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Unity in Diversity – Wisdom in Warfare

April 9, 2009

I just wanted to put some thoughts out there for consideration in regards to our Tea Party Movement.

Unite or DieWe all need to realize that one of the principles that makes America great is UNITY in DIVERSITY.  Perfect unity is not possible because there are very different worldviews in play here, and the war we fight is based on ideologies.  The reason THEY are in power is because they found ENOUGH unity in their ideologies to win over the hearts and minds of the masses (deception notwithstanding).

Let’s face it, we are fighting an uphill battle here.  We can pat ourselves on the back about our numbers, but the truth is until enough Americans realize the value of the Constitution, Socially Responsible Capitalism, Freedom, Liberty, et al., we have a monumental education mountain before us.

I believe most of us are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.  However there is a great deal of diversity here on WHAT we are prepared to do.  Some are only prepared to attend a protest.  This is a huge step for most of us who have never protested in our lives or considered ourselves activists.  Others are prepared to engage in civil disobedience.  Still others are ready to take up their arms and storm the Capitol.  (For the record, I could easily fall into the latter category).

I believe wisdom calls for lots of discussion.  The simple truth is that to win, we need each other, and we need to convince the masses who voted for those in power today to change their minds.  The left is masterful at leveraging discontent into unified action by pitting people against one another and pretending to have the answers to the problems they created.  But let US stand for UNITY in DIVERSITY, where people are free to respectfully disagree on finer points, but our main message is one that can be embraced by nearly everyone.  This means we must avoid alienating those that are currently under the Obama spell by name calling, villainizing, etc.  This battle IS personal, but we must choose our words carefully lest we fortify the very walls of division that allows the opposition to win yet another election.

Obama and the Democrats went into this year with the wind in their sails.  Those winds are still blowing, whether we like it or not.  If the Tea Party Movement gets labeled as a right-wing conservative movement, we cannot win our country back at this time and it will take a great deal more pain for things to turn around.  The masses voted AGAINST right-wing conservatism just a few months ago (or so they thought that’s what they were voting against).  Rather, we must be united around the things that appeal to everyone – life, liberty, freedom, etc. and educate people on how the current administration is moving us away from these great principles.

We need to stand FOR things and not just AGAINST things.  And we must always seek the higher ground and not stoop to the greasy expediency of politics as usual where our ends justify our means.  We must be able to articulate a plan that makes better sense than spending our way out of this mess.  That shouldn’t be too hard.  Make the battle about ideas, not about people or personalities.  Yes, people ARE the problem, but don’t demonize them or you empower them.

In movement, let us be UNITED wherever we find common ground, and not allow how we present our differences to dissuade others who may be considering stepping out to join us.  Leave room for people to move forward at their own speed.  We have time, the world is not coming to an end.  Let us wage this battle with wisdom and thus ensure our victory.

I welcome your comments.

May God be with us, and we’ll see you all on the 15th!

Rich Carey – Site Admin
Twitter: @teapartycentral

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2009 1:52 pm

    I heard Dick Morris say something similar this week, but your wisdom is appreciated, and I posted a link to my local Yahoo group, if you don’t mind. For now, I’m trying to keep frustration and anger to a minimum, and encourage them to work signing petitions, writing to/calling officials, etc…what little we can do. So you may get some extra hits.:) helensharvest

    • April 9, 2009 2:27 pm

      Thanks, Helen. I’m writing weekly to my elected officials. Here is a GREAT way to let them know how you feel about the issues – http://DownsizeDC.org. Check it out and maybe pass that along in your circles.

      For the cause,
      R<

  2. Dan Barnes permalink
    April 10, 2009 3:54 am

    Term Limits…Term Limits…the only way to have a major impact is a constitutional amendment to limit the number of years Congressman, Senators & Federal Judges can serve. A constitutional amendment can be started in any state legislator. I wish Rush, Hannity, or Newt would get behind this. Congressmen, Senators and all staffers (except Capitol Hill Police) should be limited to any combination of 16 years. The amendment should also ban any pension for the Congressmen, Senators, and Staffers (except Capitol Hill Police) Federal Judges should be limited to a total of 16 years.

