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How Donald Trump Completed the Tea Party

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Sometimes I forget what originally drove me to call for a tea party protest in St. Louis.

One motivation was fear of missing out because a dozen other cities were planning protests. Another driver was a desire change the direction of the country. And at least some of it was the frustrated actor in me looking for an outlet.

Since two-thirds of those motivations appeal only to me, let’s focus on the middle one: change the country.

If we wanted to change the country, we have to answer obvious questions:

  1. From what?
  2. To what end?

I’ll try to unpack those two questions and show why Tuesday’s election means the Tea Party’s mission is almost complete.

From What?

Here are the RealClearPolitics afternoon headlines from Thursday, February 19, 2009:
Mr. President, Enough with Doomsday Talk – Mark McKinnon, Daily Beast
Fixing Our Housing Crisis – Tim Geithner & Shaun Donovan, USA Today
People Don’t Want to Pay Their Neighbor’s Mortgage – Rick Santelli, CNBC
How the World Sees Obama – Joe Klein, Time
My Response to the Attorney General – Bill Willingham, Big Hollywood
Welcome to Canada, Mr. President! – Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail
The RAT Hiding Inside Stimulus Bill – Byron York, Washington Examiner
Time for a Global Stimulus – Matthew Yglesias, The American Prospect
Durban II: High-Level Diplomacy? **- Rick Richman, Commentary
**Paterson’s Bumpy Road
– Kyle Trygstad, RealClearPolitics

Stimulus, bailouts, doomsday talk.

As we saw it back then, the expert elites screwed up the world and they wanted us to pay for it. TARP and Stimulus were code words for wealth redistribution. This time, though, we taxed the poor to make the wealthiest people whole.

When Obama announced plans to bail out people upside-down on their mortgages, we’d had enough.

That first Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Protest was the plebes first warning shot across the elitist’s bow.

The “from what” was a world run poorly by a select few. Years later, Peggy Noonan named that select few: “the protected.”

To What End?

From the first moment of the tea party movement, we struggled to answer this question. “To what end?” my friend Lee Presser asked me over lunch. “You’ve started this movement, Bill,” he said. “You need to tell people what the world will look like when you succeed.”

Lee was right, of course. Every movement must work toward something. We needed a way to measure our progress toward a goal.

Just saying “no” will work for only so long. Eventually, someone would demand to know our solution. At least our vision.

Many tea partiers said “constitutionally limited government,” but no one can draw a picture of one. And, frankly, no one really cares about government. We care about the part of life separate from government. We wanted more of that non-government life and less government. But “less government” is a bad answer because it doesn’t anwer the question most people ask.

To people like me, less government means something good. To someone on disability and SSI, less government means something scary and dangerous. And, while we, on the right, have high confidence that those welfare recipients will find a way to survive without government programs, the people dependent on those programs often have less confidence in themselves.

For years, we struggled to paint a picture of “Tea Party America.” We failed. We all failed. As a result, the tea party movement fractured. Some went on to media careers. Some got elected. Most of us worked on smaller tasks, like municipal court reform.

Then, a New York billionaire did our jobs for us.

To Make America Great Again

The answer to “to what?” came from a simple slogan: make America great again. And it came, not from a tea party leader, but from a billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star. Donald Trump finally painted a simple picture for the people Peggy Noonan calls “the unprotected.”

As Ms. Noonan writes today:

Those who come to this space know why I think what happened, happened. The unprotected people of America, who have to live with Washington’s policies, rebelled against the protected, who make and defend those policies and who care little if at all about the unprotected. That broke bonds of loyalty and allegiance. Tuesday was in effect an uprising of the unprotected. It was part of the push-back against detached elites that is sweeping the West and was seen most recently in the Brexit vote.

The tea party was the uprising of the unprotected. Over the first two years of that uprising, we lost our focus as we groped for the answer to the “to what?” question. The answer that seemed most appealing came from the Constitution experts. Ted Cruz became their hero. They pushed Constitution study groups.

