and Gratitude.

Also present was a familiar, if unusual group, long known for offering dissenting views of all kinds:

LA ROUCHE PAC – Founded by perennial fringe philosopher and cryptic soothsayer Lyndon LaRouche. He has run for president eight times, beginning in 1976. Currently, his group seems to be focused on opposing President Obama’s push for healthcare reform which he likens to the ‘T4’ euthanasia program of Nazi Germany. He also has a plan for rescuing the world’s economy to avoid “an early onset of a prolonged, planetary new Dark Age of all peoples and nations.”

Local dignitaries in the audience included State Senator Tim Grendell, Judge Diane Grendell, and Chardon City Councilperson Mary M. Bramstedt. The happening was covered by Ken Robinson from WTAM 1100.

Chardon hosted its own ‘Tea Party’ event at the City Square on October 11th.

Grassroots gatherings like these are a phenomenon largely created by Democrat victories in the 2008 election cycle. Opinions differ widely about their legitimacy, and focus.

Yet one can be sure that they are here to stay as part of the American political landscape.

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