Five years ago, in January and February of 2009, a growing movement of citizens dedicated to liberty, freedom and justice sprang up from the grassroots to overtake the American political scene. The Tea Party was not born out of warfare, class struggle, racial animus or religious hatred, but rather out of dedication to the prospect that government of the people, by the people, and for the people should remain the functioning reality in the United States.
In protesting a distant, corrupt and bloated government, members of the Tea Party embraced ideas that had once served to make America great and could do so again: responsibility, accountability, honesty, and justice. In so doing, it attracted people from all walks of life, all ethnicities, all cultural backgrounds, and all along the political spectrum. It was the first truly American political movement of the 21st Century.
In spite of the doom and gloom preached against it by leftists ensconced in the offices of mainstream media, the halls of Congress, and the ivory towers of academia, the Tea Party prospered as the people needed. As the movement grew across the nation and members of the Tea Party took office, the movement shifted from the streets into the seats of power and began to affect real, positive hope and change for all Americans. Considering that the movement has been so successful at electing candidates, passing legislation, and affecting the course of government, it is unsurprising that a big-government statist like President Obama has desperately used the machinery of government (especially the IRS) in an effort to crush or at least minimize the Tea Party’s influence.
On the anniversary of the rise of the Tea Party, Senator Ted Cruz released a statement celebrating the accomplishments of the movement:
Whether it comes to demanding accountability for the IRS’s illegal targeting program, an out-of-control government spying program, the government’s use of drones, or the deaths of our countrymen in Benghazi, the Tea Party stands at the ready to protect their fellow citizens.
You are performing a great service for your country by reminding elected officials that they work for Americans; Americans are not subject to them.
The Tea Party is a modern force for good, yet the values it upholds have always been embedded deeply in the American spirit.
It was this same revolutionary resolve that spurred the colonists to stand against “taxation without representation,” that resulted in the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and that has inspired millions to continue defending our freedoms ever since.
The Tea Party lives on in the hearts and minds of those patriots who love America, but understand that her course must be corrected. It is the reason the Tea Party has been alive and well for five years, while a destructive, hateful movement like Occupy Wall Street has been swept down the gutters of history.
Vladimir Davidiuk | University at St. Thomas | @VladDavidiuk