But all that academic talk about the Constitution bored the unprotected. As I wrote in 2015, most people don’t know they have a Constitution problem—they think they have an income problem. Our 10th Amendment arguments didn’t pay their rent. Most of all, they didn’t want someone or something to pay their rent; they wanted to earn enough to pay it themselves.

Then along came Trump. “We’re gonna make America great again, folks. We’re gonna do it. Believe me. It’ll be beautiful.”

How would we do this?

“We’re going to bring your jobs back. Good factory jobs.”

“Law and order.”

“We’re going to build the wall, and it will be beautiful. And Mexico will pay for the wall, believe me.”

And Trump said more.

Trump Answers the Question

While the media perseverated on a few controversial tweets and comments, Trump spoke to the people who built and build America. Trump spoke in simple, truthful words:

I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.

So we really need jobs now. We have to take jobs away from other countries because other countries are taking our jobs. There is practically not a country that does business with the United States that isn’t making – let’s call it a very big profit. I mean China is going to make $300 billion on us at least this year.

When I am president, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally and protected equally. Every action I take, I will ask myself, ‘Does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson, who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?’

Our politicians are stupid. And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them. They don’t want to take care of them. Why should they when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them?

Our military has to be strengthened. Our vets have to be taken care of. We have to end Obamacare, and we have to make our country great again, and I will do that.

I own buildings. I’m a builder; I know how to build. Nobody can build like I can build. Nobody. And the builders in New York will tell you that. I build the best product. And my name helps a lot.

The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them in the first place.

We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again.

There it is, my friends. Donald Trump answered Lee Presser’s question, “to what end?”

I’ve said many, many times that throughout our charmed history, God has always given us the President we needed and deserved. If you can get beyond party and ideology, Bill Clinton fit the 1990s the way Ronald Reagan fit the 1980s. Jimmy Carter was the embodiment of the mid-1970s, and his failed president made Reagan possible. In time, I think we’ll see that Barack Obama made Donald Trump possible.

Possible. But Donald Trump and the tea party put Trump into office. I realize some tea partiers opposed Trump. That’s beside the point. Some conservatives like George F. Will opposed Reagan. The tea party movement was not monolithic.

But if you go back to day one of the tea party, February 27, 2009, and you look at the faces and fashion of the people who gathered on the steps of the Arch, you will see Trump’s people.

Donald Trump gave us the vision that eluded me and all the other tea party leaders. Maybe we were too knowledgable and tried to craft a clever vision.

Trump’s vision was simple: make America great again.

That’s all it took and all that matters. We just wanted to make America great again.

God bless and keep President-elect Trump.

One Week To Go. Are You Ready?

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Time is running out fast.

The St. Louis Area Tea Party for Trump is Sunday, August 28 at 4:00 p.m. at Surdyke Harley-Davidson in Festus, MO.

Here’s your checklist to make sure you’re ready:

Sign Ideas

Make sure your signs embarrass no one. Don’t give the liars at CNN anything act all righteous about. Here are some sign ideas:

  • Winning with Trump
  • Donald Trump: YOU’RE HIRED
  • Trump Stands With US
  • Trump Never Sleeps
  • Trump Leads from the FRONT
  • All Aboard the TRUMP TRAIN
  • I’m ALL IN for Trump
  • HONK if you’re voting TRUMP
  • Make America Great Again
  • Make America Work Again
  • Make America Safe Again
  • Make America Strong Again
  • I [HEART] Trump
  • Build The Wall
  • You Can’t Fake Great Kids
  • Legal Immigration Rocks
  • Borders Define a Country
  • Dignity = Meaningful Work
  • I’m Choosing Scalia’s Successor
  • What’s Wrong with Greatness?
  • Obama Golfs, Hillary Coughs, Trump Leads
  • Trump: Serial Winner

Please use the comments to add your own sign suggestions.

See you there next Sunday at 4:00 (but I’ll be there early)

Reince Preibus at RedState 2014

Why Is Erick Erickson Protecting Reince Priebus?

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UPDATE:

Welcome, Donald Trump fans! Thanks for reading.

