Where the first meeting of the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party was more of a bash on Silverdale’s waterfront, bedecked with music, hotdogs and a full-blown candidate forum, their second meeting on September 27th at the Silverdale Beach Hotel concentrated on planning for the future. In a more sober spirit of assembling for the hard work of developing a local organization to build on, about 100 Partiers applied themselves to nominate leadership, clarify its mission, and talk earnestly about the coming elections in November.
“We are non partisan, constitution oriented, non discriminatory, action oriented, performance monitoring Americans. We are neither right nor left, we are the center about which all others flail.” Jack Hamilton
Opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, and followed by the Reverend Duncan Clark with a prayer written in 1791, the evening was kicked off by local conservative commentator Jack Hamilton who shepherded attendees through the steps to formalize a leadership hierarchy, nominating Directors of the Board and other positions. Perhaps the most notable nomination was that of Keli Carender, who remained uncontested for President. It seems an appropriate honor for this group that they would become the beneficiary of her energy and leadership. After all, she started it all with a 2009 protest in Seattle. After setting off a nation-wide firestorm of conservative activism, it is good to see her appreciated at home with a local following. Welcome back, Keli.
During Q&A, I asked Keli how she would respond to a recent national interview with Van Jones, who said that people should fear the Tea Party movement for what could happen were they to “actually be in charge.” In typical no fear fashion, Keli suggested it was Van Jones who is afraid. “People fear the righteous,” she said. “Van Jones has a lot of power” and “people are going to put power back where it belongs.” “It must be scary for him,” she said, and more directly to Van Jones the person, “I’m glad you are frightened.” Keli reminded the audience, “We are finally fighting back; fighting for individual liberty and justice for all.” About the future of the movement after November, Keli said, “We learned our lesson.” After a celebration and a short rest, “maybe a day, we are going back to work” and “be on them like glue!” “This election is just the first tiny little step…” I like follow through leadership, don't you?
Also in attendance for a keynote presentation was Trent England of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. He gave a dynamic speech applying historical anecdotes with the political challenges of our time - always a good educational technique. Clearly a master of his subject matter, Trent walked the audience from the Boston village green to November 2010 as a work of patriotism and sacrifice by “simple people” who did and must continue to do the things that have to be done against what may seem the greatest of powers. To the delight of the audience, Trent’s daughter, Rachael age 5, recited a part of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (pictured left), to emphasize a point.
There is so much to admire here in the Tea Party struggle against incredible odds that the political class and mainstream media thought was only a passing cause just a few months ago. And it might have been had they listened. Instead, assailed by insults and mockery, a new political revolution is in progress. It has become admirable again and entirely American to stand up to tyranny, to stand up to oppressive government, to stand in the village green and demand a voice that must be heard; to demand that their inalienable rights endowed by their creator and not the State, be not disturbed; to demand that their representatives listen to them or be replaced. Instead, there has developed a peaceful revolution where the modern militia has armed itself with words, law, and constitutional principles instead of guns. They are standing on the village green. They are voting in November. It is good to be an American.
35 Days. Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.