TEA Party Movement History and Platform
History of the Modern-Day TEA Party Movement
I. The History of the Tea Party
II. Facts About The Modern Day Tea Party Movement
III. The Tea Party Movement Platform/Ten Core Beliefs of The Modern Day Tea Party Movement
I. The Tea Party Movement has grown quickly as an American grassroots movement aided by social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well a viral videos. The loyal following grew to include many who felt taxes and spending were excessive and leading to the country’s demise.
Santelli Viral Video Responsible for Rise of Tea Party Movement
CNBC reporter Rick Santelli is often credited with the birth of the modern-day Tea Party movement. It all happened when he was reporting live from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on February 19, 2009 and began expressing his disgust for a government proposal to assist homeowners who were facing home foreclosures refinance their home mortgages.
“Do we really want to subsidize the losers’ mortgages?” Santelli asked, adding “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?”
Santelli then said that he wanted to organize, in July of 2009, a Chicago Tea Party so that capitalists could dump “some derivative securities into Lake Michigan.” A video of Santelli’s rant went viral on the internet on YouTube and within weeks the era of Tea Party protests all around the United States had begun.
However, giving Santelli all the credit for the birth of the modern-day Tea Party movement wouldn’t really be fair since others had been conducting similar protests, laying the groundwork for the grassroots movement to really take hold.
Below is a date by date Timeline of the Tea Party Movement which accounts for the other people who have played a role in the rise of the Tea Party movement.
Timeline of the Rise of the Tea Party Movement
1990s – During this decade and even earlier anti-tax protesters were known to use the theme of the Boston Tea Party as a rallying point for Tax Day protests (on April 15).
December 16, 2007 – Ron Paul, a Republican Party Congressman, commemorates the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party as part of a fundraising event for the presidential primaries. Among the issues advocated were an end to the Federal Reserve System and fiat money. Also advocated was an upholding of States’ rights and an end to U..S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
January 24, 2009 – Trevor Leach who was serving as the Young Americans for Liberty in New York chairman was the organizer of a “Tea Party” protest against more than one hundred taxes (including an “obesity tax”) being proposed by the state’s governor, David Paterson.
Also protested was the government’s overspending. Some of the protesters at this event were adorned with the traditional headdresses of Native Americans like the colonists in the original Boston Tea Party wore during their protest when they threw tea in the Boston Harbor to protest British taxation.
February, 2009 – A conservative Seattle blogger named Keli Carender organizes a protest which did not use the term “Tea Party” but carried a similar theme.
The protest took place in Seattle on February 16, 2009 on the day previous to the signing of the stimulus bill by President Obama. Carender called the event a Porkulus Protest and it was attended by about 120 people though they only had four days notice at most.
Among the many calls Carender made to draw interest to the event was a call to Michelle Malkin who was a contributor to Fox News and a conservative author. Carender requested that Malkin use her popular blog to publicize the event.
February 27, 2009 – Carender holds a second protest and the attendance is more than double of the first protest.
April 15, 2009 (Tax Day) – Twelve hundred people gather for a Tea Party protest.
February 19, 2009 – Rick Santelli, a Business News editor for the CNBC television station, is broadcasting live from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange when he began commenting negatively on the government’s plans to refinance mortgages in the U.S., which had been announced by the government on the previous day.
Among Santelli’s comments were claims that the government was “promoting bad behavior” because it was subsidizing the mortgages of “losers.” During his complaints about the government program Santelli suggested to his viewing audience that they should all hold a “tea party” on July 1, 2009 so the traders could dump their derivatives in the Chicago River.
The traders who were near Santelli on the trading floor cheered when they heard his comments and the show’s hosts in the CNBC studio also displayed amusement at his comments. A video of this then became viral on the internet after it was shown on the Drudge Report.
Within a day a website called ChicagoTeaParty.com was live on the internet (the site was originally registered in August of 2008 by Zack Christenson, a radio producer in Chicago) and the website reTeaParty.com was purchased with the goal of coordinating Tea Party protests and demonstrations that were being organized for July 4, 2009.
Santelli’s comments on the trading floor and the resulting publicity is believed by most to be the primary event that led to the rapid rise of the modern-day Tea Party movement and the coalescing of many people around the term “Tea Party” to signify a distaste for particular government actions.
February 20, 2009 – A Facebook page is set up to rally people to organize Tea Party protests nationally. The result was the coordination of a Nationwide Chicago Tea Party protest in forty different cities on February 27.
February 27, 2009 – The first modern-day Tea Party movement to take place on a national scale occurs.
March 4, 2009 – The website reTeaParty.com is receiving substantial traffic reported at up to 11,000 visits per day.
September 12, 2009 – A Taxpayer March on Washington is organized and Tea Party protesters walk towards the U.S. Capitol.
September 20, 2010 – Barack Obama attends a CNBC-sponsored town hall discussion during which he says that the challenge “for the Tea Party movement is to identify specifically what would you do” in regards to where spending should be cut.
