Good for Indiana (and North Carolina, too)

The TEA Party’s political obituary may have been written a little too soon, despite the presumed nomination of moderate Mitt Romney as the GOP Presidential standardbearer.

Senator Richard Lugar will be ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ come January as he was defeated in their Republican primary. After 36 years in office, the 80-year-old Lugar became a poster child for establishment, RINO Republican insider and out-of-touch politician. State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a TEA Party favorite, defeated the incumbent and will likely be elected come November. While Obama won the state in 2008, his campaign concedes Indiana will likely be a Republican win six months from now and Mourdock has twice won a statewide campaign.

Mourdock and other conservative Republicans have important races in the eyes of the TEA Party, with the hope being they would drag Mitt Romney to the right if he’s elected. (Of course, if Obama is re-elected the composition of Congress may not really matter.)

North Carolina voters also performed a valuable service, showing Maryland how it should be done and enacting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by a comfortable 16-point margin. This should hearten Maryland advocates of traditional marriage, who now claim to be past the halfway point in gathering the required number of signatures to place the state’s same-sex marriage legislation on the November ballot. Supporters of gay marriage remain 0-for at the ballot box, although many believe Maryland could break their slump. (Let’s hope not.)

I’ll grant that not all TEA Party supporters are interested in social issues, believing they detract from the necessary push for fiscal conservatism that is the backbone of the TEA Party movement. But I believe that social conservatism goes hand-in-hand with fiscal conservatism, and this is an easier sell with a society based on traditional values. I really don’t care who sleeps with who, but I believe bending the definition of marriage in that manner would only lead to other problems and even more odious partnerships, like adult-child relationships or polygamy.

We’re about six months away from perhaps the most pivotal election in our history, and a chance to perhaps steer the country back in the right direction after four years of runaway spending, consolidation of executive power, and corporate/government cronyism gone rampant. Needless to say, we would have to have several elections in a row fall in the correct manner to undo all the damage done over the last century but 2012 has to be the first step on the journey. Let’s see whether the trends continue in the right direction.

Worcester County has some TEA

In days of old there was a superstition that a voyage should not begin on Friday and beginning it on Friday the 13th was a complete no-no. But the Worcester County TEA Party decided to buck tradition and have its inaugural meeting last week – it was an opportunity to have a good keynote speaker that they couldn’t pass up.

(All photos on this post are courtesy of Donald Stifler.)

Andy Harris speaks at the Worcester County TEA Party.

One source, a supposedly reliable one, stated that Harris made the statement at the TEA Party that he would vote for any of the Republican presidential candidates except Ron Paul – then again, the person relating this is a Ron Paul supporter. I’m seeing if there was any video of the event to corroborate this charge, but this wouldn’t necessarily be a surprise. Harris is one of the co-chairs of the Gingrich campaign in Maryland despite the fact that Newt endorsed Wayne Gilchrest in 2008 – as did Ron Paul. (Harris denies saying such a thing.)

According to a more legitimate news report, Harris held the audience of about 120 in the palm of his hand by answering a number of audience questions but he wasn’t the only speaker or even politician there. Three members of the Worcester County Commission were in attendance along with four of their Republican Central Committee – pictured below is Derrick Smith of the WCRCC along with U.S. Senate hopeful Corrogan Vaughn (right), who also spoke at the event.

Stifler noted that he was “pleased to see that Vaughn had to wait a couple of times during his speech due to the applause from the crowd when he compared the Civil Rights Movement to that of the Tea Party, speaking for his family that worked directly with Dr. King.” (Vaughn is a godchild of Dr. Ralph Abernathy, who worked with the slain civil rights leader and was with him when he was assassinated.)

“Corrogan attests to the fact that both were Republicans and if alive today these men would be active in the Tea Party,” Stifler continued.

That’s sort of an interesting flip side when compared to the other groups who have adopted the mantle of the civil rights struggle, such as the gay rights movement. Moreover, the TEA Party isn’t necessarily about adopting new rights but re-establishing the God-given ones we are granted in our Constitution.

