Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Party Politics

It's been a long time since I posted anything here. I've been pretty burned out and depressed about politics the last several months, or at least too burned out to actually write about it. But that just seems to make me seething mad a lot...and that's not healthy!

I spent yesterday evening at the Atlanta Tea Party, and it was quite inspiring. The hoped-for crowd was about 10,000 people; the actual number attending is estimated at 15,000+ people. From what I saw, I definitely believe it, as there were people packed so tightly they could barely move as far as the eye could see. With very few exceptions the crowd was upbeat and friendly. I met many people there, and they all shared a love of liberty. Police report no arrests were made...that in itself is amazing; usually if you get that many people in one place, there will be one drunk idiot, or a fistfight, or something. We're peaceful, law-abiding common folk.

The amazing part of this gathering was it was not some political group organized by a large political group or party. This was a grass-roots movement all the way. In fact, it was even hard to find anything out about the Tea Parties unless you were paying attention and did your own research. The media did not cover it at all in the days and weeks leading up to the events, and only mentioned them briefly the day of the events. These are people that wanted to be there, not some ACORN-esque rent-a-mob.

Tea Parties are great, and serve to pull people together. The problem going forward, which is always the problem with independent-minded people, is how to sustain momentum. People are inherently lazy, and tend to take the path of least resistance. For example, I could not get ONE person to go to the Tea Party with me. My wife had a legitimate work commitment or she would have been there. My other liberty-minded friends all had mysteriously vague "other things to get done." I'm not faulting them, I'm just pointing out that it's always easier to do nothing than to do something. And that's how we got to this terrible point in our Republic's history.

As time passes, and the demands of getting things done becomes greater, more people fall by the wayside. They don't make time to attend more rallies, or write their representatives, or donate to the organizations that promote liberty, or talk to their friends and relatives about these issues. In the end the 5% that always carry the standard are left; the few that are really committed to this cause above all others keep things going, smoldering in the background. I'm guilty of this too. There is inertia to all of our lives, and it's hard to overcome it. But if things are going to really change, we'll have to find a way to overcome that resistance and move forward.

I don't know the exact answer here, but recognizing the problem is a good first step.

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