We asked over 1,000 people why they Tea Party. Here’s what some of them said:
I like most other people go to tea parties to protest what is going on in Washington. The out of control spending, higher taxes, health care reform to name a few. I also want my country back the way it was. It infuriates me to hear Nancy Pulastic (Pelosi) to say I am a Nazi, Anti-American, or that I am stupid. This administrations worst enemies are those of us that are well educated. I believe that we are losing freedom on a daily basis, and will not only become a Socialist country, but a Marxist one. We have to stand up for what we believe in. Sincerely, Pam Chesney
When I first heard news that there would be a protest on the steps of the arch in February 2009 I jumped at the chance to attend. I took a vacation day from work so that professional obligations could not get in the way. Why was I so excited? The silent majority was finally taking their anger from their homes to the streets. Would the movement grow? You bet! Almost ten thousand people attended the April 15th Tea Party at Kiener Plaza. Thousands more attended tea parties around the country. As one Missouri representative mentioned, politicians in Washington were breaking their necks trying to look the other way. If you really want to know the core reason why I am involved and participate, it can be summed with one sentence. My purpose on this earth is not to support the state. The state’s job is to secure my liberty and freedom so that I can live my life how I choose to live it. When excessive spending increases my tax liability, I have less disposable income. Disposable income is freedom! Freedom to buy a motorcycle, take a vacation, buy a nicer home, save for retirement, provide for your children, eat out, and the list goes on and on. We witnessed what happened in Washington the past eight years. We have seen the President’s new budget. If government is not reduced, our tax liability will be that of Europe. Not only will our economy be terrible, but we will have less disposable income as well. On August 22nd, my family will travel from Rolla to attend the recess rally. We will be standing at ground zero, Claire McCaskill’s office on Delmar. We will stand with the rest of you, unashamed, unapologetic, and determined. Don’t tread on me! Jim Botts St. Charles
I first showed up to the Arch grounds that cold February with my 73 year old mom and my seven year old daughter because of my disillusionment at the rapid pace in which our country was/is marching towards government being all powerful and determining the course of our lives. It was the FIRST TIME I’ve ever done something like that and I’ll never be the same. Just like the founding fathers who were ‘radicals’ of their time and preached liberty, I personally feel politicians have lost focus of who they serve: You and Me. As a supporter of the tea party movement, I feel its important to put both my money and my mouth where my heart lies: Individual freedom and choice with limited government . At no point should the government so wastefully spend ‘OUR’ money while mocking us for our beliefs when WE ARE THE MAJORITY. It was once said that there was a moral majority in this country that was silent………..that majority is speaking up loud and clear. Thank to all of you have dedicated your time and energy towards making government accountable and for our children’s sake we must be victorious by educating people to the truth. Bryan Binkholder Chesterfield MO
All my adult life, I have witnessed a slow erosion of freedoms in this nation. I have seen the State aggregate to itself more and more power, right down to the type of light bulbs I can use in my home. Worse, I have seen my fellow citizens slowly infantilized, becoming increasingly dependent, more and more willing to give up freedom for the false promise of security. I have watched generations grow up bitter and resentful, poisoned by their dependence on others.I believe in government, I believe in justice. The government is here to protect us from existential threats and to administer civil and criminal justice. Beyond that, free men and women should govern themselves from within guided by faith and conscience. I have a God, and He is not the State. My portion and hope is in Him, and I’ll have no other. I participate in tea parties so that our government can finally be brought back to its first principles, that the government that governs least, governs best. We shall see. I hope my grandchildren will live in a country more free than it was when I got here. — Tim M.
