Call me A. T. Partier. I’m a member of that vast group of patriots who want to end the corruption, cronyism, favoritism and corporatism in Washington and restore constitutional government. We’re poorly organized and often seem more like a flash mob than a political movement. And in these cold, dark days of winter, our activity has slowed to a crawl. The enemy is sitting, warm and well fed, in the nation’s and states’ capitals, as the British did in Philadelphia while Washington’s army shivered and starved at Valley Forge. But like that ragtag army, we’re not giving up. Rather, we’re getting ready for the spring offensive.
I joined the tea party movement last April, when Connecticut’s first mass gatherings happened simultaneously in New Haven and Hartford. I was there in New Haven, listening to the speakers and reading the signs and flyers. Later that month, half a dozen people held a rally on the sidewalk in front of the town hall in Cheshire, where I live. They carried homemade signs declaring their concerns and issues and their determination to take back America from the scoundrels who infest Washington and Hartford. They met from 5 to 6 p.m. — rush hour — on a Monday, and came back the next week to do it again.
By the third week, I’d put on a tricorn hat, picked up a sign and become one of them. There were now a dozen people on the sidewalk.
And so it continued, week by week. The word got around locally through phone calls, the internet, newspapers and radio talk shows. By midsummer, our numbers had grown to 50-plus. The passing drivers were honking more and more in support; their passengers were giving us thumbs-up.
In November I withdrew from the sidewalk — but not the Cheshire Tea Party — for several reasons. Primarily, I had other forms of action to pursue in support of my fellow patriots and our goals, such as writing a book about the fundamentals of America.
But my heart remained with them on the sidewalk, and when I was able to return right after New Year’s, it was downright exciting to see nearly four dozen men and women, shivering in their winter clothing as the temperature hit single digits but bonded by combat and staying the course, with lanterns so their signs could be read in the dark.
I’ve said why we were there, but I’ll be more specific: abusive government. We’re not anti-government; we love and support the Constitution. We’re anti-abusive government.
We see legislation being passed for which there is no constitutional authority –Obamacare, for example. We see corrupt legislators in bed with Wall Street bankers for personal profit — Senator Chris Dodd, for example, and Rep. Charles Rangel. We see our money being devalued by the Fed’s ceaseless printing press. We see Congress insanely taxing and spending, while giving itself pay, perks and pensions far better than they’d ever get in private industry.
We see a welfare-warfare mentality entrenched in Washington, squandering our wealth and threatening our children’s future. We see international treaties and accords undermining our national sovereignty. We see the federal government morphing into a national government which dictates to the states, municipalities and individual citizens. We see our beloved freedom and the American Republic which protects it being trashed by career politicians whose loyalty to our nation is questionable at best and whose understanding of the principles on which it is founded is either badly misguided or totally absent. We see the Constitution’s “We the People” being revised to read “We the Government.” We’re acting to end all that.
Make no mistake: the Second American Revolution is under way, with the Tea Party Movement in the vanguard. So far, the soap box, ballot box and jury box offer viable, peaceful means to redress our grievances.
The biggest obstacle facing us, I’m sorry to say, is the one which brought about our perilous situation in the first place: the ignorance and apathy of voters. We the People own the country, and we “hire” officials, via elections, to operate it for us. Throughout history, government has been the biggest enemy of freedom — usually one’s own government.
Our Constitution is intended to govern the government, not the people. Our primary obligation as citizens of America is to safeguard liberty by supervising those we hire to operate the government and requiring them to strictly observe the Constitution. That’s where the soap box, ballot box and jury box can still work to "fire" bad employees.
Sadly, many Americans have become derelict in their responsibilities as owners of the country. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance by citizens, but many have left the watchtowers. They’ve turned their backs on freedom and independence. They’ve been propagandized by the media and bribed by welfare handouts into dependence on government for everything. They believe they are entitled to everything but have no responsibility for providing it themselves. They’ve become economic slaves wearing golden shackles in a socialist empire run for the benefit of the Political Class. Our Founders, however, wanted freedom from government, not dependence on government, so they strictly limited the federal government in its authority and functions. They knew the nanny state becomes Big Brother.
Today, however, at the federal level, we have a one-party system, the Establishment Party. It has a Democrat wing and a Republican wing. Both of them are owned by the Establishment; both of them are responsible for the political and social mess we’re in.
Therefore I, A. T. Partier, urge all citizens to get involved in restoring the American republic. Put principles above party. Vote the lying bums out. Repeal the statist programs and Constitutional violations destroying America. Return to a free society with limited government, states’ rights and local control. Restore sound money. Take the money power away from the Fed — which is a private company owned by foreign bankers — and return it to Congress, as the Constitution requires.
Please join our movement. First step: educate yourself. Start by reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They describe the theory and practice of enlightened government. Second step: arm yourself with facts. Go to web sites and other alternate media to learn what you don’t get from schools and the controlled major media. Third step: get out on the drill field with us during this Valley Forge time. Take heart, have courage, build your determination and remember that this is a monumental struggle for freedom from the tyranny of the Political Establishment and their wannabe Masters of the Universe. Then, come spring, listen for the opening volleys as we form up and march on Washington and state capitols in campaign after campaign. When you hear that, run toward the sound of battle.
After that, on to Yorktown to watch the defeated enemies of freedom perform the Walk of Shame between ranks of Tea Party patriots known as We the People.