For the past several months, I’ve been following the developments of Tea Party Nation, a “for profit” company in Nashville headed by Judson Philllips, a Nashville Lawyer. I’ve been particularly suspicious of the organization, and became even more so when I started hearing about the “National Tea Party Convention” that TPN is putting on in February, for which tickets are being sold for over $500 each.
After receiving MANY emails about this convention, it is clear that Mr. Phillips has done an excellent job convincing people that this is actually an official Tea Party event, implying that there is an official National Tea Party organization that is responsible for coordinating the efforts of Tea Party groups across the United States.
As a response to the emails I’ve received, I want to make a few points very clear, for I am concerned that the real Tea Party movement, a true grassroots initiative, is coming under fire as a result of this “convention.”
FIRST, it should be understood that local Tea Party organizations, such as the Chattanooga Tea Party are absolutely autonomous. We don’t take marching orders from anyone on a national level. While we eagerly participate in demonstrations against an increasingly oppressive federal government’s irresponsible socialist policies, there is no “national” organization that we have to answer to.
SECOND, “grassroots,” as defined by dictionary.com, means “of, pertaining to, or involving the common people.“ We, as the Chattanooga Tea Party, along with the vast majority of other local Tea Party groups nationwide, are comprised and led by common people who define ourselves as (in the case of the Chattanooga Tea Party)
“a grassroots-initiated outcry against the deliberate, irresponsible, and unconstitutional fiscal policies resulting from the growth of our Federal Government’s size and power.”
THIRD, the Tea Party movement is not subject to any obligation to any political party or its candidates. There are a multitude of candidates who, in my opinion, assume that they will receive Tea Party support because they are affiliated with a particular political party. Many of us in leadership in the Chattanooga Tea Party are quite aware that the vast majority of those candidates are more concerned with toting the “party line” than with the effect of big government on common people.
If you would like to further research the “National Tea Party Convention,” I welcome you to visit the following link, which gives an extensive background regarding Tea Party Nation’s underlying motives:
In closing, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind anyone who believes that “big government” is not in the best interest of our nation and common people to continue to stand up for the values that have made this country great. Keep a critical eye when it comes to anything that bills itself as a “National Tea Party” function and consider the consequences that come along with losing our “grassroots” status. Our future success will be determined by our willingness to come together as individuals who combine our individual voices and our vitality will fade into the shadows as soon as we sacrifice those individual voices and values to a “national” organization’s policies and agenda.
Please join with me to fight the disease that is being spread by opportunists who endeavor to capitalize on the Tea Party movement.