Yes, it’s true, I have had disagreements with Erick in the past. I try to assess the situation, not just the person. It’s possible to disagree with someone on one subject and to agree with them on another.

If anything, Erick showed consistency by rescinding Trump’s invitation to Red State. Erick didn’t want the event to descend into chaos led by my friends over the Barbour episode; he doesn’t want a descent into chaos led by Donald Trump.

Some will call me a hypocrite. Go ahead. I’ve been called worse. And being seen as inconsistent on this matter is better, in my view, than siding with boorishness in an attempt to appear narrowly consistent some marginally important prior position. If I must be narrowly and reflexively consistent, I will remain consistent with my belief that the United States deserves and requires leaders of remarkable character, temperament, intelligence, creativity, and charm. I want it all in my next president. And Trump lacks several key ingredients.

Please continue reading. Thanks


Call it the hand of God.

I was supposed to go to RedState Gathering this weekend, but things didn’t work out at the list minute. Now, I’m glad I wasn’t there.

Red State Gathering is blogger Erick Erickon’s annual conservative gabfest. This year, it was in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Reince Preibus at RedState 2014
Reince Priebus and Erick Erickson at RedState. Photo by anonymous Tea Partier

Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, was one of the speakers. Priebus is under heavy pressure from Missouri’s Ed Martin and others to investigate Henry Barbour’s role in political attack ads that accuse the Tea Party of racism. So far, Priebus has blocked any such investigation.

Reince Priebus is running cover for Thad Cochran and Henry Barbour who called you, dear read, racist.

Traditionally, speakers at events like RedState Gathering take questions from the audience. But Erickson saw that Tea Party Patriots were armed with signs and tough questions for the Priebus .

I asked Erickson, via Twitter, why he protected Priebus from questions. Here’s Erick’s response.

Erickson’s answer is nonsense. No, Priebus did not authorize Henry Barbour’s attack on the Tea Party. He is not responsible for Barbour’s actions. 

But Priebus is solely responsible for his own response to irrefutable evidence that Henry Barbour funded the ads. Erickson has made himself culpable in the cover-up by protecting Priebus who is protecting Barbour. (Priebus and Barbour go way back, as we shall see later.) It’s typical Republican Establishment “cover your ass” nonsense.

Erickson has not responded to my follow-up question: 

Priebus is Chairman of the RNC, for God’s sake. He’s in charge. He needs a blogger to protect him from Tea Party Patriots? Give me a break.

Enter Ed Martin, Stage Right

Meanwhile, Missouri GOP Chairman, Ed Martin, has risked his entire political future by filing motions of censure against Henry Barbour and the Mississippi Republicans who shamefully libeled tea partiers, plagiarizing the vilest tactics from the Al Sharpton playbook.

I realize it’s considered bad form to set up a guest for humiliation in some circles. I get that. But if you’re going to allow Priebus to speak, you have to let him feel the heat for his failure to investigate the shenanigans in Mississippi. By blocking the investigation, Priebus is protecting the bad actors and further alienating grassroots conservatives.

Of course, we all know why Priebus won’t investigate Mississippi. As the Spectator pointed out, Henry Barbour and Reince Priebus are old buddies:

Martin’s request for an investigation would be, one thinks, a no-brainer. This is, after all, the party of Lincoln. Race baiting has no place in the Republican Party, which came to be in the first place because of its staunch opposition to slavery.

But there’s a problem: Take a look at this link to a site for a lobbying group called Capital Resources, which includes a bio for one of the group’s partners, the aforementioned Henry Barbour. If you scan down a bit there is a series of bullet points describing Barbour’s background. The very first one reads as follows: “Helped run RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ campaign for chairman.”

Here’s the most depressing part of this whole sordid story. When faced with the choice of offending the Tea Party or the Establishment, Erickson decided to protect the Establishment.

Maybe Erickson was just being a good and gracious host. That’s what I want to think. But to those of us who’ve been in the streets fighting the establishment, this feels like another sell-out.