This meeting won’t be the last for the Worcester County group. Based on the interest from the first go-round, their next meeting will be Friday, February 17, once again at the Ocean Pines Community Center.

I can’t close, however, without at least quickly addressing the snide remark in the newspaper about the lack of younger people at the event. It isn’t surprising coming from the media, but to be perfectly honest an older crowd is rather typical of the composition of the average TEA Party meeting. But as long as there is at least some interest from a small group of younger people it’s progress, given the vast majority of those under 30 who voted for Barack Obama. Perhaps the economy and dread of a future where they can’t succeed as their parents did is beginning to bring them around to the right way of thinking.

Another upcoming event on the opposite end of the Shore which doesn’t yet feature Vaughn but already has six of his opponents as confirmed speakers will be sponsored by the Cecil County Patriots and Americans for Prosperity on Thursday, January 26 beginning at 7 p.m. It will be held at the American Legion Hall located at 300 Cherry Street in Perryville, and the public is invited to attend.

All ten GOP Senate candidates have been invited, and confirmed as participants are Dan Bongino, Robert Broadus, William Capps, Rich Douglas, Rick Hoover, and David Jones. (No word yet on Joesph Alexander, John Kimble, Brian Vaeth, or Vaughn.)

Questions for the forum can be submitted to info@cecilcountypatriots.com. For more information, please visit the Cecil County Patriots website or call Jackie Gregory at (410) 620-7667.

Update: According to Gregory, Vaughn will be participating in the event.

Is the TEA Party electoral poison?

Well, to answer the question, Rasmussen conducted a poll which stated 43 percent now see the TEA Party label as a negative. Of course they do, since the media constantly portrays the TEA Party as part of the problem and not part of the solution. I think the number around here who would agree with the 43% is only about half of that.

But the labeling trend is definitely not in the favor of those who believe in smaller, more limited government as independents dislike the TEA Party label by a 42-25 margin. Generally they are the ones who fall in the middle politically and supposedly it’s the great unwashed whose votes pile up on election day.

So here’s my message to the 43 percent: if you don’t buy the TEA Party and its message of limited government it’s only because you believe the lies told about the TEA Party by those who have a vested interest in keeping things just the way they are!

Do you want to know the way it is? We spend way too much money in government, and it’s money we create out of thin air. The question now isn’t if we’re heading into an inflationary era, but when and how much. It’s sort of like our experience with Hurricane Irene – some got a little wind, some got a little rain, but most had some sort of damage done to their towns and dwellings. All that differed was the degree.

So follow the money. If you didn’t get a raise last year or – worse – lost your job, well, what has the current big-spending government done for you? Maybe you’re getting some sort of transfer payment like unemployment benefits or food stamps but wouldn’t you really rather have the standard of living of being a productive full-time worker returned to you? As it stands you have less but government has more because they set the rules and print the money! Let my people go!

Read more

A tax day protest

While I have no idea who he or she is, the Pajamas Media contributor known as ‘Zombie’ always seems to have an ear to the ground when it comes to events in that other socialist paradise of northern California. Here is Zombie’s take (in pictures and text) on two recent protests – one by the TEA Party and the other by a left-wing group called US Uncut. Both occurred simultaneously last Friday out in San Francisco.

There’s a reason I bring this up, and it’s not because there were other tax day TEA Party protests around Maryland and all over the country.

Come July, the plan is to have another local TEA Party. Yes, we missed the traditional April 15th date for Salisbury but that would have been problematic anyway because of the monthly Third Friday celebration held downtown. Instead, one can think of it as a booster shot between elections and at a time when politics may not necessarily be at the top of the agenda. After all, being a TEA Partier activist is almost a full-time job in and of itself.

Needless to say, I’ll have more updates as they become available to me.

Oh, one more thing. I have a major sponsor coming onboard to my humble little site. Details soon.