April 15, 2009 – Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, talks at a new York City Tea Party rally.
January 19, 2010 – A special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat leads to the election of Scott Brown who has significant Tea Party support.
April 13, 2010 – Tea Party supported Charles Perry is victorious in the GOP primary against an established Republican opponent, the incumbent Delwin Jones. Perry wins unopposed in the general election on November 2, 2010.
May, 2010 – Rand Paul, backed by the Tea Party, wins the Super Tuesday GOP Senate primary in Kentucky against established Republican Trey Grayson. Paul gets about sixty percent of the vote and states that the Tea Party movement is about “saving our country from a mountain of debt.” Rand goes on to win the Senate seat.
May 8, 2010 – The established Republican Senator Bob Bennett from Utah is defeated in the GOP primary by Mike Lee, an attorney from Utah. Lee’s victory as seen as a Tea Party movement success as the Tea Party was against the return of Bennett.
June 8, 2010 – Established Republican party candidate Diane Gooch is defeated by Tea Party supported Anna C. Little in the New Jersey’s Republican congressional primary.
July, 2010 – Michele Bachman, a U.S. Representative and a Republican from Minnesota, forms and chairs the House congressional Tea Party Caucus which focuses on the principles of the Tea Party movement including limited government, adhering to the United States Constitution, and insisting upon fiscal responsibility. In August of 2010 the Tea Party Caucus was comprised of forty-nine Republican representatives.
After the Caucus was formed Michele Bachman raised $10 million for the MichelePAC political action committee and funds were distributed to the election campaigns of Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell.
August 24, 2010 – United States Senator Lisa Murkowski is defeated by Joe Miller, an Alaska lawyer with Tea Party backing. Murkowski had been appointed to the Senate seat by her father, Frank Murkowski, the state’s governor, who had held the Senate seat for three decades before becoming governor. Murkowski remained in the race as a write-in candidate and then won in the general election.
September, 2010 – The group Tea Party Patriots announces an anonymous one million dollar donation.
November, 2010 – In the midterm elections, nine candidates for the Senate and 129 candidates for the House receive significant Tea Party support. They are all Republicans and they upset established Republican party candidates in numerous primaries.
II. Facts About the Modern Day Tea Party Movement
The Tea Party is an American grassroots movement which is considered to be a populist movement of United States citizens advocating reductions in taxes and government spending.
Other major issues of the Tea Party Platform include reducing the U.S. National Debt and the budget deficit of the government. Many Tea Partiers advocate for adherence to the United States Constitution and in particular prefer an originalist interpretation of that founding document.
The name Tea Party refers to the Boston Tea Party of 1773 in which the colonists were protesting taxes on their tea by the British. The protest involved throwing tea from ships in the Boston Harbor into the ocean. The colonist’s rallying cry was “No taxation without representation.”
Because the modern-day Tea Party movement is not a registered political party it’s name has not yet appeared on any election ballots.
In the November 2010 midterm elections the Tea Party movement was shown to have a significant influence in helping the candidates the supported get elected. In that election all Tea Party supported candidates were members of the Republican party.
Because the modern-day Tea Party movement is a grassroots movement of local as well as national groups there is no one central leadership of the Tea Party movement.
Each Tea Party group determines its own priorities and sets its own agenda, though there are loose affiliations between groups and communication for the purposes of organizing particular Tea Party Protests and Tea Party demonstrations.
Some of the rallying points for Tea Partiers and issues against which they rallied to protest include the bank bailouts, stimulus spending, and health care reform.
In most all cases the underpinnings of the Tea Party movements protests and demonstrations involve advocating for reduced federal spending, the elimination of deficit spending, and the need for politicians to listen to the will of the people.
III. The Tea Party Movement Platform/Ten Core Beliefs of The Modern Day Tea Party Movement: Give Us Liberty, Tea Party Manifesto, Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, 2010.
“Nothing has so changed and energized American politics in recent years as has the grassroots Tea Party movement that sprang up in 2009. In rallies, marches, and town-hall meetings since then, hundreds of thousands of Americans have turned out to protest the boundless growth of government spending, regulation, and debt, and call for the restoration of America’s basic principles: individual liberty; fiscal responsibility; and, most important, limited constitutional government.” Give Us Liberty, Tea Party Manifesto, Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, 2010.
There are groups and individuals who would like to constrict the tea-party movement to fiscal issues. That would be a huge mistake.
It’s not just about government spending, even though it was government spending that precipitated the unprecedented, spontaneous, grass-roots uprising.
More precisely, it’s about the law of the land and the will of the people.
It’s about a nation whose government has lost its moorings.
