Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tea Party in Boston – AP suggests 10,000 in attendance, while focus remains on Palin and Brown.

Tea Party held in Hartford, 2009 - Image TMP

The Associated Pressis suggesting that the Tea Party in Boston will draw an estimated 10,000 people today – the article then goes on to speak to the absence of Senator Scot Brown, who will be in Washington going about the people’s business. The deluge of articles on the subject, from the Boston Globe ”Welcoming Palin to Boston” to Business Week’s ”Palin’s Boston Rally With Tea Party Fails to Draw Senator Brown”, one might get the erroneous impression that the Tea Party is all about Palin and Brown. What the press does not seem to understand, or wishes to ignore, is the fact that neither Brown nor Palin are of import in regards to the Tea Party Movement, other than the fact that Palin is speaking (and Brown’s presence is not required.) The Tea Party Movement is a rally designed to protest excessive taxation and certain State and Federal policies that place an added burden on the “masses”, and also play fast and loose with the Constitution.

There are big questions that aren’t being asked (or are being avoided), for example: why are independents and Democrat joining the movement? Followed by: How come the Tea Party Organizers are mainly women? Finally, how many Tea Party chapters are there? Basic demographics might help the media understand why the Tea Party is making headway where traditional political parties appear to be standing still, or more to the point, attempting to downplay (The Democrats) and align (The Republicans) with members of this movement?

It is in reality a movement by and for the people, with an undefined central leadership, but the ability to communicate across state lines in order to draw significant attention (through large crowds in rallies) to policies they feel are not helping our economy, or more to the point, the middle class and those who are bound by fixed incomes. They are patriotic, and contrary to the continuous media sledgehammer, educated, every-day, Americans who are fed up with the way the government appears to ignore the people that fund and hire. One can meet a Tea Party activist in the grocery store (or outside collecting signatures for a particular fiscally conservative candidate), in the library researching the constitution, arms loaded with books including the Federalist Papers, and the guy next door.

On any given day of the week, a Tea Party meeting is taking place in towns and cities across the country, and on any given Saturday, one might find a band of protesters on a street corner holding signs and waving flags. A recent Rasmussen poll suggests that 24% of the general public considers itself part of the Tea Party Movement, with an additional 10% with a close friend and or relative belonging to the group.. In addition, 48% of those polled believe that their views are more closely aligned with Tea Party philosophy opposed to the 44% who believe they are closer in view to the Obama. The kicker, 52% believe that any Tea Party Member understand the Constitution better than their Congressional Representative. (Rasmussen).

Obviously, major political parties, the Obama administration and the press are aware of these statistics, which is most likely why the continual downgrading of the Movement, with a focus on Palin and Brown, (rather than the aforementioned) is what one finds in the daily news.

This morning, as the Tea Party members from across Massachusetts, and New England gather in Boston, it will be the rally itself, rather than the headliners, that should be the wake-up call that business as usual is on the way out, and that the people will exercise their right to hire or fire their representatives, both at the state and the Federal level, should they not reign in spending. It is a simple theme that transcends politics and politicians and resonates with every American regardless of party affiliation. That is the bigger story.

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