The Tea Party did not die at the hands of “scam PACs.” The GOP set out to destroy it — and partly succeeded.
A piece titled, “Scam PACs killed the Tea Party. Now the GOP is facing the consequences” ran at Conservative Review over Labor Day weekend, and as a grassroots conservative, I disagree with its conclusions.
In its battles with the Republican establishment over the past decade, the Tea Party has fractured and split. Some of it was because of ideological differences, and that was bound to happen once the success of the 2010 election was fully felt. But it took the GOP very little time to regroup in 2011, and it actively sought to create discord within the Tea Party as well as to replace people in the Tea Party movement with GOP operatives. Establishment Reublicans’ mission was to co-opt the message of the Tea Party and take it from limited government and free market capitalism to whitewashed principles and the standard pap that We the People were asking for far too much.
It was sort of an “Empire Strikes Back” initiative, and it worked. Many Tea Party folks felt disillusioned at the idea that their Tea Party meetings had become rallies for RINO Republicans instead of strategy sessions on how to beat the RINOs at their game. And truthfully, it was partially because of this interference and co-opting by the establishment Republicans that we now have Trump as president. About half of the Tea Party folks were Trump backers, for various reasons, but one of the big reasons was to stick it to the establishment GOPers, who have been treating the Tea Party like dirt ever since they got their majorities. The GOP bit the hand that fed it.
The CR piece cites a Politico report about the supposed Tea Party PACs that toured the countryside, took donations, and used the money to back establishment candidates, but that honestly has nothing to do with the actual Tea Party. We the People haven’t gone away.
Sure, the money isn’t coming in like it was a decade ago, but if elections were just about how much money you can raise, then Dave Brat wouldn’t be in the House of Representatives. And frankly, the Obama administration had a lot to do with decreased incomes for a lot of regular folks.
The main focus of all grassroots activists ought to be working within the community. Remember the calls to talk radio on April 15, 2009? Some of us were at Tea Party rallies, calling in to tell the world that an amazing thing was happening: That people from all walks of life who understood the threat we faced with Democrats at the helm came out into the open and said then and there that they were willing to do something about it. The new Democrat Party represented by the Marxist Obama was the only red flag we needed. The number of people who agree has only increased since then, but we have been pitted against one another by the GOP operatives who never had any intention of limiting government in the first place.
But political operatives, even those who have websites and pose as conservatives, have been using the actions of a few to demean the efforts of the whole. In reality, it doesn’t matter how much money you raise if you have people willing to defend the American way of life against its internal foe, now represented by the Democrat Party.
On one point I agree wholeheartedly with the CR piece: That the default operating procedure for too many activists has become being active on Twitter, as opposed to actually going out among your community and mobilizing folks based on the freak show the Democrats have become — and it may have terrible consequences in November. This is why I have been advocating for people to get off of social sites and get active in their communities before this November comes and goes and all you did was tweet!
But I just cannot agree with the piece’s conclusion: That there is no Tea Party, that the Democrats are dancing on its grave. Despite the efforts by the Republican establishment to co-opt and to thwart it, there is a Tea Party. It is within my heart and the hearts of all those people out there who feel compelled to stop the march of the leftist front in our own free nation. We stand and watch as daily absurdities threaten to take our eyes off the main focus, but we are still focused. We have been woke since November 2008, and our mission dies only when we die.
Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, a blue-collar wife and mom, a political writer, humorist, and conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write. Follow her on Twitter @JenKuznicki.