It’s about self-government. And, fundamentally, it is about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Read Between The Lines. The Tea Party Manifesto, Joseph Farah, 3/18/2010
Ten Core Beliefs of the Modern-Day Tea Party Movement
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”Abraham Lincoln
Preamble: The Tea Party Movement is an all-inclusive American grassroots movement with the belief that everyone is created equal and deserves an equal opportunity to thrive in these United States where they may “pursue life, liberty and happiness” as stated in theDeclaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
No one is excluded from participation in the Tea Party Movement. Everyone is welcomed to join in seeking to achieve the Tea Party Movement goals, which are as follows:
- Eliminate Excessive Taxes -Excessively high taxes are a burden for those exercising their personal liberty to work hard and prosper as afforded by the Constitution. A fiscally responsible government protects the freedom of its citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labor without interference from a government that has exceeded its necessary size, scope and reach into the lives of its citizens.
“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” –Calvin Coolidge
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” –Thomas Jefferson
“Any tax is a discouragement and therefore a regulation.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
- Eliminate the National Debt – By implementing fiscally conservative policies at all levels of government, progress can be made toward eliminating the U.S. National Debt. Massive increases in the National Debt have created and continue to create a huge burden for the next generation of Americans, thus imperiling the country’s short-term and long-term economic health and prosperity.
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” –Abraham Lincoln
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” –Thomas Paine, 1776
“As on the one hand, the necessity for borrowing in particular emergencies cannot be doubted, so on the other, it is equally evident that to be able to borrow upon good terms, it is essential that the credit of a nation should be well established.” –Alexander Hamilton, 1790
- Eliminate Deficit Spending -All deficit spending must be eliminated immediately. We insist that government representatives at all levels maintain a fiscally responsible budget and balance the books as would be expected of any American business.
“Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” –George Washington
“A penny saved is a penny earned.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Tomorrow, every Fault is to be amended; but that Tomorrow never comes.” –Benjamin Franklin
- Protect Free Markets -America’s free enterprise system allows businesses to thrive as they compete in the open marketplace and strive toward ever better services and products. Allowing free markets to prosper unfettered by government interference is what propelled this country to greatness with an enduring belief in the industriousness and innovations of the populace.
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” –Abraham Lincoln
“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.” –Abraham Lincoln
“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” –Ronald Reagan
- Abide by the Constitution of the United States -The U.S. Constitutionis the supreme law of the land and must be adhered to without exception at all levels of government. This includes the Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and their provisions designed to protect states’ rights and individual liberties.
“A general Dissolution of Principles & Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the Common Enemy.” –Samuel Adams, 1779
“The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.” –George Washington
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” –Abraham Lincoln
- Promote Civic Responsibility -Citizen involvement at the grassroots level allows the voice of the American people to be heard and directs the political behaviors of our representatives at both the local and national level so they, in turn, may be most effective in working to preserve the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of this country’s citizens.
“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” –Patrick Henry
“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” –Abraham Lincoln
“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light” –George Washington
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” –Thomas Jefferson
- Reduce the Overall Size of Government -A bloated bureaucracy creates wasteful spending that plagues our government. Reducing the overall size, scope and reach of government at both local and national levels will help to eliminate inefficiencies that result in deficit spending which adds to our country’s debt.
“My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty…it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.” –George Washington
“If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” –Samuel Adams, 1802
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” –Benjamin Franklin
- Believe in the People – The American people, given their guaranteed freedoms, will thrive in a democratic, capitalist environment which allows individuals to strive toward ever greater achievements, innovations and the efficient production of needed and valued goods and services.
“Industry need not wish.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” –Abraham Lincoln
“The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.” –Abraham Lincoln
- 9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics -American politics is burdened by big money from lobbyists and special interests with an undue influence on the peoples’ representatives. The Tea Party movement is seen as a threat to the entrenched political parties and thus is the continual target of smear campaigns and misrepresentation of its ideals. We choose not to respond to these attacks except to strongly and explicitly disavow any and all hate speech, any and all violence as well as insinuations of violence, and any and all extreme and fringe elements that bring discredit to the Tea Party Movement. We are a peaceful movement and respect other’s opinions and views even though they do not agree with our own. We stand by the Tea Party beliefs and goals and choose to focus our energies on ensuring that our government representatives do the same.
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” –Abraham Lincoln
“Honesty is the best policy.” –Benjamin Franklin
“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” –George Washington
- Maintain Local Independence -The strength and resilience of a grassroots movement is the ability of citizens at the local level to determine their own platforms, agendas and priorities free of an overriding central leadership. Exercising the clearly stated message of the Tea Party movement by its nature involves discourse about which policies and candidates best hold to our stated principles, and these various opinions should flourish and evolve at the local level.
“Here sir, the people govern.” –Alexander Hamilton in a speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.” –Samuel Adams, 1781
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” –Abraham Lincoln
The Tea Party Movement Platform Website
TEA Party Movement History and Platform
History of the Modern-Day Tea Party Movement: http://www.teaparty-platform.com/Tea_Party_Movement_P9MG.html
Ten Core Beliefs of the Modern-Day Tea Party Movement: http://www.teaparty-platform.com/Tea_Party_Movement_Platform.html