The first time I heard of a tea party in February, I just knew I had to be there. I wanted to be with fellow Americans who believe in a small federal government and individual liberty. I thought it was important to make the crowd as big as possible, so I threw myself into the mix. It was so wonderful to be with like-minded others and show the media that there are people who are not going to accept everything the Democratic bureaucrats want to foist on us while they have the majority. I have protested Cash for Clunkers, Russ Carnahan, Claire McCaskill in Hillsboro and I will be at her office on Delmar on the 22nd.P.S. Homemade signs are oh so much more clever than those stupid boring printed signs the other side gives out to its people! MEC
I’m 54 and even though I have always been politically opinionated, I have never been an activist. Things thathave bothered me: The ACLU – as it attempts to condemn my belief in God, the determination to keep the electoral college vs. popular vote, many Homeland Security rules, disarming of law-abiding citizens after Katrina hit the coast, Al Gore and his UN love affair, fear that the Iraq war would be another Viet Nam, our failing public school systems, illegal aliens flowing into our country, the agenda of political correctness – and my tipping point was the obvious bias of the media during the 2008 election (with so much of Obama’s background and connections being off limits or given a free pass). I have never been a Republican or Democrat. Reagan said that he didn’t leave the Democrat party – they left him. My opinion and what has made me a “Tea Party” participant is that both parties have left us. Most politicians view themselves as ALL KNOWING elitists, having NO regard for our opinions or the Constitution. Politicians scold us for being rude at town hall meetings because we boo their comments and answers. They expect respect because they hold an elected office. I will show up, listen and boo them when they have no problem lying and trying to mislead me. I have NO tolerance for lyers. As I witnessed Rick Santelli’s RANT in February of this year- I said, “He’s right – enough is enough!” I will NO LONGER WILL I BE SILENT! DBD
Contrary to the hopes of many congress people, and contrary to the media slant, I am not a nazi, racist, bigot, or a traitor.I have two daughters. Their father died in 2003. I worked 3 jobs to keep my family in the same house, and my girls going to the same private school. I also went back to school and finished my degree. It was tough but we made it. My grandparents came from Germany, legally, with little more then the clothes on their backs. They knew no English but quickly learned. They were sharecroppers, and never owned any property of their own until their later years. They got down on their knees every morning, and every night, thanking the good Lord for all his blessing. Although sometimes I am sure it was hard to see them. They took no hand outs, owned no one any money. They taught me a work ethic that I try now to instill in my children. Simply, I don’t believe in entitlement programs. I believe in a government BY the people, and FOR the people. I believe in life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness. Right now ‘we the people’ are not being listened to. We are being labeled in a means to scare us into submission, that I pray will not work. This isn’t about Left of Right, this isn’t about Republican or Democrat. This is about retaining a republic were everyone shall be heard. And we will be heard. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -Abraham Lincoln Sincerely, Susan Anderson, a very proud Tea Partier
When I began to reflect on the sacrifices made by my ancestors, that resulted in the Nation we inherited, and the abuses a few generations of apathy has allowed the current Government Leaders to do it, I was chagrined. At first I was depressed, feeling helpless, but the more I pondered the great sacrifices of money, property, time and in many cases, their very lives that my great-great-great-great-great grandparents who had emigrated from Scotland and Ireland gave for my freedom, the angrier I became. They came from a culture that had been under the extreme unfairness of the English Crown. Like Christ’s great sacrifice for my Salvation, many times the sacrifice the Patriots gave for my freedom was life itself. The next emotion I encountered was awe. They were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to end the unjust treatment they were enduring, taxes that were threatening to leave them bankrupt, that they had no voice in the imposition or use of and being forced to give quarter (feed and house) the King’s Soldiers with the food they had put away for their own families keep. Then I was flooded with the thoughts of, what have I done to deserve their sacrifice? OK, so I pray for the soldiers and