Tim Kelemen

This Wisconsin Police Chief Admits Illegal Harassment of Tea Party Leader, After Lying About It

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The weird thing is: isn’t that Sharp Elbows questioning the Chief? When did he become a detective in Michigan?

The chief pleaded nolo contendere to identity theft charges. He presented himself as a tea party leader signing up for embarrassing, sexual email lists. From the La Crosse Tea Party:

A shocking update to the Town of Campbell Situation this week. Detective Spencer from Monroe County Sheriff’s department called and said that Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen confessed to harassment/internet stalking/identity theft regarding my complaint filed to La Crosse P.D. in January when someone signed me up for 15 or so internet accounts ranging from a gay profile on Match.com to Healthcare.com.

The La Crosse city council will meet next week to decide whether to terminate the chief.

For more, see the TCOT Report story.

H/T Christina KBo

Gadsden Flag Cape

What Happened to the Tea Party?

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I’ll give Business Insider some credit. After Tea Party-backed candidates came up empty across the board in Tuesday’s Republican primaries, the website that has spent years maligning our rule-of-law movement could have taken the low road.

Instead, blogger Brett Logiurato wrote a fair assessment of what’s happened to the GOP since February 27, 2009.

The much-talked about Republican “civil war” is over, at least for the people who thought it even existed in the first place. Both the Tea Party grassroots and the GOP establishment have taken lessons from the clashes over the past three election cycles. Republicans have learned to adopt more Tea Party talking points, and conservative grassroots voters have shown they are willing to back establishment candidates who have adopted their views.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tea-party-establishment-republicans-2014-5#ixzz32PKbj6XG

Logiurato describes the changes in Mitch McConnell’s behavior to illustrate the fusion of the two factions:

In 2008, as he had been for much of his career, McConnell was a proud promoter of congressional earmarks and the money he was able to bring back to Kentucky. He ran an ad during that race boasting about the more than $1 billion he brought back to the state.
. . .
By 2010, as Tea Party earned a series of election victories and earmarks became a symbol of waste in Washington, McConnell helped end them. He won’t campaign on “bringing home the bacon” this year, and he stands firmly against an effort to bring back earmarks.

 

“McConnell’s evolving message shows how the real Tea Party can co-opt and win over the GOP establishment when it sticks to its principles,” wrote John Hart, Sen. Tom Coburn’s former communications director, on Real Clear Politics.

Getting Mitch McConnell to talk right is one thing; getting him to vote right is another. 

If the GOP lets the Export-Import Bank of Boeing die a graceful death this year, I’ll be impressed. If McConnell and the House leadership begin turning their backs on corporate lobbyists who use government to thwart innovation and kill competition, then the Tea Party can claim a big victory. But I’m not holding my breath.

Let’s face it: none of us knew what the hell we were doing when 50 little groups held simultaneous protests in February 2009. We had no plan for what to do after that first event, awkwardly titled The Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Protest. After that first wave, some of us got together on a call, and Mike Leahy offered a plan. He said “this is a 10-round, heavyweight fight that will end with knockout on Election Day 2010.”

Yeah, we did that. But we never really had a plan for how we would do it. We knew how to hold a damn fantastic rally, though, so we held a bunch of them. We knew how to change the narrative with video, and we did that. We knew how get under Barack Obama’s skin, and we did that.

But victory is often the cruelest defeat. Following the 2010 election, we thought big. Really damn big. We were certain we’d be calling the shots in 2012. After all, the GOP was on life support after the 2008 elections. George Will scolded conservatives for uttering the word “socialism.” The New York Times predicted a permanent Democrat majority in almost every state.

The only center-right heartbeat leading up to the 2010 election was in the Tea Party. At that first Tea Party, Hall of Famer Jackie Smith said he’d never been to a political rally before. He asked the crowd of over 1,000 people to raise their hands if this was their first time. Almost every hand went up.

These people were not on Republican walk lists. There not consistent voters. They were ordinary people answering a call. They were sick of a government that took their blue collar wages to spare Wall Street millionaires and 8-figure CEOs the embarrassment of admitting “we fucked up the world.”

