A Tea Partier's Day at the Fair
The Tea Party of Middlesex County was at Woodbridge's St. James Fair. They, and folks who reached out to them, had a lot to say.
As I stood in front of our Middlesex County Tea Party booth at Saturday’s St. James Street Fair handing out balloons, Constitutions, postcards about the candidates and fact sheets about the issues facing our nation, I was approached by a small, middle-aged man with a slight accent who asked me a simple question, “What is the Tea Party?”
We chatted about the origins of the term Tea Party, about Sam Adams and the Boston colonists who protested tyrannical rule, “Taxation Without Representation” and how the T.E.A. initials came to mean “Taxed Enough Already.”
He was surprised to see us there. He had read that the Tea Party was filled with hate-filled racists - domestic terrorists who wanted to bring down the government.
“No,” I said, “we’re just regular people who love our country and believe in the Constitution. Our goal is simple: To have a free and prosperous America to pass down to our children.”
He left with a healthy distrust of the storyline being presented by most Democrats, many Republicans and the entire Mainstream Media. I think it made sense to him, though.
In many countries, there is no free press. Corrupt politicians use the media as a tool in order to maintain power and control through fear, smear and lies.
The conversation reinforced the purpose of our booth. Others did as well.
I spoke with a couple who lost their home and complained of an unemployment rate that has remained above 8% for a record-setting 41 months and is only that “low” because of the millions of Americans who have just given up looking for work in the past three and a half years and have just dropped off the unemployment map.
Then there was the mom whose son had recently enlisted in the U.S. military. She was frightened for him, but not because she didn’t want her son to serve; all her family members had served for generations. Her fear centered around serving under a Commander-in-Chief who had announced crippling budget cuts to the military and embassy security on the very day that an American ambassador and three others were slaughtered in an attack on the American embassy in Libya. There had been warnings for days in advance and yet nothing was done. Again, the silence of the media was discussed.
This was how the day was spent: chatting, commiserating, encouraging, arguing with the occasional public employee union member who, while agreeing that we are on the verge of economic collapse, simply left it with, “I’m a Democrat. I always vote Democrat.”
We were not volunteering at the table as Republicans or Democrats; We are Americans. We have many different viewpoints and concerns, but we share a common belief that America is unique among nations. We celebrate our country,rather than apologize for it.
We hold to the belief that our rights, those of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit, though not always the attainment, of Happiness, were granted by God and cannot be voted away by man; that government only governs by our consent and is limited to the powers granted by the Constitution, no more.
It was a beautiful way to spend a Saturday and I pray that it made a difference. The St. James Street Fair is everything that we are fighting to preserve. It was God and family. It was entrepreneurship and freedom of speech. Mostly, it was about our children, the next generation who may continue to grow and thrive in our America or be saddled with a nation fundamentally transformed.
That’s why, with everything we did that day, all the conversations we had and fact sheets we delivered, our most important job was handing out two particular items to children: a Constitution and a balloon.
It was a windy day. I told them, “Hold on tight...to both.”
Gary Charwin is a spokesman for the Tea Party of Middlesex County.