Friday, April 30, 2010

“Tea Party – Still Brewing”

c. 2010 Rod Ice
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"The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties." – Author, Historian, Educator, and Iconoclast W.E.B. DuBois, (1922)

In recent months, the ‘Tea Party’ phenomenon has been a subject of much discourse for pundits and politicians across America.

Some believe that the groundswell has provided a reflection of dark emotions among disaffected voters. Others remain convinced that the uprising came from purely patriotic fervor. A third viewpoint has suggested that this vociferous revolt was not a uniform movement at all – but instead sprang from a varied collection of groups who have found displeasure with the administration of President Obama.

Last year, on October 25th, local residents participated in one of these gatherings at the Geauga County Fairgrounds.

Speaking were several notable personalities including Tim Cox, founder of Get Out Of Our House; Matt Patrick, a veteran radio broadcaster; and Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher.

Rhetoric criticizing the Democrat leadership had been expected. Yet many speakers also denounced the controversial legacy of George W. Bush.

The event was organized by local entrepreneur and activist Tammy Roesch, of Kingsville.

Since then, Mr. Obama was successful at guiding his healthcare reform initiative through the Congress. This plan has intensified conservative opposition.

Political celebrities like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh have attempted to tap into the energy created by ‘Tea Party’ demonstrators. Still, their focus has been on reaping benefits for the traditional GOP rather than a non-partisan effort.

But Roesch, a philosophical purist, retained her independent outlook despite these prevailing winds.

“I believe the Parties are so corrupt,” she observed recently, “that a candidate can have the best intentions in the world, but once they are elected to office, because the Party backed them, at some point in time, the Party will remind them, ‘We helped you get elected... now it is your turn to help us...’ At that point, they will either compromise, or be shunned by the Party. As we see in the news everyday... many of them crack and compromise... I have talked with many people who have decided that they are no longer voting for anyone who runs with either Party.”

Her opinions echoed those advanced by G.O.O.O.H. – an organization dedicated to overturning the entire membership of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“My biggest fear… is that the Tea Party movement will allow themselves to be hijacked by the Republican Party.” Roesch continued. “I am afraid that the Republicans are not much different than the Democrats, when it is all said and done, as far as the Parties go. They are corrupt to the core, as well. The ONLY hope the Country has, as I see it, is to break away from both Parties. No matter what good people we elect, if we put them into the corrupt Parties, they will either become contaminated or ostracized. We must think outside of the box! We do not need the Parties! We only need the people!”

Dispensing with the major political powers has long been a dream of those on the outside. But such work could not be accomplished without lots of time and money.
Last year, CBS News reported that there were 237 millionaires in Congress, approximately 44 percent of the officials serving. By contrast, those blessed with such wealth comprise a minimal portion of the general voting population.

Re-election rates in the House and Senate were 94 percent and 83 percent, respectively, for 2008 - according to the Center for Responsive Politics. So while a revolution at the ballot box might have been frequently sought by corruption-weary citizens, it hasn’t yet transpired.

Roesch has reckoned that her own candidacy might help to tip the scales.
“We see only ONE option, and that is for people outside the Parties to get elected. Believe me, this has not been a dream of mine. But, no one else has stepped up to do it, so, I decided I'll have to make a run for it myself!” She intends to battle for the State Representative seat of District 99.

“As each day goes on,” she observed, “the scandals in both parties gets worse and worse everyday. As we get closer to the election in November, I believe more and more people are going to say, ‘There is no way I can vote for these Parties!’ And they will see that I am the logical solution to their dilemma of who to vote for.”
Dissenters have opined that such action would split the vote in November and help guarantee victory for a candidate far from the ‘Tea Party’ environment.

Predictably, Roesch has reached a different conclusion.

“Will this really split the vote?” she asked, pointedly. “ I'm not so sure. I've talked to Republicans and Democrats, and BOTH of them are helping me collect signatures to get on the ballot! And these are people who have been life-long in their Parties... There are good people in both Parties who are just as sick of the corruption, the dishonesty, the lying, higher taxes and bigger government as I am. They are wanting to get behind someone they can believe in.”

In our county, Republican State Senator Tim Grendell has been warmly endorsed by the Geauga Constitutional Council, a group that participated in the 2009 Burton ‘Tea Party’ rally.

Mainstream media outlets have viewed these rebellious activities as monolithic in nature. But the diversity of their purpose remains undeniable. Combined with their opponents’ enthusiasm for President Obama’s ascendancy to the Oval Office, these new traditions represent something very old and valued in America – the power of citizen action.

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