Two questions I always try to ask myself when self educating are "so what?" and "what now?"
For many years my friends and family have gathered around the dinner table and vented about the government getting out of control. For all of Bill Clinton's 8 years, that seemed to be all we did. At times I thought we were all kind of nuts, maybe a strange cell group that given the wrong kinda meat loaf would suddenly "turn rogue". However there was a closeness, an intamacy that we all experienced, knowing we were not alone. I remember times when new people would show up to dinner and we'd all get excited to find out they shared a lot of the same dissatisfactions we did. So we would re-hash all the same 'ol arguments with a lot of emphasis and visseral not really knowing who we were arguing with, being as we were all on the same side. I guess we could say it was iron sharpening iron. We all became experts at expressing our opinions about what was wrong with our country.
Well, now, a few years down the road, looking at this tea party movement, it would appear there were many dinner tables where people met at to discuss the status of the government and how it has become totally out of control. For years we've been talking about the "so what", but now, it seems we're asking "what now".
Erick Erickson wrote a good blog today on Redstate.com http://www.redstate.com/erick/2010/04/14/tea-party-movement-20/ where he was back-peddling a little, trying to explain his flippant remarks in his blog yesterday. For the most part I really enjoyed what he said today, but the following is what I've been asking myself and I believe many of you have been asking as well:
"But I go to tea party events all over the country and hear people say "Get involved," only to have actual tea party activists go home, email me, and ask the "how" that the person on stage never bothered to get to.
We must move beyond the protests and get to the fight. We are effective now. We should not settle. "
He goes on to list some very smart ways the average American can "get involved":
- Learn how to be a better online activist.
- Start paying attention to your local government.
- Learn how to run for office and be a campaign strategist, whether or not you want to run or want to be a strategist. You will find the skills extremely useful.
- Write letters to the editor of your paper.
- Call in to local radio shows — not national, local.
- Find candidates you like and support them, blog about them, promote them and fund them.
- Stay connected to like minded souls in your community to know you are not alone — why I still like and support local tea party groups.
- Become active in the political party of your choice. Change it from the inside, not the outside.
- Learn to discern.
- Above all else: remember that when the left attacks the tea party activists, they are attacking the foundation of America. Stop responding as an aggrieved tea party activist and start asking what part of the American way of life they have a problem with. "
I couldn't agree more, and would encourage all of you to follow through and not only do these things, but, pick one or two in particular and become an expert at them. Self governance takes people that are experts at all different kinds of skills. What good will it do if we are all just cookie cutter activists?
I would also like to add one to the list that we can all do. Like Glenn Beck says, we need to become an evangelist of this movement, we need to spread the word and invite others to come check it out. With that said, I hope to see you all the next tea party meet-up, you and someone you brought with you.