Conservatives in Maryland CAN

In three weeks, we may be seeing the beginnings of the TEA Party moving into its rightful place at the head of the Maryland political table. Yes, we have to wait until 2014 for the next statewide election but the process is moving in the right direction with a meeting of the minds coming up on Saturday, January 8th. Instead of being outside looking in (as they were at the recent GOP convention, where the picture is from) they are the organizers of the event – ironically set in the same locale of the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis.

Organizers believe it will be the catalyst for future gains.

“To our knowledge, nothing like this has been done before in Maryland,” said Ann Corcoran, Washington County blogger and one of the organizers. “We expect like-minded activists to share ideas and talents, forge alliances, sound the call for action, and give rise to conservative voices so that political competition can thrive in Maryland.”

Added Howard County activist Tonya Tiffany, “We’ll be talking about 2010 campaign lessons, precinct organization, voter fraud, media outreach, running for office as a citizen legislator, and federal pressures bearing down on the state of Maryland. We’re not forming another political ‘group’ (but) trying to network people.” 

With a roster of speakers well-known to conservative activists statewide, this daylong event was set up to give TEA Party faithful and their allies around the state the opportunity to converse and plan a strategy for future political gains. The speakers include:

  • Marta Mossburg, Maryland Public Policy Institute
  • Claver Kamau-Imani, Raging Elephants
  • Anita MonCrief, ACORN whistleblower and creator, Emerging Corruption.com
  • Delegate Ron George
  • Congressman Andy Harris
  • Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins
  • Delegate-elect Kathy Afzali
  • Charles Lollar (2010 Congressional candidate)
  • Robert Broadus (2010 Congressional candidate)
  • Brian Murphy (2010 gubernatorial candidate)

All this (and more) packed into eight hours for a cost of $40, which includes a box lunch. A registration form can be found here, or by contacting Tonya Tiffany at marylandcan@yahoo.com.

A thoughtful treatise

A Western Maryland blogger and TEA Party activist raises some good questions about Bob Ehrlich (h/t Blue Ridge Forum).

While the TEA Party movement locally may be slowly fading away as a vehicle of protest (no July 4th TEA Party was scheduled in Salisbury this year and attendance at April’s event was disappointingly low) there’s still that simmering resentment at party politics in general and the GOP in particular.

It’s expressed in an undercurrent of backlash among certain conservative voters against Bob Ehrlich and Eric Wargotz, who are perceived by them as the “establishment” Republican candidates. Instead, they’re gravitating toward upstart Brian Murphy in the GOP primary for governor as Murphy doesn’t seem to be ashamed of having conservative views. The same goes for Jim Rutledge (and perhaps one or two others on a lesser scale) for the U.S. Senate nod.

The problem for Republicans is that they have a group who’s been proven willing to fight for goals they believe in, but may be put off by the more centrist candidates. Many TEA Partiers (including myself) draw their inspiration from Ronald Reagan, who was thought by the conventional wisdom and many in blueblood country club Republican circles to be unelectable. They had their way in 1976 and their choice (President Ford) lost the election.

But then 1980 came along and their candidate (George H.W. Bush) lost the nomination to Reagan, who as we know blew out President Carter in the election. When Bush was elected in 1988 on Reagan’s coattails, he caved to the centrists – “read my lips,” anyone? – and lost to Bill Clinton. That happened in part because H. Ross Perot, who was more appealing to conservatives, ran on the Reform Party ticket. (Hey, I voted for him in 1992 as well. But I talked my ex-spouse out of voting for Clinton into voting for him so it was a wash.)

I know many of you see this as ancient history, but there are a lot of people around my age who fondly remember the Reagan years and wonder what happened to that America. I know I do.

Right now, as far as our economy goes, we are in a situation not unlike the situation 28 years ago in which Reagan found himself – high unemployment and a stagnant economy. But with Reagan we were on the upswing from the dismal Carter years and beginning about 1983 we began a roaring era of prosperity. I wouldn’t bet on that given the current administration and their economic prescriptions.