their families, I do a little volunteer work for the few good Legislators that do vote my values, both at the state level and the national level, I struggle to pray for the Government that is in place, I read a few conservative blogs and news sites and I get angrier, the sum total of which is really meaningless in the overall picture. I have a voice and it is a CRIME NOT to make it heard! It’s time to stand up and stand for what is RIGHT before God and my fellow man. I got out my scrapbooking craft cutter and I cut out vinyl letters for our first set of signs and taped a few tea bags on with band-aids for good measure. I put on my 1776 reproduction dress, pinned my shawl around my shoulders and badgered my family to fill their pockets with tea bags and made for the Mississippi riverfront. We were going to a Tea Party! It was there that I finally realized that it wasn’t just me feeling the regrets of years of inaction, but that there are a lot of Patriots sharing the HOPE of working for what is right. There were several hundred of us in St. Louis, and thousands all over the country. I met many ARDENT PATRIOTS there that day, and learned how to network together to make our voices louder and LOUDER so that we will be heard. In April, I volunteered to help. I dressed up for another Tea Party, (I didn’t have to badger my family, they came voluntarily!) and we made our way to Kiener Plaza. What an awesome event! Thousands of Patriots packed the park. There were kids sitting in the trees to see, and people on the rooftops with signs surrounding the park. The speeches were fiery and the signs gave a message that we will not be going away any time soon! We are here to stay. In July, I woke up to a grey sky POURING rain on the 4th. I was dealing with the injustices of our fair city of St. Louis not being willing to share their space with the organizers, having heard that the insurance company wanted to cancel the event insurance and a bit of a drive to Washington, Missouri. My husband works nights and was not going to be able to go with us, and when he got home, he said, “You’re not going to the Tea Party, are you?” I sat there contemplating, and replied, “Our ancestors gave everything they had , fought in rain and snow without the right clothes, equipment or enough food to stay healthy, the least I can do is spend a few hours in the rain if that is all I am called to do.” I put on my dress, packed our lunch and loaded my signs and son in the car. We were going to a Tea Party! The drive was pleasant, we drove out of the heavy rain by the time we reached Eureka, and by the time we reached Washington, the last few sprinkles dried up and went away. We had an awesome time listening to more ardent Patriots tell us how we can be more active and make our voices louder. We collected more business cards representing blogs by Patriots to keep our fire not just glowing, but GROWING! Washington is a beautiful riverfront town, brimming with history. My son and I walked all over the old downtown area and had an amazing day. Thank you St. Louis Tea Party Patriots for giving us the opportunity to network and grow. Since then, we attended and protested at a Ford Dealership where Russ Carnahan praised the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, but refused to let patriots ask him questions and in fact, he was so afraid of us that he ducked out the back door with a Police Escort. We are NOT a bunch of thugs, all we wanted were some answers. From there we left to attend Todd Akin’s Patriot’s Conference in a packed auditorium where he and his speakers who bravely told the TRUTH of what the liberal agenda is doing to our country, stoked the fires in our hearts and we left armed and more ready to fight. We learned what questions to ask and how to make the liberals more uncomfortable as the wallow in their disaster. Now, when ever the opportunity arisen we have attended several town halls, wracked up several hours of Current Events for our Home School and made ourselves more aware of what is needed to turn this country around. We have decided to do all we can to bring this Great Country back to our values. Our family challenges everyone who is reading this, to pray about what God would have your part be, and then join us in making our voices heard! Sincerely, Patricia Breed
