Tea for Two?

On Tuesday, about 50 tea-party leaders met with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and there are concerns that this grassroots movement could be co-opted by the GOP. Many of these new political activists are crying “foul!”

It is no secret that the Republican hierarchy across the nation has been courting tea-party leaders but this meeting represented the first serious “real” date.

Can the tea party movement cooperate with a political party it once despised? Can it find a place or even coexist within the confines of a brand that many of these new activists feel is a “tainted”?

The answer is you can date the GOP, or interested Democrat Party leaders for that matter, but you don’t have to hold hands or “go steady.”

Some tea-party activists believe the answer is a third-party moment. In fact, in some recent polls, a hypothetical Tea Party won more support than the Democrats or Republicans.

Unfortunately, it takes time and money – lots of money – to create a viable third party and that seems to be in short supply in the tea-party movement. The reality is most third-party movements get trapped in the underbelly of politics and end up threading water for decades on end without making any real gains.

There is a third way and it is straightforward, simple and relatively easy: a takeover of the two political parties, one precinct at a time through precinct representatives. These representatives help elect county party leaders, who write the platform and often endorse candidates.

By all means, maintain your independence, but if you work from the ground up through the existing party structure, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It is the quickest way to achieve your goals of safeguarding individual liberty, cutting taxes and reducing the public debt.

Unfortunately, most people have lost interest in local politics and see local party meetings of little or no value. Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s where it starts. That’s where the process of picking candidates really begins.

Apparently, many grassroots Democrats caught on to the importance of local meetings some time ago. Back during the run up to the 1992 elections, one member of my local Republican Party Central Committee observed that the majority of cars in the parking lot at her meetings had Clinton/Gore bumper stickers. Yes, undercover Democrat activists had obtained positions in this local Republican Party and likely many others as well. Is it any wonder that the GOP has drifted further and further to the left?

If tea-party leaders are really serious about taking back the government, they need look no further than the model available at the National Precinct Alliance. The group headed by Philip Glass began working in Nevada and has already taken control of the Republican Party in Las Vegas and his activists are spreading their control across the state and into neighboring Arizona. Now, states as far away as Ohio are seeing an increase in candidates running for Republican Party precinct positions largely due to Glass’ efforts. His strategy is simple – take over the precinct, take the state, take the party.

In most precincts it’s not a case of ousting existing incumbents, but simply showing up at party meetings and filling vacant positions.

Glass maintains his group is nonpartisan but encourages people to begin where they feel most comfortable. For most tea -party activists it has been within the GOP.

There was a time when there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the goals of the two major political parties. The only disagreement was how best to achieve them. Not anymore! As the Democrat Party has drifted toward socialism, the Republican Party has steadfastly maintained its support of our founder’s principles of individual liberty and limited government, but the votes of the majority of its members tell a different story.

Gore Vidal once said, “It makes no difference who you vote for. The two parties are really one party representing 4 percent of the people.”

If tea -party activists are really serious about making a difference, they have to begin working from the ground up in both political parties. That’s how you become the “4 percent.”

Bear in mind, when you have two good candidates (one from each party) running against each other in the general election, no matter who is elected, we all win.

4 thoughts on “Tea for Two?

  1. you’re right Jane, but unfortuantely, we are uneducated about how things are done at the precinct level. In my 72 years, it wasn’t until this year that I was educated about the precinct processs and how it can work to make real change. It is one of those things, along with the Constitution, that are left out of the public education process .

    As far as the TeaParty movement goes, again, you are right. It is being co-opted by mainstream Republicans and will soon become useless for the American people. When I see such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck taking an active part in the Teaparty movement, it is clear that they are trying to neuter it into becoming blended into the existing system. I fear their efforts will work.

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  2. This is a real Catch 22 situation. My problem and I’m sure that of many other conservatives is that we are out there trying to earn a living and do not take time to get involved in local politics. The people who have the most time for politics are the non-workers and they are the ones asking for more of our tax dollars.

    If we earn a living in this great country, the non-workers run it. If we get involved in politics, we don’t have time to earn a living. The constitution is supposed to protect us, but the non-workers have figured out many ways to get around that minor bump in the road.

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  3. Jim,

    I understand your frustration but most precinct meetings are at night and if you will try it you will see that you get more bang for the buck time-wise than with any other political activity. Takes about as much time as watching a football game once a month.

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  4. Jane, you need to do some homework on the National Precinct Alliance, especially on Phil Glass, the founder. We in Nevada are becoming particularly incensed about the fact that this organization WHICH DID NOT EVEN EXIST at the time we organized and used the Precinct Strategy we adopted from a site called http://www.wagthedog2010.com (after viewing the video placed on that site by Jim Condit, Jr.) and seeing that it made sense to us to go that route, rather than embrace the notion of a third party endeavor. We who organized the various “grassroots” 912, Glenn Beck and other internet groups operated solely upon the guidelines outlined in the video “The Strangest Political Secret”. While Tony Warren, who lists himself as one of the co-founders of the National Precinct Alliance, was a PARTICIPANT, mostly an observer, who had NO LEADERSHIP ROLE in any of the groups, and did not even belong to the Leadership Coalition who designed and implemented the entire effort, has attempted to use this peripheral involvement as the justification to credit his new group with our efforts, the truth is, he played no role in doing anything except participating and then blogging all over the Internet wherever he could put out his account of how HE had done so much. The rest of us, who actually know what he did, paid little attention until he launched a vicious attack at former members of the Republican party’s executive officers and board, leading us to discover what he had been up to. The TEA Party movement has serious detractors, all tending to try to dismiss what we are doing as anti-government, right-wing extremists, and so on, and this group, the National Precinct Alliance, and its affiliation with FreedomForce.us may very well be setting up the TEA Party movement to take a huge fall. While presenting themselves as a legitimate TEA Party-type organization, J.B.Williams, the force behind FreedomForce.us, merged with the National Precinct Alliance, based upon the former’s ability to raise funds. Phil Glass stated, in the early days of the National Precinct Alliance, that he wanted to raise $150 million, in order to “Buy Congress” since that was all they understood, and we could outbid the lobbyists. This position runs directly counter to the goals and aims of the Tea Party, “Grass Roots”, Glenn Beck and any other patriotic group with whom I have any contact, and it distresses us greatly that someone would try to hijack this strategy for this purpose. So, as a journalist, I would hope that you investigate this former mortgage banker, self-proclaimed proponent of a strategy he stole from another, and then revisit this group in a new light.
    It would seem highly unlikely that a group which only came into existence almost a full six months after we had staged the “takeover” of the Clark County Republican Party could have had any role in our “success” as they repeatedly claim in the media, and it really pisses us off – sorry for that, but we are getting very tired of this group trying to take credit for something with which they had NO involvement! The real story can be found on the site I referenced above. If you would like to check anything I stated here, all you need do is contact anyone at the Clark County Republican Party.

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