So people are pretty upset – mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. But the perception has been cleverly placed in people’s minds that the GOP was to blame for the current economic situation. Perhaps they’re right, but it wasn’t conservative economic policies which put us into this malaise – instead it was catering to centrists and liberals who thought only government could dig us out of the hole.

And TEA Party participants believe this as well, so a centrist Republican may say all the right things but not everyone will buy what they’re selling. Once the ballot is set, I’ll be the guy asking the questions.

Friday night videos – episode 38

July 2, 2010 · Posted in Business and industry, Delmarva items, Inside the Beltway, National politics, Politics, State of Conservatism · Comments Off on Friday night videos – episode 38 

Since I missed last week due to personal reasons, it means I have a lot more video to choose from this time.

A little over five years ago, the Supreme Court revealed its Kelo v. New London decision. The Institute for Justice took a look at the impact since in this video.

 

Hey, it was nice of YouTube to add custom sizing for websites like mine. Saves me some HTML work!

The saving of the work doesn’t just extend to me. Beltway Democrats don’t want to work on a budget.

Maybe they just want to enjoy their summer. In this edition of the Freedom Minute, Renee Giachino talks about Obama’s ‘Recovery Summer.’

Someone who can’t take the summer off is Gen. David Petraeus. But it appears Obama’s advisors blew him off when they promised a July 2011 Afghan withdrawal.

But that’s all right, because Obama staffers are blowing off transparency laws, as Americans for Limited Government reveals.

This one has a wry sense of humor to it, and in good time for Independence Day.

Musically, I think it’s time to dust off Ava Aston once again. Just as a reminder who’s in charge on Independence Day.

Have a great Fourth of July, and Happy 234th Birthday to America!

Friday night videos – episode 36

June 11, 2010 · Posted in Business and industry, Delmarva items, Inside the Beltway, Local Music, National politics, Politics, Radical Green · Comments Off on Friday night videos – episode 36 

Kicking back and relaxing on a warm summer night – take your time with these videos. Perhaps you’re like me and do a lot of your web surfing outside.

You know, that Joe Sestak job offer scandal is still percolating around Washington, casting a shadow on the Obama Administration.

I know the Center for Individual Freedom generally exceeds its “Freedom Minute” but it’s worth watching.

Something that probably won’t be worth watching is an upcoming Comedy Central show called “JC.” It’s a show I wrote about for Patriot Post and begs the question – is America ready for more Christian-bashing out of a network which was afraid to portray the prophet Muhammad? (Probably NSFW if you’re there.)

Yeah, that was pretty disgusting. Speaking of disgusting, let’s have the reaction of folks on the left to this guy becoming violent at a Tea Party protest in North Carolina.

Oh, I forgot, it’s the Tea Partiers who are violent. That might be the next thing Obama blames Bush for, and the background music is priceless. (I actually used the Smokin’ Gunnz version of the song a few weeks back.)

Yeah, I got that from Eric Cantor’s office. But it was good. On a more serious note (and since Obama referred to the Deepwater Horizon spill) the next two videos feature American Petroleum Institute chief economist Dr. John Felmy discussing the effects of the Gulf drilling moratorium.

Of course, some of these jobs could’ve gone to newly minted graduates – ALG talked to some recent ones about the youth job situation and 26.4% unemployment.

As always, let’s close with a song. Local artist Bryan Russo has a jazzy flavor on this song as he takes a trip to the ‘Smokey Cafe.’ Don’t think I’ve ever embedded a Vimeo before.

With that, another episode of FNV is a wrap.

Broadening the conversation

June 6, 2010 · Posted in Liberty Features Syndicate · Comments Off on Broadening the conversation 

With his win last month in Kentucky’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by the retiring Senator Jim Bunning, Rand Paul termed it a victory for the Tea Party movement. In the May 18 election Paul trounced “establishment” candidate Trey Grayson by a 59% – 35% count, stunning observers with his margin of victory over a candidate backed by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, among others.