Hell yes, we lost our focus after 2010. At least I did. I started dreaming about rebuilding the Reagan coalition. I was thrilled to stand alongside people who’d been in the trenches for decades. I didn’t ask if their one, true passion was letting people live their own lives. I assumed it. That was a mistake.

In hindsight, I should have been far more humble. I should have paid attention to my own warnings about assuming the future will be a linear progression of the recent past. But I ignored myself. I looked at the Tea Party’s (and my own) recent past and projected out into the future. I like what I saw. I saw myself on TV, and I thought I looked damn good. (I’m always too eager to get my stupid mug on TV. I watched way too much Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson starting way too young, but that’s another story.)

Three dangerous developments emerged in 2011 that I should have stopped. I didn’t. Either I didn’t want the confrontation, or didn’t realize the danger, or I was afraid that challenging a bad idea might drive away a faction–a faction I thought we needed.

Those three developments:

  1. Fascination with massive conspiracies.
  2. Hedonistic pleasure from angry protests.
  3. Intellectual isolationism around 18th century political philosophy.

Maybe someday I’ll explain those three developments in more detail. For now, I just want you to know that I saw them–and did nothing.

The right direction is the one my friend Brian Bollmann took. Brian hooked up with the Center for Self-Governance. He didn’t just scream and yell at politicians. He learned how to talk to politicians. And now, they call him and ask how they should vote.

Brian got some power back.

When a handful of people get some power back, you don’t need 10,000 people yelling in a park. You don’t. Sure, we needed 10,000 angry people in Kiener Plaza in 2009. It was a recruitment drive. We had to tell the thousands like us, “you’re not alone. It’s safe to come out now.”

When a handful of Brian Bollmanns get some power back, you don’t need to shout about Agenda 21. Instead, you quietly inform poor people in public housing that Smart Meters will raise their electric bills to $120 a month from $25. That’s what Self-Governance students in Memphis did, and Memphis Power and Light removed the Smart Meters.

When a handful of Brian Bollmanns get some power back, you don’t even think about cloistering yourself in an ideologically safe vacuum and pleasure yourself with the vibrating echo. You talk to people who never heard of Thomas Paine about how they’re going to pay off their student loans.

I know it pisses off some good people every time I say I like Ann Wagner. I do. I enjoy talking to her, and I admire the things she’s accomplished. I can’t imagine myself yelling at her, and I know it would hurt our cause if I did. I’d like her to fight against extending the Export-Import Bank because the Export-Import Bank represents a redistribution of wealth and puts the government in the position of protecting large corporations from the free market. In short, the Ex-Im Bank is a clearinghouse of crony capitalism.

I know Ann and many of her Republican colleagues in Congress believe in the free market. But the free market doesn’t have a lobby. Except us. Except me.

So what happened to the Tea Party? I hope it got a lot friendlier and a lot more effective. Maybe now we can stop trying to topple big name “Republicrats” and start using our power of persuasion and influence to get Republicans to vote the way they talk.

 

St. Louis Tea Party Number 1

The Tea Party Is 5 Years Old Today

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If you were out on the Arch steps on February 27, 2009, take a moment to consider what’s happened.

  • From near-spontaneous reaction to bailouts, corporate takeovers, and profligate government spending emerged the largest and most sustained political movement since the 1960s
  • Both the GOP and Democrat Party are minority parties, as independents have surged
  • A new generation identifies with libertarian ideals like freedom from government spying, freedom from failed wars on activities war was never meant to stop, insane spending, the opaque and manipulative Federal Reserve, government manipulation of information, IRS abuse of political groups, and Obamacare.
  • A massive turnover in the US House of Representatives
  • A massive turnover in state legislatures
  • Millions of politically dormant citizens are now political activists
  • New media stars are born

In 2009 and 2010, America’s left tried to discredit us. Remember? They called us racist haters. The assaulted us at rallies. They sent forth swarms of paid activists to infiltrate our events.

They thought we’d go away. We didn’t.

