Upbeat Thoughts from Mark Meckler
To a packed crowd at Abacoa, Tea Party Patriots founder Mark Meckler provided optimism and insights for the future, along with some anecdotes from his current work as founder of Citizens for Self Governance. Those who are still depressed about what the 2012 election says about our country should take heart by his analysis of where we stand.
In cowboy hat and boots, California native Meckler was upbeat and hopeful.
The American Revolution was not about the Stamp Act or any specific taxes, he said. Rather, it was the reaction of a free people who had governed themselves in the 180 years from Jamestown to Lexington and Concord, throwing off the moves of a foreign sovereign to place shackles on their liberty. Liberty is also at stake today, in an existential way – our freedoms are unique in history and if liberty is extinguished here it will be extinguished throughout the world.
The 2010 blowout that stopped the Obama train would not have happened without the tea party and its success with local and congressional elections. That said, it is hard to see that we could have had as much influence on the dynamics of the presidential election (does the President call me for advice? he asked). We didn’t pick the candidate, and the local knowledge and organizing skills of the grassroots were ignored in favor of a top-down “we know best” campaign managed from Boston. That helps explain why the great success of the Scott Walker campaigns in Wisconsin were not repeated on the Presidential ticket in that state.
Change can happen from below – at the local and state level, he said. Mark has observed a new dynamic of business people becoming more than just “checkbooks” to the party apparatus and taking control of the process themselves. This has happened in Wisconsin (preparing the field for Walker and the win against the unions), Texas (where incumbent crony Republicans were thrown out in primaries), and Tennessee.
There is common ground to be found with the left, he said, as he imparted his meetings with left leaning academics and the leader of Moveon.org. We are not alone in opposing trillion dollar deficits or failing schools.
We should not buy the media drumbeat that the tea party is dead. How can it be, he asked, that the media portray us as omnipotent in preventing John Boehner from dealing with the President, yet impotent to affect events.
In closing, he asked us to get involved at our local level. Become members of appointed boards and commissions, run for town council or school board, go to your city council meetings. We can change the country from below, much as they did in the first revolution.