Who Are The Greene Tea Patriots?
According to many media accounts, the people supporting
the Tea Party movement are radical right-wing racists or ultra-religious
ideologues, but being a natural skeptic and conservative, I decided to see for
myself. Imagine my surprise when I showed up at a local farm house for my first
meeting with the Greene Tea Patriots and found something completely different!
Who are these Greene Tea Patriots? They seem to be normal
people you would meet in the course of an average day. They all have normal
jobs. They are machinists, engineers, housewives, factory workers, contractors,
printers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. They drive Chevrolets, Dodges, Fords, and
Toyotas. They range in age from their early twenties to their eighties, from
Masters Degrees to High School Diplomas. Most are parents and grandparents. Some
are from other parts of the country, settling here in Greene County to make a
better life for their families. Others were born here. A few are from
neighboring counties or other parts of the state.
I really wasnít sure what I should be expecting at this
meeting, but I was surprised by what I found. Nobody spoke of being part of any
famous protests back in the sixties or otherwise. None spoke of ever holding
political office. They certainly are not the dumb, illiterate racists, or
religious fanatics portrayed in the media (although a prayer of thanks was said
at the beginning). They really seem to be normal people living normal lives,
struggling to pay their taxes, raise their kids, and make a better life for
their families and those around them.
Although all were conservatives, the meeting was not a
vitriolic Obama hate-fest as some might expect. As a matter of fact, I got the
sense that most believed the problems facing our nation have been born through
decades of mismanagement and complacency, not caused by just one administration
or even one political party. The current administrationís policies have simply
motivated a long-silent majority to take action.
Everyone seemed to have their primary hot button topics, but
all seemed to agree that over-taxation, massive government spending, and
increasing regulation of our lives has gone too far. They believe the Federal
government is shifting away from the Constitution and basic founding principles
that has made this country great for over two centuries.
By definition, conservatives are rarely activists. However,
the people of the Greene Tea Patriots believe that the time has come where
everyday conservatives need to stand up and be heard. They believe it is crucial
that changes in our government need to be made soon or the nation could be
fundamentally changed forever. They are doing this for themselves, their
families, and their nation, not for a political party or candidate.
Why then, are these people portrayed as something so
different, so evil? I think the reason is two fold. The first stems from normal
everyday conservatives having been quiet for so long. The media has never seen a
grass-roots conservative activist movement before. Secondly, the press is
overwhelmingly liberal. Many do not think of themselves that way, but numerous
polls have shown it to be true. As such, they are more than happy to report the
negative or, in some cases, blatantly misrepresent views or events to further an
The people of the Greene Tea Patriots are good people, with
good ideas and honorable intentions. They embody a common sense approach to
government and citizenship that most of us believe in and want for future
generations. That is why I have joined in their efforts!