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The Tea Party, Missing from the Republican National Convention’s Big Tent

| August 30, 2012

An anti-Obama tea party rally in Palm Coast in March. (© FlaglerLive)

An anti-Obama tea party rally in Palm Coast in March. (© FlaglerLive)

By Henry Kelley

I’ve been asked why there is no grass roots representation of the Tea Party at the Republican National Convention.

My response is fairly simple. Despite three years of media onslaught and cluelessness by liberals and Democrats, those outside the movement still don’t grasp a simple truth: people like me are the absolute last folks — probably even below gaffe-a-minute Vice President Joe Biden — who would be invited to the RNC.

We in the Tea Party believe in Republican principles of limited government, free(er) markets and limited foreign military adventures. It’s elected Republicans who represent the problem – they just don’t follow their own principles.

We watched in disbelief as a Republican-controlled government passed the Patriot Act and Medicare Part D, growing government and racking up even more debt. Our response? We stayed home in 2006 and the Democrats took control of the U.S. House.

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In 2008 we had two choices for president. One spoke very well, wanted to greatly increase the size of government, and supported TARP — the Troubled Asset Relief Program that purchased the failed assets of banks. One spoke less well, wanted to greatly increase the size of government and also supported TARP. The result was total Democrat control of the federal government, because we decided silently that the Republicans had blown it.

We gave the Democrats a chance to, as Nancy Pelosi said, “drain the swamp.” The door was wide open. But it turns out the only ones worse in handling our economic crisis than the Republicans was the Democrats.

As a result, we have given the government complete control over our health care, and thus our bodies, regardless of whether that body is male or female. I challenge anyone on the left, who had legitimate complaints about the policies of President George W. Bush, to offer a rational defense for voting for President Obama a second time. Obama’s policies are almost universally expansions of President Bush’s policies.

Not only did the swamp not get drained, it got filled with huge amounts of cash to special interest groups, even more debt and, worst of all, a sense of hopelessness in our form of government.

So the Tea Party went out and did, without violence, what needed to be done. We found candidates and supported them to vote our way. The result was the absolute smack down of Democrats in 2010. Fortunately, the “intellectual superiority” of the left prevented them from realizing the mood of the nation, an attitude that has put Republicans in a position to sweep back to power now.

Yet, the Republican party has shown no interest in following their principles, even with the nation in serious peril.

The tea party was formed because there was a group awareness that our nation is on the precipice of the famed economic cliff.

Since Democrats have made no effort to reach out, understand or even acknowledge that the tea party has an economic point, we are stuck with Republicans for one more cycle because we simply cannot leave our government in the hands of President Obamabush. He’s proven to be a failure as a leader, and we will swap him out for someone we don’t quite trust, either.

You see, the tea party long ago realized that We the People had to rise up and transcend our government and parties, or the nation will never be the same.

After this election, the future of the tea party is unclear. We may finally break off and work to be truly independent. Many members may join a third party. What is certain is that the Republicans have pushed us away as much as the Democrats, and we’ll work together to elect a guy we don’t fully trust.

And therein oddly, lies a glimmer of hope. We may elect someone who no one quite believes in and we will look to ourselves for solutions, not D.C. And that, my friends on the right and left, is what makes America great. We are a nation of individuals, and we need to find that strength again.

Henry Kelley, a Fort Walton Beach business owner, is a leader of the Florida tea party movement.

7 Responses for “The Tea Party, Missing from the Republican National Convention’s Big Tent”

  1. Dorothea says:

    Mr. Kelley makes what seems like a logical argument. However, once Tea Party supported candidates were elected to office, the very first bills Tea Party supported politicians introduced were not about fiscal cliffs, but socially regressive legislation to take control of women’s reproductive choices. I’m certain that forcing a woman to have an ultrasound camera inserted in her vagina was not on the Tea Party agenda.

    Perhaps the Tea Party’s rank and file truly believe in what Mr. Kelley says they do. However, their leaders are merely using their membership’s ignorance to promote a socially regressive agenda that takes the United States backward many decades. Had its membership objected to being thus used to promote this agenda, I would have some sympathy for their goals. However, they did not, but continued to support candidates that have now turned around and kicked them out of the Republican’s very small tent.

    As it stands now, in my opinion, the Tea Party represents one of the most uninformed and ignorant sections of our citizenry, surpassed only by the large number of non-voters, who abdicate their right to vote in primaries, giving the Tea Party supported politicians control of their destiny and permitting legislation that is against their own interests.

  2. question says:

    Mitt said ixna on the tevantelicals because you really don’t poll all that well…he wants to hide you in the hopes to appeal to the swing voters. He knows he has to pander to you,
    put Paul Ryan [idealogical twin of Todd “women who are victims of “legitimate rape rarely get pregnant” Akin],
    ….but that’s it for now. He has to pander to so many so quickly that you only get so much pander time.

    I only wish he would act on his true self and treat the tea party & that idiot Grover Norquist like the huge, dreadful anchor around the neck of America that they really are.

  3. rickg says:

    If the teabaggers had any other solutions other than no…. they might actually gain some credibility. If it weren”t for the Koch Bros their funding would shrivel up and die.

  4. Lonewolf says:

    Virtually ALL of this article and it’s wild uneducated, unsubstantiated statements are misleading, inflammatory and mostly lies.

  5. Ben Blakely says:

    The Tea Party is very much alive, healthy and active. Clear thinking people who value the constitution and sensible spending and taxation are drawn to the Tea Party.

    Those obama slaves who believe in spending other people’s money till you are broke and growing government so large that it crowds out the private business sector and steal the individual freedoms of Americans are lost souls.

  6. Ben Blakely says:

    Thursday night in Charlotte, Barack Obama doubled down on his far left liberalism, articulating the case for big government, greater regulation, and more spending (which he calls “investing”), more control of personal freedoms, and the belief that the U.S. Constitution can be circumvented at will by presidential edict.

    The United States is ruled by the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. Baroke obama has made it repeatedly clear he has little to no regard for the constitution. He routinely bypasses the constitution, ignores congress, and issues at his whim many executive orders to get what he wants. He says, he doesn’t have the time to wait. Most tyrants are famously impatient.

    So we have a black tyrant running wild in D.C. His arrogance and narcissism empowers him to become more radical and disrespectful of the law. He sees himself clearly as a king and rules by edict and not by law. Like being a subject and being ruled by a radical cocain addicted black king?

    Remember all these facts when you vote in November.

  7. Dorothea says:

    @Ben Blakely

    I don’t agree with your opinions, but as distorted as I think they are, you are entitled to them. However, when you refer to “a black tyrant running wild in D.C.” or “being ruled by a radical cocain (sic) addicted black king,” the curtain gets pulled away and you expose yourself as a disciple of Archie Bunker. Seems like a lot of white men don’t mind a black man as long as the black man isn’t in charge.

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