For becoming the new darling of the conservative movement, the younger Paul – son of two-time Presidential candidate and libertarian hero Rep. Ron Paul – immediately became the target of the progressives who inhabit the mainstream media. Just as Sarah Palin was bushwhacked by interviews she did with network news personalities Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson during the 2008 campaign, Paul stepped in it just days after winning the primary election with an interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” which led to Rachel Maddow browbeating him on her MSNBC show. The line of questioning regarded Paul’s view on civil rights and laws passed a half-century ago.

Obviously the intent of this cross-examination was to play into the media’s template of Tea Partiers as racist hicks far outside the mainstream. You wouldn’t catch those journalists asking a Democrat about his party’s historical opposition to those same civil rights advances dating back to the Civil War, but when they get the opportunity to score points against a rising star of the conservative movement they’re sure to take them.

Perhaps, though, the time has come to make civil rights an issue and ask about the progress we’ve truly made toward a colorblind society. After all, once we elected a President with a multi-racial background it was thought the issue would fade away into a post-racial era – apparently it hasn’t yet sunk in with the media who asked these questions of the Kentucky victor.

Rand Paul brings up a good point about the status of civil rights in America. While the topic of race was the shovel used to try and bury the newly-minted candidate, we could ask the question about a number of other forms of discrimination as well.

One example is the city of Kinston, North Carolina. In 2008 the voters there overwhelmingly supported a change in their municipal elections from partisan to nonpartisan, but they were overruled by the Justice Department based on the Voting Rights Act. Apparently the minority community (which is actually a majority in Kinston) wouldn’t know to vote for the proper candidates if they didn’t have a “D” by their name, according to DOJ logic.

Laws can and do outlive their usefulness. In truth, a business which didn’t provide accommodations for or cater to a portion of their potential clientele would likely find itself closing its doors in short order. As a whole, society is growing more and more tolerant so the prospect of segregated lunch counters is fading into the dustbin of history regardless of whether a law prohibiting the practice exists on the books.

It’s only those who continue to survive on the division of society by race, class, and gender who try to perpetuate the need for outmoded legislation designed to promote a particular party by presenting a facade of tolerance while denying colorblind equality in practice. He may not have made the point in the most eloquent way, but Rand Paul is correct to encourage a hard look at whether equality is better promoted without laws originally designed to keep us equal but evolving into making certain citizens more equal than others.

Michael Swartz used to practice architecture but now is a Maryland-based freelance writer and blogger whose work can be found in a number of outlets, including Liberty Features Syndicate. This cleared the LFS wire on May 26.

In print: Turnabout is fair play

May 22, 2010 · Posted in Delmarva items, Inside the Beltway, Maryland Politics, National politics, Op-ed columns, Personal stuff, Politics, State of Conservatism · Comments Off on In print: Turnabout is fair play 

While I’m pleased the Daily Times ran my op-ed yesterday (adding to the original title I use above), it’s sort of a pale pastel of what I originally had in mind. But they wanted me to get it down around 500 words so I complied. Here is the original version I wrote on Tuesday for comparison.

I was a Tea Partier before being one was cool.

For years I’ve believed in the principles of fiscal conservatism and limited government. I seethed just as much when President Bush adopted No Child Left Behind and the budget-busting Medicare Part D as I did when President Clinton vowed to “fix” the welfare reform package he’d just signed because it was too harsh for his progressive base to take. It makes me angry that the federal budget goes up and bureaucracy gets worse year after year regardless of who sits in the Oval Office or runs Congress.

Yet progressives always sneeringly ask those in the Tea Party movement, “what government programs would you cut?” Well, I have my list but others have theirs, too – that’s part of the problem with having a decentralized movement. And I also understand that responsible budget cutting is not expressed in terms of strictly dollars and cents because there needs to be a simultaneous effort at the federal and state levels to eliminate mandates which tie the hands of local government. There’s no simple answer, so we speak in those broad generalities that most of us agree with – limiting government to that which follows the intent of the Constitution as envisioned by our nation’s founders.

