Tea Party + 2

Discuss how we can hasten progress towards enlarging representation. There are two primary components to this: 1) educating others in order to gain the public support necessary; and, 2) ensuring implementation via a constitutional amendment.
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Tea Party + 2

Postby higginsandy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:32 pm

All - I would invite your comments on this observation:

The current Tea Party activism is a strong sentiment that we should ally with, and/or tap into. First, I do not agree with all their points of view, intents, or philosophical underpinnings, or some of the stronger political opinions of their loudest. But I do believe that they have tapped into a core dissatisfaction of the American electorate. And that - if they were to simply remember two words from our history - would allow them, and anyone allied with them, to grow in popularity and electoral strength.

Let's start with the premise that the Tea Party feels we are overtaxed. Many of their activists believe so, and say so. However, the underlying sentiment that gets them their hearing to many audiences is two words more complex - that we are overtaxed without representation! Those are the "two words" - and they're exactly what TTO has been saying.

People have forgotten that the revolution against the English crown was not about taxes, but it was about taxes being imposed from the outside, about not having colonial representation in Parliament and no say in how the French and Indian War would be paid for. The English held that a Parliament of the realm represented all of the realm. And, irrespective of colonial representation, that they could make the decision to tax the colonies for the defense of the North American empire. Maybe they were right and maybe they were wrong about who should pay for the preceding war, but we claimed - and told them in no uncertain terms! - that they were wrong about how to decide this. No one, we argued, could be taxed without proper representation in the Parliament. And failing to get that representation, we created our own representative government without them.

So my observation and suggestion for further public dialogue on this is to take our message to Tea Party forums, to engage with that group and the audiences they've captured, and to include that group of patriotic Americans into this movement. I believe a vector change of only two words - redirecting the conversation to "without representation" - would create dramatic differences in their movement and in the growth of TTO.
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Re: Tea Party + 2

Postby JEQuidam » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:31 pm

higginsandy wrote:So my observation and suggestion for further public dialogue on this is to take our message to Tea Party forums, to engage with that group and the audiences they've captured, and to include that group of patriotic Americans into this movement.

Before I respond directly to your suggestion (which I agree with), allow me to make a general statement. Any citizen who is concerned about the quality of their representation in Congress should be supportive of representational enlargement regardless of their ideological perspective. The goal of decreasing the size of congressional districts (by increasing the number of Representatives) is neither “conservative” nor “liberal”; instead, it is a politically agnostic means by which we, the people, can take control of the federal government back from the Special Interests.

It is especially important for us to reach out to all patriotic political activists as those citizens should be the most motivated to embrace the cause of representational enlargement. Political activism among the citizenry is essential to a robust republic; it is unfortunate that we do not have more of it. In my view, the type of political activism that occurs at any point of time is largely a function of which groups of citizens feel the most alarmed or aggrieved as a result of the deliberate actions (or inactions) of the government. In 2010, the most active citizen activism is reflected by the “tea party” movement.

Like many grass-roots protest movements in our nation’s history, the tea parties (and related protests) are organic in nature, bringing together a somewhat disparate collection of citizens; moreover, they are not sanctioned by any establisment organizations (though some seek to co-opt it). As a result, it would be possible to instigate an endless debate over their objectives and motivations; I do not wish to initiate such a debate here! However, in my opinion, one of the fundamental themes of the tea party movement is to oppose statism (which also relates to your point about being overtaxed without adequate representation).

For the reasons explained in our pamphlet (Taking Back Our Republic), representational enlargement will most certainly ensure the protection of our liberties by thwarting, if not reversing, statism. It is on that point which I believe that representational enlargement should find wide support among those who are alarmed by the current fabianistic direction of the federal government.

Because Thirty-Thousand.org’s mission is to expand awareness of the benefits of representational enlargement, anything that can be done to obtain more support among those in the “tea party” movement would be most welcome. I agree that we should “take our message to Tea Party forums, to engage with that group and the audiences they've captured, and to include that group of patriotic Americans into this movement.”

Because of TTO’s very limited resources, success in this area will depend upon the efforts of others. I am certainly open to suggestions as to how we can improve awareness of representational enlargement among the tea party folks, but we are very limited as to what we can actually do.
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