For your fortitude, I am honoured to know you, to have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with you at Russ Carnahans, at the Fed, at K&N, at SEIU Headquarters, at the Arch, and at Prop C rallies.

You should be proud.

At the same, we have to admit freedom has lost ground.

  • Obamacare is still the law
  • Barack Obama is still president
  • Obama has used executive orders to rule by decree like King George or a banana republic dictator
  • The military is being cut to pre-World War II levels
  • Red light cameras are going up
  • The FCC has plans to place government censors in newsrooms
  • The Department of Transportation plans to embed license plate readers in every road
  • The IRS continues to harass and bankrupt its political enemies
  • The Fed’s balance sheet is bigger than most countries’ GDP
  • Eric Holder has evaded prison and remains Attorney General
  • The GOP is still beholden to the US Chamber of Commerce
  • Missouri Republicans continue to push for Medicaid Expansion, prescription drug databases, and even more red light cameras
  • Just today, Obama asked the courts to give the NSA even more power to collect your phone records
  • The labor force participation rate has fallen to 1970s levels
  • More people have given up looking for work than ever before
  • And the list goes on

We have a lot of work to do. And, frankly, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Too many times, I’ve taken the short cut when I should I have followed the longer plan. And I’ve put way too much emphasis on electoral politics and too little on personal persuasion.

It’s clear to me, now, that creating personal connections with people is the only way to fight that list of government wrongs. That means breaking away from our comfort zones and talking to people.

To help me overcome my weaknesses, I’ve begun the Center for Self-Governance’s 5-part course. The course helps people like me learn why it’s vital to recognize and use our power as human beings, endowed the ultimate power on earth.

We’re to use that power to train government to do our bidding, not the Chamber of Commerce’s or the NEA’s.

In my two classes, I’ve learned that shouting as politicians might slow America’s journey to perdition, but it won’t stop it. And it won’t win friends.

I’ve learned throwing myself into electoral politics my change the outcome of an election, but it won’t change the trajectory of history.

I’ve learned that political parties have no ideology, unless you consider the naked accumulation of power ideological. So working for a party only feeds the beast.

But I’ve also learned what I must do.

I’ve learned to treat politicians and government representatives as people, created by God, and deserving my respect.

I’ve learned that most politicians holding office have no idea what the right thing is, so they do what keeps them in power. It’s my job to teach them and encourage them.

I’ve learned that who holds office makes less difference than who exercises their power, and I haven’t been exercising my power very often or very effectively.

I’ve learned that I can apply what I already know about persuasion and influence and behavioral psychology to change the way politicians behave.

I’ve learned that I can influence a politician’s long-term behavior only by active listening, developing empathy, building rapport, earning the right to influence, and using that influence to drive behavior change.

To help me get better at exercising the power I already have, tonight I’m celebrating the tea party’s fifth anniversary at Heritage Action Skills Training. I hope you’ll be there, too.

P.S. You have exactly the same amount of power as Barack Obama and I have. We are created equal.

Note: I wrote this post on 2/26/2014 to publish on 2/27. But I live with rural internet, which isn’t too reliable. I lost service before I could I publish it, so I’m publishing now. 

St. Louis Tea Party February 27, 2009

5 Years Ago Today, The Tea Party Was Born On a Phone Call

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Give all due credit to Rick Santelli. His rant inspired a movement. But words don’t wear boots.

More images like this one available at Doctor Bulldog: http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/st-louis-tea-party-by-the-arch/

At 7:00 pm on February 20, Mike Leahy, Eric Odom, Jenny Beth Martin, Michelle Moore, Brooks Bayne, and a few others hijacked the TCOT conference call to answer Santelli’s call for a Tea Party in Chicago.

Two days after that, I posted this on Hennessy’s View: St. Louis Tea Party?

Who’s up for it?

I’m thinking March 14 before the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade.

  • Toss some tea into the Mississippi
  • Run 3.2 miles
  • Freeze for an hour
  • Drink some Jameson’s and Mich Ultra

If Seattle and Chicago can find enough patriots to oppose Obama’s socialization plans, St. Louis sure can.

