Wellington Chapter Meeting Inspires New Member

The following was written by Janeen Capizola. The pictures at the end are from Ed Wolff.

I am Janeen and I am a Tea Party Patriot. I didn’t need to admit it, I needed to understand it. So no one is happier than I that I attended my first meeting of the Wellington Chapter of the Palm Beach County Tea Party Patriots Tuesday evening to hear TP Patriots Cofounder and National Coordinator, Mark Meckler, and State Coordinator, Dawn Wildman, speak about the Tea Party.

My story goes like this: I stood in a very long line on a cold, dark morning to early vote in the 2008 General Election. Hundreds of people were out voting for Obama and I was seething, thinking, “Dear Lord, they know what they do.” That’s when I began yelling on Facebook. I figured I had two years to simply get one apathetic voter to care and pay attention before they ever went out to vote again. On April 15, 2009 in downtown West Palm Beach, in the pouring rain, I stood passing out American flag stickers I purchased on my own for the Anti-Tax (Tea Party) Rally. When I saw the crowd, I never felt more at home in my life. Like-minded thinkers, fighting the same fight as I. Back to my comfy couch and Facebook where I immediately “Liked” the Tea Party Patriots and continued to yell through the 2010 elections up until today. Recently, I got off my couch and joined the Palm Beach County REC, a bunch of Republican Clubs and thought, “well, of course, I “identify” with the Tea Party, so I’ll join them, too.” After all, for the past two years, I’ve been trying to explain that the Tea Party is a “movement,” not a political party; that the Tea Party is NOT a “wing,” “branch,” or “arm” of the Republican Party; that the Tea Party is a force to be reckoned with and don’t underestimate the power of the people. But that is pretty much all I knew about the Tea Party Patriots. I know now that I don’t “identify” with the Tea Party, I AM a Tea Party Patriot!

Dawn Wildman spoke first and she was a hoot! She immediately started with, “the Tea Party is not about Democrat vs. Republican,” it’s not about liberal vs. conservatives, it’s about “looking at the values” of our elected leaders and candidates who run for office. The Tea Party is about finding people with “common interests and principles” and not about a particular political philosophy. And so you see, it is because the Tea Party can’t be LABELED that SCARES the heck out of those who resort to calling us terrorists and telling us to go straight to hell. She spent some time talking about how the movement is sweeping Europe. She said every region in Italy now has a Tea Party chapter and that hit home for me as an American of Italian decent. She told us, and we laughed out loud, to stop screaming at our TV’s and get involved. And I plan to do just that! Thanks Dawn, message received.

Mark Meckler spoke next and this man was born to lead. He explained the history of the Tea Party, starting with the famous February 19, 2009 Rick Santelli rant on CNBC where he called for another Tea Party on the 4th of July. That rant set the Twitter world abuzz and Mark, Dawn and 20 others, all strangers to each other, said, “why wait?” and they got to work promoting on Facebook. All over the country, Tea Parties were held one week later, February 27, 2009. Mark says he was stunned to see hundreds of citizens “standing against the government” at these rallies. After such a huge turnout and overwhelmingly positive reaction to the first Tea Party rallies, Mark called Dawn and others around the country to plan some Tax Day rallies figuring, “well, everyone’s angry on tax day!” Again, here were regular people simply posting on Facebook promoting these rallies and it wasn’t long before there were 850 planned tea parties posted on their site. Well, Fox News, and only Fox News, picked up the buzz and began covering what was being planned for April 15, 2009 across the land. Once that happened, Mark said the “lid just blew off!” He started receiving approximately 1000 emails an hour, more rallies were planned, and this was happening as Mark again said, “with no official ‘organization,’ no money, no one with any particular skills, and no marketing.” He says it took awhile to get some estimates and numbers, but they know now that 1.2 million people attended rallies across America on April 15, 2009. Wow! After that enormous success, the big question became “what now?” They named the group the Tea Party Patriots. And when asked by the media, (my words) “oh how clever of you to use the word ‘Patriot’ in your name, after all everyone is a Patriot, right?” Mark’s response was, “well, actually we just thought ‘Tea Party Patriots’ sounded cool.” I found it particularly striking that Mark and the others specifically chose to use the term “fiscal responsibility” over the more commonly used, familiar, “fiscal conservative” because they did not want to be seen embracing any political philosophy.

Fast-forward to September 12, 2009 where 1.7 million people marched on D.C. and even cleaned up after themselves! Another bit of information I had never heard and thought was super cool when Dawn mentioned it: the Smithsonian asked for a tee-shirt and sign from that day because they knew history was being made! Mark went on: As the Tea Party Patriots continued to grow, we all saw what was accomplished in November 2010: “the largest turnover in the House of Representatives since 1938.” I loved how Mark told of the Freshman Member Orientation where he and Jenny Beth pretty much “demanded” the freshman members attend. Mark said two things were said to the new members: 1)”We are here for you. We helped get you here from all over the country. We expect you to vote your conscious. And if you do, you have an army of people to back you up.” 2)”And if you don’t, we will send you all back to where you came from.”