t’s quite simple. I care about my Country and the world we will leave for my children. I always heard people complaining about our government, even when I was a kid, it’s always been that way, but the only voices I heard were mainly those from the left who were loud and abusive and committed crimes to get their point across, but I never heard people I agreed with say much to counter. I always believed that every voice should be heard and if you were too busy working or whatever to vote, then you should keep your mouth shut. In fact, when I was doing my radio show a few years ago I would always ask callers if they voted, when they said no, I would disconnect their call. If people aren’t willing to voice their concerns in a voting booth, then they don’t have the right to complain later and should just should shut up. My going to the Tea Parties was a way for me to practice what I preached. If the people complaining today had pay attention to what was going to twenty years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Unfortunately, I don’t see a future for my children in a Country where live is decent, moral and safe. I’ve never been a pessimist, but I’m not delusional either. I can see very clearly where we’re heading. Bob ANders
I am a strong supporter of and believer in our Constitutional Republic. With great sadness, I see this freedom formula that our Founding Fathers fought and died for quickly vanishing in our country. I am convinced that our government is completely corrupt and our only chance of survival is to return to the 28 key principles set forth by our Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution. I attend the Tea Parties to have my voice heard along with your voices. I also attend to offer all of you the solution to taking back our nation. That solution is returning to Constitutional government and it cannot be realized in either of the two major parties. Our whole government is corrupted. I come to the Tea Parties with a solution for America. That solution can be found in the Constitution Party. I am an active volunteer and member of the Constitution Party of Missouri, which is the fastest growing third party in the nation. The platform of the CP is 100% constitutional. We are actively moving forward for the cause of America with candidates for the 2010 election, candidates that reflect these 28 principles. Please visit our website http://www.constitutionpartymo.org/ and get involved–we have informational meetings you can attend throughout the state. Also, take a minute to view this short video: America: How Much is Your Liberty Worth? I will see you at McCaskill’s office on August 22nd as we fight together for the cause.
I was always a silent, invisible conservative, but a year ago when spending began to really spiral out of control and individual liberties were eroding more, I couldn’t be quiet any more. I have been to the April party, the Alton party, the SEIU protest and the health forum in Hillsboro. It has been a chance to learn, to be with like-minded people, and to make my presence felt. No more silence, but I will always be respectful.
I came to the Party late, I missed the February party on the river. But my heart was there. It has been for years, . Despite the picture the media is painting of us we are right. We are just and we are carrying on what our founders wanted. They did not trust government. And they warned us not to, because the states, (the people) created the Federal Government, not the other way around. Immigration, welfare, culture, government spending, government intrusion, and the disconnect between the people and our elected officials, who now love Washington DC more than they love America. Their pay, bonuses, large staffs, vacations, free trips, free gifts have all lead these people to do whatever they need to do to to get reelected. They buy votes to actually increase their number of residents by trying to allow illegal citizens the right to vote.. And to ensure that these new legal or illegal citizens vote for them they promise them the treasure that others have worked for. . And the tea party has been the first movement in a long time to be able to threaten this shameful practice. Are we rude? Maybe. So what. Many thought the Declaration of Independence was rude. It could be rewritten again today and just the names change. Are we loud. Yes, we are loud. I do not think Patrick Henry whispered “give me liberty or give me death” When one group of citizens or politicians decide that they will vote themselves the wages of the other group by majority vote then a democracy cannot last, I tea party to stop that and to educate those who are asleep. So put your earplugs in because as my hero Ronald Reagan once said, “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.” I encourage you to go read this speech “A time for choosing” I think it hits closer to home than when it was first given, just image all of the freedoms we have lost and how far our government has gone since Ronald Reagan gave this speech in 1964. But do not get discouraged let me quote my hero again when asked what his strategy for winning the cold war. “WE WIN, THEY LOSE” We will win, because we are right. And I tea party because I love this country so much and I want my daughter and her children to live in an America that our founders had in mind. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1964reagan1.html Stan W. Arnold MO.
