Election 2010 has come and gone, and the results will keep think tanks and public policy institutes busy for years as they analyze them. Massive change in the U.S. House, huge gains for Republicans in the Senate, multiple state legislatures changing hands; the people have spoken, and they shouted a resounding “Oh, no you don’t!” to the big government planners.
But it wasn’t until this week, almost two weeks past the election, that we got our best rallying cry going forward.
Publicly, much of the tea party movement has been focused on fiscal issues; taxes, spending, accountability, transparency. Those are the high-profile priorities; after all, everyone has to live on some kind of budget, so shouldn’t the government? Why should producers be bled dry to support government’s pet vote-buying projects? Oh, and the media loves this focus too; it helps them perpetuate the narrative that conservatives are selfish and greedy, unwilling to give up a few more dollars here and there to help people truly in need.
But the tea party movement is much deeper than the fiscal focus.
Witness the iconic symbol of the nascent movement: the Gadsden flag; the bold yellow standard with the striking rattlesnake and the unmistakable message: Don’t Tread On Me. THAT’S the essence of the movement, the core, the foundation of this upstart, yet powerful movement. It’s that “Leave Us Alone” message that resonates so profoundly with more and more people every day, helping tea party members to spread the message of liberty.
I’ve said before, liberty looks like chaos, and that’s why it’s such a hard sell. Yet, when you talk to people about what liberty looks like for them, when you make it personal, you find point after point of agreement, and that opens the door to more participation.
Need proof? Just turn on the television, or pick up a newspaper, or read the blogosphere. One issue that’s very hot right now is the Transportation Security Administration’s handling of airport security screenings. (If you haven’t been following the TSA follies lately, you should start here with the video from John Tyner, then move along here to this report of a three-year-old being searched, then to here, where CAIR gets into the act.)
Many people book flights every day, concerned mostly with their destination, making sure they packed everything, and getting to the airport on time. And yes, remembering to wear shoes that are easy to slip off and on for the x-ray machines. But in the politically-correct effort to make security screening “fair” and “random” and “avoid profiling” the TSA has run amok. Patting down toddlers? Manhandling nuns? Do we really feel any safer?
It’s not about safety; people would not be balking at the measures required if they thought that they were being applied intelligently. Ask anyone who has flown El Al. The issue is that the government, as embodied by the TSA, is out of control. And on another level, the TSA is merely a symbol for everything that is wrong with the government, everything the tea party movement is fighting; bloated bureaucracies, inflated salaries and benefits, employees who majored in ass-covering rather than job execution, inefficiencies praised and rewarded, and a staggering lack of common sense in execution.
No wonder people are standing up to the TSA.
No wonder people are standing up to Big Government everywhere.
The same type of bureaucratic yahoos that run the TSA run government agencies all over the country. I have ceased to trust them to deal with my safety, my money, my retirement, my children, or anything else I have. And I have taken up John Tyner’s rallying cry, not just for security screenings, but for everything in my life:
DON’T TOUCH MY JUNK!
About the Author: Felicia Cravens founded the Houston Tea Party Society in February of 2009, and also sits on the board of Katy Tea Party Patriots and Common Sense Texans. She has been a Guest on Fox News’s, The Glenn Beck Show. When not strategizing for tea party events or conducting trainings, she teaches drama in an after school program and enjoys being with her two very understanding daughters and supportive husband. She can be found on Twitter as @somethingfishie.