Track progress here, on Facebook’s #dontgo group, or follow #dontgoand #teaparty on Twitter.

And, Look!  Someone’s written a recipe for a Tea Party.

How ’bout this;

Date:  Saturday, March 14, 10:00 a.m.  Friday, February 27, 11:00 AM
Where:  Steps of the Arch, Wharf Street
Bring:  5-10 friends, signs, and tea (but not in bags)
After Party:  Everywhere.

Here’s what happened.

St. Louis Tea Party February 27, 2009
Image clipped from http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/st-louis-tea-party-by-the-arch/

Five years later, Democrats like Chuck Schumer consider the Tea Party the greatest threat to the political class. A lot of establishment Republicans feel the same.

They’re right.

Visibility was the Tea Party’s sole tool in 2009. Beginning February 27, at noon Eastern time, 50 tea party protests drew undue media coverage.

I say “undue,” because we dominated the national news on every network, talk radio left and right, and local news and talk in at least 50 major markets.

In St. Louis, between 1,000 and 1,500 people showed up on a cold day with snow flurries in the air. They came to the steps of the Arch with signs, flags, and even pitchforks, much to the dismay of the park rangers.

But visibility comes with a price. We were identified and vilified, by name, by association, by lies, and by innuendo. We were mocked and attacked, beaten, and stalked.

And we flipped 800 seats in Congress and state legislatures in 2010.

I said visibility has a price. But getting punched in the gut steels resolve.

We may not be as visible as we were, but we’re more effective at driving change than we were in 2009 or 2010. We may not be winning elections, but some of us getting better at winning little battles. As Marc Herr says, we’re creating Mrs. Powells.

Mrs. Powell was the woman who asked Benjamin Franklin, “What have you wrought us? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Mrs. Powell was, of course, a woman. As a woman in 1789, she could not vote, she could not hold public office. She couldn’t even own real property. How in God’s name could such a person with no rights keep a republic?

Because she had power. She all the power God gives to man. She had the power of persuasion, influence, and obstruction. And she used it throughout her life. Mrs. Powell kept her republic.

Have you?

Tonight, Michael Patrick Leahy led a few of us on a stroll down memory lane with one his patented, brilliant conference calls. He asked me what America will look like in 5 years from now.

My answer was simple: freer. I see a generation forming that believes in itself. It believes it alone has the power to make the world better. It distrusts large institutions–big banks, big business, big labor, and big government. It wants to be left alone to solve its problems. If the rest of us get some relief along the way, all the better.

This generation is a Hero generation, much like the WWII generation credited with saving our republic in the Depression and the big war.

If you want to be a Mrs. Powell, forget about your rights. Use your power. You can sharpen your power at Heritage Action Skills Training on the 5th anniversary of the first St. Louis Tea Party, February 27, 2014.

Click here for all the details and to get your free ticket. Only 48 tickets remain.

Conservatives Keep Losing Because They’re Reading The Wrong Books

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For the past four years. conservatives have worried more about being right while liberals worried about winning.

We all know how that worked out.

It doesn’t matter how right you are if you’re powerless.Right now we are.

Satisfied?

I didn’t think so.

thinking-strategically

After four years of 5,000 Leap and Constitution study groups, of Constitutional workshops, and rallies in the park, let’s make a vow to ourselves and to each other: We’re Done With Losing.

Here are the books I challenge you to read in the next six months. Hold study groups on these tomes. Get people excited about winning a damn race here and there.

I won’t review. I’ll give you the list. Amazon’s pretty good about turning shoppers into buyers.

READ THESE BOOKS

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation

The Fourth Turning

The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns

The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care)

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Steve Jobs

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life

Imagine: How Creativity Works

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

These books are not about the Constitution or the wages of socialism. You already know all you need to know about those things.

These books are about winning. If you don’t start winning, it won’t matter what you else you know or believe.

P.S. If you object to any of these titles because they’re by or about a liberal, you’re the problem.