September 12, 2009 will always be a day that lives in infamy for the Tea Party movement. The National Park estimates, for the event that packed patriots in from across America, numbered into the hundreds of thousands. Little question remains that Glenn Beck did an incredible job of promoting an event (Restoring Honor Rally) that rivaled that of many of the events in Washington, D. C. history. Beck of course had the ability to promote, as he had his own show on during prime time at Fox News with millions of viewers daily. Between his Fox show and his own syndicated radio show with huge numbers listening daily, Beck moved his fan base to show up on the mall and do so with vigor and passion. And they did so in mass!
Amy Kremer the leader of Tea Party Express had her beautifully wrapped bus decorated in Constitutional images driven to the desert in Southern Nevada. On a cold and windy day in March of 2010; in Senator Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight the patriots were still parking cars to attend, one and half hours after the program was due to start. Aerial photo’s on the Internet show cars backed up for miles trying to get into the abandoned gravel pit to hear Governor Sarah Palin deliver an excoriating attack against Barack Obama and liberalism in general. The estimates for this event still to this day (depending on who’s you read) remain somewhat of a mystery. They range from 10,000 up to as high as 50,000. It doesn’t much matter however, because the fact is; traffic was jammed for miles in either direction of the town who’s population only numbers around a thousand residents.
Those were the early days of the Tea Party movement. Those were the days when you could simply announce a Tea Party rally on a Monday to be held on Friday and you would have 1000-5000 angry patriots show up dressed as Paul Revere. Those were the days when names like Jenny Beth Martin, Amy Kremer, Judson Phillips and Kevin Jackson were still relatively unknown. Today; hardly a day goes by that one or more are not on Fox News or another major media outlet delivering a Tea Party opinion on some subject.
The Tea Party has created its fair share of celebrity persona’s in America. People like Michelle Malkin for instance has managed to parlay her Tea Party fire breathing rhetoric into a regular gig on Fox along with a $10,000 plus paycheck to give a speech.
The hard truth is this. The Tea Party movement by in large has been taken to the Internet. Today’s rallies draw but a mere fraction of what they once did. The question now becomes why?
The Tea Party Patriots recently held a rally at Capitol Hill in Washington. The rally was based on the recent revelations of the abuses of the Internal Revenue Service toward the Tea Party and other patriotic organizations. This rally held after the overwhelming publicity that had hit even the main-stream media. It was held after Congressional hearings were broadcast on many of the network news channels and almost continuously on Fox News and C-SPAN. Lois Lerner (the IRS official) had her face plastered on nearly every newsprint publication and was the subject of scorn from half of our elected officials, yet Jenny Beth and the Patriots could only draw a crowd numbering around 5000-10,000 people? This was after weeks of emails and even television advertising to announce the rally. No, I am not besmirching the TPP rally. It was a good rally and decent numbers. My point is that with that level of hatred toward the IRS and that large of a data base, there should have been more outrage and much larger numbers.
Lets be honest here America. Nobody in America is despised more than the Internal Revenue Service except maybe used car salesman and attorneys. The Patriots have a data base of members numbering in the millions. Millions had watched the hearings or knew about the abuse and millions had seen the advertisements, yet only a handful of people bothered to show up. Why?
My personal theory is this. Conservative America wants action! That is the bottom line, now allow me to elaborate for a moment. Most if not all of the Tea Party rallies have someone dressed as Ben Franklin standing on stage droning on while reading parts of the Constitution. Then we have untrained speakers paralyzing their audiences with rhetoric about how bad Obama is. After that we have more Constitution, only this time read by Thomas Payne or Abraham Lincoln. In the end; the patriots are bored, they have heard it all before dozens if not more times. They know the Constitution and many of them have studied it as well as any college professor.
They simply want to know, what are we going to do? What can I do personally? How can I make a change and alter the course we are headed in?
The Tea Party leadership in America needs to do some very serious soul searching. The Tea Party movement collectively is shattered. By that I mean, they are all over the board in terms of what needs to be done to truly create change in America. Part of the greatness is that it is grassroots with NO real leadership. This is good to some degree, but the downfall is that it is grassroots. While the individuality is good, the reality is also that you can equate it to gorilla warfare. Gorilla warfare works to a point, but in the end, the rebels don’t win wars while acting in gorilla warfare tactics. You must have armies led by Generals and Admirals directing naval forces. They must work in unison to defeat the enemy. The small bands of gorillas must merge into the masses and then work together to create victory.
Consider this my master plan for victory in the coming months and years.
We have in America today some estimated 20-25,000,000 registered Tea Party members. That in and of itself is a massive voting block. Lets take the last election as a prime example. Had that many voters united behind Rick Perry or Rick Santorum or another conservative candidate, do you really think Governor Romney would have been the nominee? Most likely not! The fact is that in all of the primary states, Iowa included, all the candidates were chopped up and Romney kept walking away with victory after victory. We need to unite!
We need a unification spot where everyone congregates. (teapartycommunity.com) is a great spot for this. Once there, begin talking about the issues, talking about which candidates look appealing to everyone. The Tea Party that you belong to is irrelevant.
Early next year, we need to have a convention. The Tea Party leaders from across America, need to come together and develop a plank and address the issues that the Tea Party will actually be involved in. Then the vetting criteria for candidates needs to be developed. I am not saying that the Tea Party needs to be a third party! I am not calling for that at all. But what we do need to do is to coalesce behind one mindset and begin the unification process in order that we are not chopped up and discounted by the Republican Party establishment any longer.
If we are all on the same page, speaking in one voice, it is now impossible for the establishment to ignore us. They cannot win without us and they will know it. I highly recommend that we now begin this process.
To answer my original question; Are Tea Party rallies relevant anymore? Yes; I think they are and we all need to be involved in them. They need to be educational and entertaining. They need to be a production to attract the masses and they need to be relevant to a particular topic that is of importance. If we blend importance, with education, activation instructions as well as some entertainment, we will once again see those huge numbers that frighten liberals to their core. As our friend Larry the Cable Guy would say; Git r dun!