I’ve believed in small government conservatism since I was in college and did some work for Goldwater in 1964. I then got lost in my career until the 90’s and started waking up then. I worked for Bush in 2000, and then got energized by 9/11. I was encouraged by the Bush defense and foreign policy, disheartened again by domestic affairs. I voted and wrote occasional letters to the editor, but nothing more. The 2008 election scared the Hell out of me – another “big government conservative” or what seemed to be a radical socialist who wanted to, in his words, “remake” the country?I heard Obama and his wife denigrate this country and its proud history. I heard the rest of his party doing the same and I watched the media abandon all efforts at objectivity, I heard him say that the Constitution was “flawed”, that it was negative and that it should be “reinterpreted” to allow government to “help” people. The Constitution was established to restrain government and, if we allow it to be “reinterpreted”, we have lost the country. It will become a banana republic where the laws are only what the current ruler says they are, and if you’re on his side you’re OK, but if not, you’re dead. I began to believe the stories that conservatism was dead. Then I heard about the Tea Parties and I went downtown under the Arch in February, a cold and nasty day, and my heart was warmed, knowing there were so many others like me. I want to see everybody stay energized. I like to hear the elite media and politicians calling us “Astroturf” and a “mob” and so on – it just makes me think they are scared of us . . . and they should be. Tom Jeffrey Sunset Hills
I have attended 3 tea parties total–two in St. Louis & one in Columbia, Missouri this year, starting in February in St. Louis. My husband and I attended to voice our dissent with the Congressional Tarp and Stimulus bills, to begin with. Angry that Congress would spend like this and angry that they did not even read the bill! Angry that they kept saying they had to pass this stuff because we had a national emergency!! Then most of the stimulus went to special interests & very little to infrastructure and “shovel ready” projects. Therefore, the anger built! We began to lose even more respect for those passing these bills. Then came the government takevoer of General Motors & Chrysler! Unheard of in our country!! But! There’s more! Then came talk of Cap & Trade/Tax & now the government takeover of our healthcare!! Knowing how they fail to keep Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Post Office, Amtrack for ex. solvent — the idea of them ruining our healthcare is the last straw!! They will not simply address needed reforms in insurance and the system, but want to remake, revamp the entire system!!! We know they cannot do that!! So, that sums up what keeps us, and millions of other Americans, going to the tea parties and townhall meetings! As one lady said at a televised townhall meeting, “you (meaning lawmakers) have awakened a “sleeping giant” (Americans fed up with all of this)!! I will be attending St. Louis events when it’s possible to travel there.
I think the present administration is, more than others, in my face, in my business, and wrong for the country. I had a job before that didn’t allow for political activity (it was viewed as a breach of ethics) and I always swore that once I got out of there, I was going to be a political activist. However, I got another job and it was time consuming. Now I’m semi-retired and have time and a wife that is like minded. The TEA parties allow us to vent and lets our voices be heard by the big gov’t out of touch knuckle heads that populate our nation’s capitol. I am a strict constructionist in regard to the Constitution, and believe big gov’t couldn’t care less about it and are obsessed by power.Charles Holcomb
march 13 started a journey….a room filled to the brim with people who felt the same need…to stand up…to stop the madness…to believe that we weren’t mad ourselves….just truly passionate about our country….also a fear being festered by washington and their crazy spending and sneak tactics….then the big bang on tax day….the 5000 year leap…and then to mcaskill’s office…..and the energy consumes me to stand up….to stand up….to always stand up with patriots!!! on to washington on 9/12…..a freedom lover STAND UP FOR FREEDOM AND THE CONSTITUTION Francine and Vern Dirnberger
Thanks for the interest you show in the people involved in liberty and for all your efforts which have been so successful. I have been a conservative most of my adult life. After serving in Vietnam in the 60’s I came back to work in north city in trucking management. I worked for a man who became a self made business success in a numbervof ventures through vision, perseverance and faith , and from which I learned much. I recall in the early 70’s billboards in the north city primarily advertising govt. programs such as welfare and food stamps, etc. Those programs grew colossallyin the 70’s and as they grew, the numbers of children living in 2 parent families reversed about 100%. I watched as a program that may have been wellintentioned was the primary reason for the demise of the inner city family. Children in 1-parent families are much more likely to live below poverty line. In the 80’s I observed Reagan harness the staggering inflation so that everyone had more buying power. Young people today wouldn’t believe Carter’s hyper-inflation. I was able to start my own business in the 80’s which has done well. I recall when Gore saidhe “invented the Internet” that Michael Dell of Dell Computer said ” If any politician invented the Internet it would have to be Reagan who created the climate of capital investment from which blossomed Silicon Valley” [or close to that]. My main concern on health care is that a public option will become a bureaucratic,political slushfund for the DNC like Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac did and which led to the mortgage crisis. Anyway, I know that big govt. always becomes totalitarian and that people produce less the more they are taxed. This is exciting times for a conservative who has never before seen others show up in such numbers with such fervor. I think the demonizing by Pelosi, Reid, etc. has ignited the tax day protest into a real movement. Thanks again for your great website,with its factual, informative, non-inflammatory discourse. I will be at McCaskills office with friends on Saturday.