Given that setup, I’ll turn the question on its head and ask my friends on the left: how should we achieve the full funding that you desire for all of your pet programs? My home county came up $22 million short of departmental requests on a budget of $113 million while the state of Maryland counts on nearly $400 million of federal grants to patch the hole in its FY2011 budget. Needless to say Uncle Sam is just a wee bit short on funding for what Washington wants to spend.

Usually their answer is to tax the wealthy, so allow me to play this game of “what-if.”

Given that our President is the leader of the free world, one would think his CEO position is the most powerful job one can get. For this he makes a salary of $400,000 annually. (We all know that the perks of free housing, unlimited travel allowances, Secret Service protection, and so forth make the compensation package much more lucrative but the paycheck is still $400,000.) I can just hear the leftists say, “well, since the most powerful guy in the world makes that much no one else should make more. People can earn all they want but after $400,000 we’re going to tax them at a 100% rate.” Okay, done.

Unfortunately, that decision would have severe consequences. Those who have the capital to pay such a punitive tax rate also have the wherewithal to relocate to a financially friendlier port-of-call. Just as we’ve seen in Maryland with a much less comparatively severe “millionaire’s tax,” capital will flee at a rate heretofore unseen. As we’ve proven repeatedly with “sin” taxes, the old adage that to get less of something you tax it will come true – with undesirable results.

Somewhere there is a balance between those services we need government to provide and what we’re willing to pay for them, but to the average Tea Party participant the pendulum has swung too far off center. However, a pendulum can also swing too far in the opposite direction and cutting too much away can bring on its own set of problems – if there were no government at all our society would dissolve into a pit of chaos and anarchy.

By attempting to paint the Tea Party with the same broad brush as anarchists and others of a radical ilk, the progressives project their issues onto our side. Those who rail against Tea Partiers need to realize that we, too, see the world as complex. We know solutions don’t come simply, but we also know that continuing in the same direction will only make the situation worse.

Then again, it was your side who believed in a conceptual and unspecific hope and change during our last national election. Who are the rational ones now?

Michael Swartz is a blogger and political writer who lives near Salisbury. He is a regular contributor of features to the Patriot Post internet newsletter and writes on national issues as a syndicated columnist through Liberty Features Syndicate. He can be reached at lfs.mswartz@gmail.com.

Next time I’ll know about how long of a feature to write (slightly shorter than my LFS op-eds) so don’t be surprised if you see these things more often.

How the other side lives

May 2, 2010 · Posted in Liberty Features Syndicate · Comments Off on How the other side lives 

If you consider the TEA Party movement a political one and support their goals, you’re not alone. A Rasmussen poll taken just before the tax day protests found that 24% of Americans now considered themselves part of the TEA Party movement.

Yet if you look at the actual number of people who have attended a TEA Party, the movement is likely far smaller. While there’s no good accurate count of the number who have participated, it’s safe to assume that the sum total is much fewer than the 69,498,215 people who voted for President Barack Obama. And chances are the circle of TEA party regulars has little congruency with the circle of Obama voters so it’s no stretch either to assume that these are two different and entrenched camps.

Those who favor TEA Party politics tend to be for a reined-in, smaller government which is fiscally responsible, and they’re united on that front. On the other hand, the sector of the Democratic party which most supported Obama is actually made up of far smaller and more disparate groups, which fall in and out of favor quickly depending on the issue of the day.

For example, the recent push for amnesty for illegal immigrants placed the Hispanic advocacy groups and other race-baiters at the top of the heap, displacing environmental groups who were hoping cap-and-trade would lead the agenda once health care passed. Moreover, while unions and other progressive groups were thrilled at the passage of Obamacare, gay rights supporters were displeased with the lack of progress on their pet issues and vocalized their disappointment at President Obama’s recent appearance with Senator Barbara Boxer in California.

Despite their differences, though, the side of those who would consolidate government power in a Washington bureaucracy, back it up with an activist judiciary system, and reduce Congress to a body where favors are bought and sold for plebiscite votes has advanced their agenda at an increasing pace. Over the 80 years since the Great Depression began, government has constantly become a more powerful force in people’s lives – only the pace has changed, depending on who occupies the White House. The statist agenda won victories, even under Reagan’s watch, because Democrats controlled the purse strings at the time.

