January 24, 2013

Letter: The tea party needs to reclaim itself

“For what I fear comes upon me,” from the book of Job.

Many months ago when the Dalton Tea Party was gaining significant momentum, a vote was taken on the question of whether to endorse a political candidate for office. A large majority of the audience voted not to endorse.

Reasons given varied slightly, but many folks felt the tea party should not be on the side of one political party or the other. If a candidate was endorsed and lost the bid for that position, the winner would not have reason to side with tea party issues. If the candidate won, then the loser could claim bias, or in a few rare cases as has happened, racism.

With many issues centered around the U.S. Constitution and conservative social programs, the door swung wide open for hopeful politicians. Many candidates approached the tea party meetings with the preface, “I’m not a politician.” My question was always, “Well, why are you campaigning?”

Then along came the Republican Party candidates to begin proclaiming themselves tea party candidates. The liberal media picked up the banner and quickly created a subgroup with a bent toward the Republican Party. Back to the early vote by many tea party groups around the nation from Atlanta, Chicago to Dallas to Phoenix, “We do not endorse political candidates.”

However, the sad fact is that too many tea party groups have become enamored with their favorite sons, friends and relatives who courted the wave of support they garnered by becoming a frequent face at meetings and rallies. Now the election cycle is over and the tea parties are taking a rest before the next onslaught of hope-to-be tea party candidates show up and play their part in wooing the unsuspecting partygoers into thinking they are sincere patriots.

If the Republican Party, or the Democratic Party for that matter, was worth its salt, the tea party could take a break and offer polite suggestions to their representatives to steer our nation back onto the road to being a constitutional republic in place of racing forward toward socialism or worse. The main problem I see right now is the tea party has been usurped by a good ole boy network of the Republican Party and held captive in order to keep the tea party from interfering with how politics work. The tea party needs to take back the tea party.

Lawrence Headrick

Tunnel Hill

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