What has been remarkable to me, a Patriot watching from the sidelines, is instead of fizzling out or dying as many movements usually do after an election, the Tea Party Patriots has continued to grow. Mark says there are now over 3,600 chapters, with approximately 22-23 million members, across the country and every single one is organized differently depending on what the need in a particular town, city or county is. An interesting statistic Mark gave, and he said they simply go from their Facebook page demographics, about half the members are under the age of 45 and half the members are over 45, with the under 45 crowd being active on Facebook and the over 45 crowd being active in meetings.

Let me end by saying I have thoroughly enjoyed my two recent Tea Party events, the Labor Day BBQ and the Wellington meeting. Every member has been so unbelievably welcoming to me, a newcomer. All of you have an enthusiasm and a passion for the 3 core values fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets, that make us all Patriots. When I attend a Tea Party meeting, it doesn’t matter what political party I belong to, what my thoughts on social issues are, what my religion is, and not only doesn’t it matter, no one cares since we are all Americans who want the same things for America! I am so happy the Tea Party is there for me and it is going to be my pleasure working with all of you as we prepare for November 2012.


One Response to “Wellington Chapter Meeting Inspires New Member”
  1. al berchielli says:

    I Protest The Ideology of President Obama !

    I’m a little guy, the average citizen of The United States of America. And if anyone should ask, what the average little guy is like you couldn’t tell him, because he’s a million and one things.
    He’s Mister Big and Mister Small, he’s Simple but he’s Wise, he’s inherently Honest, but has a streak of larceny in his Heart.
    He seldom walks up to a public phone without sticking His finger in the slot to see if somebody left money there. He’s the man the ads are written for, and the fellow everybody sells things too. He’s Joe Blow, the worlds greatest Stooge and the worlds Greatest Strength !
    Yes sir, we are a great family the little guys, we are the meek who are supposed to inherit the earth. You’ll find us everywhere, we raise crops, dig the mines and work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the buses. And when a Cop yells stand back there you, He means us, The Little Guys.
    We have existed since time began. We built the pyramids and saw Christ crucified, we pulled the oars for Roman Emperors and sailed the boats for Columbus, we retreated from Moscow with Napoleon, and froze with Washington at Valley Forge.
    That’s right, we’ve been in there dodging left hooks before history started to walk. And in our struggle for freedom, we hit the canvas many of times but we always bounce back because we are the people, and We’re Tuff !
    President Obama started a lot of talk about the people being soft. Well Mr. President, when the going gets tuff, the tuff get going, and the Free people will change this country without You, Big Government or a Wall Street Massachusetts Moderate. Freedom is a great part of our country, and that’s one thing you can’t take away from the little guys, our Constitutional Right, The Right To VOTE !
    I know a lot of you are saying what can I do I’m just a little guy too, I don’t count. Well your dead wrong, the little guys have always counted because in the long run, the Character of Our Country is the sum total of the “Character of the Little Guy.”
    But all of us have to be part of a team, something like “The Tea Party”. We can only win if we all Unite, and that could be a good idea. Teaming up with the people who already have a solid foundation throughout the country and who have advocated being the Little Guys themselves.
    It’s up to You to get together with the guy next door, your neighbor. Yes, he’s a very important Guy that Guy next door, your going to need him and he’s going to need you, so look him up.
    If he’s sick, call on him , if he’s hungry, feed him, if he’s out of a job, Find him one. To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barking dog and a high fence around him. You can’t be a stranger to someone who is on your team, so forget about the fences that separate you and your neighbors, and all the fences in the country that have created the hate and the prejudices. Then, and only then, you’ll really find the strength in people that created this Great Country !
    I know your all saying to yourselves, he’s looking for a miracle to happen, he’s expecting people to change all of a sudden. Well your all wrong, its no miracle, because You see it happen once every year at Christmas Time. There’s something swell about the spirit of Christmas, to see what is does to people, all kinds of people. So lets not waste time, this maybe Our last chance to get our country back before Christmas and get it moving once again in the Right direction.
    Yes sir my friends, “The Meek Can Only Inherit The Earth” when we start loving and caring for our neighbors. So you better start now, November, 2012 is closer than you think. Wake Up Little Guys Your The Hope Of The World ! VOTE: NEWT GINGRICH
    ” The Little Man ” ajb_thelittleman@yahoo.com

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