Those on the left also use the tactic of asking, “where were tea partiers when the Republicans in Congress increased spending and drove up the deficit under President George W. Bush?” It’s a good question, but the pace toward statism wasn’t quick enough to incite alarm and economic conditions were acceptable. In addition, President Bush handled the post 9-11 period well enough to earn a second term.

In retrospect Bush’s biggest mistake was assuming he could work with Democrats inside the Beltway as he could Democrats in Austin. He had no idea the disparate groups which fight amongst each other when the Democrats are in power can speak with one voice when their territories inside the Beltway become threatened. In that respect, these special interests become the image the Tea Parties would eventually mirror because they too took to the streets when that which they believed they’d earned for themselves was threatened.

Yet even if the Republicans win big at the ballot box in 2010, the fight has barely started. Note that the Gingrich-led Republican Congress of the 1990’s couldn’t starve the Beltway beast – eventually they lost their will and their way. But if they don’t succeed we could lose America as we know it, and the Tea Parties of 2009-10 will become a forgotten chapter of the closing days of our nation’s history.

Michael Swartz, an architect and writer who lives in rural Maryland, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer. This article cleared the LFS wire back on April 26.

Remarks to Salisbury TEA Party, April 15, 2010

April 17, 2010 · Posted in All politics is local, Delmarva items, Personal stuff, Politics, State of Conservatism · Comments Off on Remarks to Salisbury TEA Party, April 15, 2010 

As part of “open mike” I prepared these remarks for delivery Thursday:

Greetings to my fellow TEA Partiers!

My name is Michael Swartz, and as my life has evolved I’ve become a man of many hats (besides the Shorebirds one I’m wearing today) – by profession I run a website called monoblogue and am currently a freelance writer but – most importantly – by grace of God I’m an American!

There’s a sort of humorous irony today. At this place where I’m speaking, to a crowd who agrees with me that we’re taxed enough already, Mayor Ireton is revealing his FY2011 budget for the city of Salisbury as is County Executive Pollitt for Wicomico County. I’m certain their message is that we’re going to have to endure pain and sacrifice to balance these budgets.

Yet while some observers, those who are fed misinformation by what passes for the mainstream media, believe that we in the TEA Party movement stand for no government – well, they are mistaken. They assume that what we mean by limited government is a lack of government, and nothing could be further from the truth. To have no government would be anarchy, and the Founding Fathers were certainly just as interested in preventing anarchy through the rule of law as they were of stopping the tyranny of the rule of man.

They placed checks and balances on our political system, but most importantly their intent was to create a republic as opposed to the simple mob rule of a democracy. We stand here today to reclaim the republic for the average, hardworking American who’s fed up with government excess!

Our elected leaders tell us there will be sacrifice, and they are correct. For government to truly live within its means we may need to give up some of what we cherish. I’m not here to tell you things will be rosy, but the truth doesn’t necessarily lie in their dire predictions of doom and gloom either.

These elected leaders truly don’t need to have a lot of courage to stand up for what’s right; it’s only conventional wisdom which says that they do. Our job here in America is to properly vet those among us who want to serve as our leaders – needless to say, we’ve found that the press won’t do it for us and those we’ve elected to serve us have instead decided to serve the special interests who would weaken this great nation.

In 1964, before Ronald Reagan served as governor of California or as our President, he noted, “You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream – the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”

Among my company today are those on the right – Republicans, those in the center as independents, and thoughtful members of the left who remain Democrats. As Reagan said, we have a choice to make and by removing the shackles of overbearing government we can rise once again to prominence.

It’s likely my short speech won’t be repeated on the lips of millions tomorrow, but if we can promote the attitude it exudes over the next few months as our republic prepares once again to choose its leaders, the message will resonate over the next decades as we lift ourselves from this slavery to our Beltway and Annapolis masters and regain control of our own destiny.

Thank you and God Bless America!

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