Thursday, 14 November 2013
A Sip of Tea
I spent roughly six hours walking around.....listening to various people comment and discuss things. I didn't care for all the speeches that came later in the day.
So I walked away with five basic observations.
First, anyone who thinks of them as operating as a political party....is either a wannabe journalist, or just plain getting the concept wrong. It is a mass movement.....I do agree, and moved by only a few agenda items.
People tend to overlook the fact that Democrats are also within the Tea Party movement, and a fair number of people are simply independents who don't claim either party.
If you find any group claiming Tea Party status and running their own candidates as independents (not within the Republican primary)....it's likely a bogus group who have some hidden theme to take votes away from the Republican candidate.
Second, the original Tea Party crew weren't about organizing themselves as a political function. They wanted to demonstrate they were capable of doing things that weren't expected. They staged their event simply to make the royal crown note general feelings. Political activity was geared toward simple acts.
Third, most of the things that Tea Party members are concerned about....are the budget, taxation, revenue use, and lesser government. Beyond that.....there's not much of a theme. No one cares about the US policy toward Asia, national parks, or social security (other than preventing it from being abused or going bankrupt).
It's a limited topic range.....which makes the idea of a national party apparatus existing....almost comical.
Fourth, Tea Party members about a decade ago started to notice friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers....who were into reckless spending. These were the folks buying houses with almost no down-payment. They bought new vehicles yearly. They had no savings. And they were going bankrupt in a nature that people had never seen before.
It made no sense. A guy would screw up his family and end up penniless....then move everyone into Grandma's house. A gal would get so far into debt that she'd be agreeable to move back in with the ex-husband. A family would gut their economic situation so much....that they'd have to live in a RV trailer behind dad's house.
As the Tea Party folks noticed all of this going on during the Bush years.....they turned and observed city, county, and state governments acting reckless. Again, it made no sense. Why bankrupt your local town over a serious burden to the pension fund, some public project with no pay-back, or handcuffing yourself to a billion-dollar sewage project?
Then the Tea Party folks around 2008 turned and noted the federal government acting reckless. It seemed that people suddenly wised up over competent spending. Why waste tax revenue? It made no sense.
Fifth, it's odd to walk across a group of Tea Partiers, and note that they are mostly folks over forty. It's rare to find anyone in their twenties. These are people who worked their entire life and have a concrete lifestyle, a decent plan for retirement, and don't necessary run off to spend several thousand bucks at some casino in Mississippi. Reckless? The worst that you could say is that they dislike spending money that they don't have.
I left the National Mall area that day, and recorded one odd thing in my mind. I've been back for numerous oddball events around DC, and always noticed the amount of trash left in heaps around the national park area. For some reason, for the Tea Party event.....it was left cleaner and more tidy, than it was prior. Normally, that never happens at any DC event.
It was like some folks had some friends over at their house, and everyone made sure there was no mess left at the end.
From an economic and taxation angle.....I'm more or less tied to their beliefs. I'm also of the mind that more than half of the established DC players (Congressmen and Senators) are more of the problem than the solution. And I'm tired of clever people acting clever but never delivering anything but bogus packages.
There's never been someone at the frontdoor of a political establishment.....with a stick to whack folks on.....when they get stupid and act reckless with other folk's money. Maybe we need that kind of guy at the door.