    There should also a clearly stated clause that when the amendment passes time served prior to the amendment passing counts towards the total 16 years and all Federal pension obligations to sitting Congressmen, Senators, & Staffers are void.

  3. Chris permalink
    April 14, 2009 1:33 am

    I mean no disrespect in asking these questions, but they have been bothering me, so I will ask them.

    1) I’m not sure what you are protesting, as 90% of Americans got a tax CUT this year. That being said, are you protesting the tax cut, because these “tea parties” are being held on tax day?

    2) It seems strange to me that virtually everyone involved in this affair all claim no partisan ties (the author of the above piece excluded), yet the primary sponsors of this event are the EXTREMELY conservative Fox News, and 2 conservative business lobbies (Freedoms Watch, and Americans for Prosperity). Considering the far right affiliations of the sponsors, why do the people involved virtually universally claim that “this isn’t about liberal or conservative”?

    3) It seems strange to see so many conservatives suddenly concerned about spending. I mean I didn’t hear ANY concern from conservatives when Congress passed a $750 BILLION Medicare Part D boondoggle a few years ago, that was literally written by Pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Nor was there a flap over “No Child Left Behind”. I haven’t heard one word about BILLIONS of dollars wasted on the Iraq War. Thats not to say I am against the war, but rather the waste in the war- $88 Billion in cash vanished at one point, and hasn’t been seen since-I didn’t hear a stir from any quarter on that issue. Do you see my problem here?

    4) I have seen photos and videos of previous “tea parties”, and I have seen a tremendous amount of false information circulating both on signs, and verbally from participants. For example, people talking about $30 million to save the California Marsh Mouse, and “mag-lev trains from Disneyland to Las Vegas.” Neither of these items were actually in the infamous “Stimulus Bill.” I know, I read it because I was concerned about the spending. I have also seen widespread instances of people claiming Obama wasn’t born in the US (come on), and people talking about how HDTV conversion boxes are “brainwashing devices”. Do you expect anyone to take you seriously if you can’t get your facts straight, and have a movement that is populated with a loud mouthed minority of nut cases?

    5) I honestly mean no disrespect in asking this, but is anyone in your movement aware of what is modern the connotation of the phrase “tea bagging”?

    • teaparty09 permalink*
      April 14, 2009 2:30 am

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your respectful questions. I’ll do my best to answer them. Note that others in the “movement” would answer differently, and I’ll be glad to post their answers here, if anyone chooses to add anything substantive to the conversation. I have my own reasons for taking to the streets, so this is mostly my opinion. I do think most people in the movement would agree with what follows.

      1) This is not a tax protest. It just happens that we chose tax day to have it. The protests are against government spending that is going to result in tax increases for everyone, no matter what Obama promises. To deny this is to deny the laws of mathematics. We oppose the bailouts on principle and do not believe our tax dollars should rescue companies that have been mismanaged, whether they be banks, auto companies or whatever. NOBODY is too big to fail. We are dumping money down a black hole here. We want this to stop, yesterday.

      You are mistaken if you think your taxes are going to go down. I’ve not heard a single economist that believes that is going to happen. Stop drinking the koolaid and look at the facts. And I too, say that respectfully. They have fired up the printing presses and are devaluing every dollar in circulation. That, my friend is a tax increase and they didn’t even have to ask you to write a check.