It became apparent last Sept. 08, that the typical ‘OMG’ and shrug over ‘those fools’ in Washington D.C. would no longer cut it.With the bailout bills they became not just an embarrassment, or just a burden, but a threat. A threat not only to the Rights of all of us, but to my kids lives and mine. The non-representing representatives in Washington D.C. need to be stopped, corrected, and our government put back into the business of upholding and defending our rights, not trampling upon them. Van Harvey St. Charles, MO Blogodidact: http://blogodidact.blogspot.com/index.html
My wife and I got interested in the Tea Party beginning with the Tax Day Tea Party at the Arch. We have always groused amongst ourselves, family and friends about political topics and have just been pushed over the edge and have had it with most all politicians. We are conservative and firmly believe in the government as our Framers constructed the Constitution. Our country has strayed so far from that great document and the collective “we” by our lack of attentiveness, partaking from the federal trough, and apathy have let our politicians get the country to the overall mess we are now living with. It’s time to take a stand and get back to basics. If we don’t do it now, we will surely fall and go the way of past great civilizations. We will try and make the March on DC while on a trip to Pennsylvania. DON’T TREAD ON ME! Gene Cheatham Belleville
“I was angered with the outright arrogance of Congress and the White House demonstrating total disrespect and abuse to the American citizens. I want to protect my children, grandchildren & future generations from this radical left-wing government. I want to visually Wake up Americans & expose them to what is really going on with this corrupt government for their own political gains right under our noses! I want to be SEEN & Heard for the “HOPE & CHANGE” we fought for since 1776!”
I will be at the intersection of K & N in O’Fallon this Saturday at 1:00. Although the gathering disperses after about an hour, I have found that several of us stick around to answer questions and spread the word to those “uninformed” Americans, sharing individuals & various organizations website & e-mail addresses of like-minded conservative Americans fighting for our Constitutional rights…….one citizen at a time! I know we’re making a difference. See the front and the back of my sign below! I am also inserting a “flyer” that I have been handing out to folks to hang on their fridge or post somewhere in their homes encouraging them to make the “call to action” phone calls and send the “snail mail” to the Congress and White House….as the e-mail servers there seems to be overwhelmed by folks calling and e-mailing them! Imagine that! Please share it with your group if you’d like! I am the one who has taken many of the photos that I recently saw onhttp://912marchondc.ning.com & will continue to take photos each week as I know that this is “history in the making” The “O” in the White House no longer stands for “Obama”….it stands for “Overwhelming & Outrageous”
Valerie Hosfeld – St. Louis
Spending has been out of control for over 50 years, but the last 5 have been the worst. When you look back after the war, the tax rate was 1%. Now it’s approaching 50%, and our freedoms are being lost at the same time. I ‘tea party’ because I realize now my politicians don’t read bills, don’t even write the bills, are funded by big investors, and could care less about what I actually believe in. I ‘town hall’ because I read the bills my representatives do not, I understand what’s called for in the bill, and I don’t like where those bills are taking us. I ‘town hall’ not to have a ‘debate’, but to tell my employees exactly how I feel on issues, and how I want them to vote. I’ll be at McCaskills Delmar office on Saturday at noon. Have a nice day. Dave W