“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” – Samuel Adams

Tea Party: The Freshman Class Gets It

image - Rep. Tim Scott

Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC)

The patriotic Americans who make up the Tea Party movement were instrumental in helping elect a historic number of Republicans in 2010. While some Tea Party-backed candidates did not get elected, most did.

Does the incoming freshman class of congressmen and women understand and appreciate the Tea Party concerns of limited government and adherence to the Constitution? From the interview below, they certainly seem to.

- The Tea Party in Colorado was a group of people who, many of them for the first time, got involved, took up their Constitution, took up their rights to vote, voted for the first time. – Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

- Free markets. When you look at the Tea Party, they want free enterprise to rule. Capitalism is not a negative word, and they understand that. Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC)

- In Kansas it’s the same way. They’re the folks who go to church with us. who are playing Little League with our kids. These are ordinary Americans who want to bring the country back to the Constitution.

- It goes back to that first press conference Steny Hoyer had after the health care bill. ‘ The American people just don’t understand what we’ve done for them.’ Well, they understand very well, and the Tea Party represented that.

- A lot of what the Tea Party was, many people just wanted to restore the American dream. – Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY)

- The Tea Party generated because congress was not listening, the government was not listening. – Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN)

- I think the Tea Party is the face of a much bigger movement. It goes well beyond just the formal Tea Party. It’s the average American finally saying, ‘Enough of this big government, enough of the out of control spending’ and so on.

- Many people who are busy, I mean these are lives of people who are raising children, raising families, and they are very, very busy and they’ve taken the time out of that. So people think that they’re some kind of activist when in reality, I think they’re frustrated, and they were looking to band together. They trusted neither party. What they were looking for was someone who was listening to them.

- These are average Americans, everyday American citizens, going to work doing what they are supposed to do: paying their bills, counting on the government to do what they were supposed to do. They woke up one day and realized the government wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do. – Sandy Adams (R-FL)

- I think we’re all on trial here, and I think we have a lot to prove, and we have to show the Tea Party, which is not a fringe group, it’s mainstream America, that we will be true to our word.

Based on these comments and sincere body language, I think these guys and gals get it. That is encouraging.

Now we the American people, whether working within the Tea Party movement or not, have to hold them accountable. We need to watch what they say, and more importantly what they do, how they vote. We need to call or email them with thanks and encouraging words when they do the right thing…and if they compromise or do the wrong thing, we need to let them know we are watching and we aren’t pleased.

Our country is far from out of danger. The vigilance and determination that brought about the historic election of 2010 must be continued by all Americans.

It’s been said often, but it is not a cliché: the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.


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