      2) I hate labels. They divide people into boxes and cause assumptions. However, I guess I would say that we are debating philosophies of government here that fall pretty much into conservative (smaller government) and liberal (bigger government) categories. Those who believe in the conservative philosophy of smaller government, individual freedom and liberty, and fiscal responsibility are uniting in opposition to what we perceive to be very bad decisions by our elected officials. This began as a grassroots movement, and continues to be so, in spite of the “big names” that have come on board. Nobody is pulling my strings here… I was at the first protest and I heard about it one day before from a friend. The groups you mention were no where to be seen at that time. I’m glad they’re helping us to get the word out, but nobody is issuing any orders around here. This is WE THE PEOPLE exercising our Constitutional rights to protest government policies that are negatively affecting the country that we love.

      The question you should be asking is, where are all the other main stream media? Hmmm? Guess we’ll see how many sit up and take notice after Wednesday.

      3) This is a common misconception by the left. “Where was all the outrage with Bush?” Well, for one thing, you just weren’t listening… there was plenty of upset people. Bush betrayed us. He was anything BUT a fiscal conservative. I began to speak out in my small circles when those bills were passed. I admit it. I got fooled. But my eyes were wide open going into this election. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty. I don’t trust any of them unless they swear an oath to stop government spending and balance the budget. We need radical reform in Washington, and I’d say that most of us are well past voting down party lines. WE THE PEOPLE need to stand up to the government and tell them to stop spending. Period. I hold Republicans just as responsible for where we are as Democrats. Again.. it’s about conservatism, not Republicanism. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to remain silent any longer. Unless you approve of the bailouts and multi-trillion dollar deficits, you should come out and join us.

      4) The first thing you must realize is that the first protests were literally a spontaneous brushfire that broke out. They were hastily thrown together and most people I talked to only heard about it the day or 2 before the protest. There was no big plan here.. just a time and a place for people to express their frustrations. At that time, most of the details of the stimulus bill were pretty sketchy because Obama and the Dems pushed it through so quickly, not leaving time for anyone to read the details, much less debate the issues. That was enough to get me out of my easy chair in and of itself. The way that was pushed through not only violates the democratic process, it is an insult to common sense. You must also remember that there is a distinct media bias and the main stream media was (is still) quite infatuated with Obama and will certainly pick the goofiest people in the crowd to represent the whole group. Watch and see what happens on Wednesday. I’d be willing to bet that you won’t get fair reporting on who was really there and what we were trying to say. As for me.. I’m bringing a nice big flag, because I love this country.

      5) No, I wasn’t aware of that until I looked it up, and won’t dignify that with an answer. I’ve not heard anyone use that term. I guess I’m just not liberal enough… and I mean that with all sincerity 🙂

      • Chris permalink
        April 14, 2009 4:16 am

        Hi,
        I just wanted to thank you for your respectful answers.

        I certainly hope you don’t think that last thing I asked was some kind of slam. A guy I know explained it too me a couple days ago, and I thought since I was asking questions, I ought to ask if you were aware of it, as others may ask.

        Have a good evening, and a good time on Wed. I wish you some good weather wherever you are.

        Chris

      • teaparty09 permalink*
        April 14, 2009 12:57 pm

        Thank you very much Chris. You are a gentleman and I wish you well!

  4. Lisa P permalink
    April 15, 2009 2:01 pm

    Great conversation with Chris, great response and great article. One more think I’d like to mention… Michelle Malkin has a very detailed explanation of how the movement started and the history up to today. It started with protests of the Stimulus Bill in Seattle and at locations where Obama gave a speech, Denver and Mesa.

    Teaparty09 has hit the nail on the head. Sometimes our support for the individual and our own individualism works against us, because we tend to bicker about largely unimportant differences and don’t find the common ground, our principles, and UNITE. It has bothered me that Campaign for Liberty has largely ignored this movement because of their failure to find common ground with the movement.

    I attended a last-minute Tea Party in Shelby County, AL. There were about 25 of us standing on the side of a highway in the rain with our signs. No one on talk radio or TV talked about us at that time. You can’t get more grass roots than that.

    A lot of us are ready to go to Washington DC for a truly united event. I’d suggest we do it on Independence Day, 7/4/09.

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