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Trump , opted to retire instead of continuing alongside the Trumpian ogre, having made limited headway toward his dream of dismantling the social safety net. As the glaring elisions of a recent New York Times piece reflecting on the legacy of the Tea Party demonstrated, such racial resentment cannot be overlooked. But most used the podium to paint the election as a war between the forces of good and evil, of freedom and tyranny—that is, a war between socialism and democracy. Socialists, they insisted, have infected all corners of American politics.

But this was also what had inspired the Tea Party to continue onwards. Rather, the fight continues in the form of a war against socialism. The rot, they argue, started with the youth. Back in her days at American University, she witnessed just how many of her classmates had fallen under the spell of socialism. The crowd sighed, as if in mourning.

But socialism was never really defined at the rally, even on a policy level. It simply took the shape of whatever speakers wanted it to. Gun control was socialism.

  • An Interview with Michael Johns, Co-Founder of the U.S. Tea Party Movement – The Politic!
  • Tea Party movement - Wikipedia.
  • An Interview with Michael Johns, Co-Founder of the U.S. Tea Party Movement.

They were socialists , too. Meanwhile, billionaires, Rep. These dire warnings, combined with a hodgepodge of miscellaneous talking points—including Rep. The grassroots had become indistinguishable from the machine itself. As the crowd dispersed around p.

The Corruption of the Republican Party

Would they have seen a movement on its last legs? Or would this sparse attendance signify their victory, the absorption of their ideas into the mainstream? Stanley responded to a posted notice at his base in Fort Knox, Kentucky. On the heightened contradiction of royal figureheads in the Brexit era. Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy. Holt backed me up.

Panel 1: Lessons Learned

They call their Congressional office, or write, and they get voicemail or a meaningless, thoughtless form letter back. We have a handful of legislators—and this remains the case today—who huddle with K Street lobbyists behind closed doors and decide what legislation will and will not manifest.

I have spoken to most Republican Members of Congress, and this is shocking to many Americans but they feel the same way. Leadership and lobbyists tell them what to say and what to think and how to vote. This was not what our founders intended, and the genius of our Tea Party movement is that we did not look at all this and seek to create a whole new ideology or set of ideas to counter it. We know, as most Americans know, that this nation was founded by some of the bravest and brightest people the world has ever seen.

Our country evolves. Things do become more complex. But the reality is that the founding principles of the nation—truths that our founders deemed self-evident—are still self-evident truths today.

What Is The Tea Party?

We believe in these truths and defend them. In my wildest fantasies, I have sometimes wondered if Jefferson, Washington, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin, Madison and others could reemerge for a few days and speak with us, would they be proud of what our Tea Party movement has done?

But I think they would have immense disappointment in many of the deviations from our founding principles. But the reality also is that they were aware then that things would change in unpredictable ways. They did not give us the U. These are the rules. They gave us balance of power. They gave us an independent judiciary and rule of law.

In doing all of this, they knew that the ideas and challenges of the nation would evolve but that however it changed government must remain accountable to the people, not vice versa. So that is one commonality throughout the Tea Party movement: A recognition that we are a unique nation founded by extraordinary individuals, and that our founding principles need to be defended and applied.

Our nation was founded with a deep and justifiable skepticism of governmental power. Our founders saw those systems in action, fled them, and ultimately launched a war against them. The Tea Party movement was the driving force behind Republicans winning back the House in Everyone engaged even a little bit in American politics in that election cycle saw that we were the brains, the energy, and the blood behind that historic victory.

It was the biggest seat pickup by a single political party since Republicans won 72 seats running against FDR. So, two years later, we entered with a feeling that anything was possible and that the race was winnable. Obama entered the presidential race with about a 50 percent approval rate, meaning half the nation did not approve of his direction. And I would say even his 50 percent approval rate was inflated. Many felt uncomfortable telling a mainstream media pollster they did not approve of Obama because they knew the mainstream media did.

People respond with what they think a pollster wants to hear, not what they actually believe. What television shows do you watch? So we had a media telling us every day how great Obama was. And they thought and acted like the traditional and predictable consultants. They did not really reach out to the Tea Party movement like they could have or should have, though Romney did address one Tea Party event in Philadelphia.

And the result is that many conservatives did not feel sufficiently inspired by his candidacy to get out and vote. Millions stayed home, and those millions were the difference makers in crucial must-win states. You could sort of see the arrogance of Obama, and Romney delivered a few major blows. Romney did well in the Hofstra debate in Long Island too. But the real reason Romney lost is he simply did not inspire the voter base like Trump did in All of that started by not engaging the Tea Party movement from the very beginning.

As soon as I saw that we were on the margins of that campaign, I knew—and I think every Tea Party member knew—it was unlikely he could win. Probably a little of both. I was entirely comfortable with his ideology. Others were skeptical that he was too establishment. And the reality is that we also had major House and Senate races in with candidates who did reach out to us and were proudly running as Tea Party Republicans. It was tough for many to justify taking time away from them to support a guy who never really asked for our support.

Had Mitt Romney stood up at his Stratham, New Hampshire announcement speech in June and said he shared the frustrations and aspirations of the Tea Party movement, he would have been our 45th President. All of that said, I did everything I could to help him, and I obviously voted for him. Obama promised a fundamental reformation of the United States of America in his campaign. House in and the U. Senate in to essentially block his most radicalized legislative ideas. They published a whole report arguing that and trying to replicate our tactics. So we held some very disastrous policies at bay.

As bad as you think things could have gotten, it would have been even worse absent Tea Party movement opposition. We may never have recovered. Yes, I believe the Tea Party movement can be credited with saving this nation. But political victories come and go.

I think the real victory of the Tea Party movement is creating an avenue for centrist political activism for Americans who share our three founding principles: Adherence to the U. Constitution, limited government, and lower taxes. Many Americans who share these values were standing demoralized on the sidelines because they had no one they really identified with. We know we have no political leverage right now in Washington.

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We know you feel kicked and downtrodden. But things are going to change, and we are going to change them. I know they needed to know we could win to be inspired and engaged, and I knew without them being inspired and engaged it was hopeless. But I first needed to feel comfortable intellectually that we could win before going out on a limb and promising it. Had we not prevailed, I guarantee I would be reminded every day for the rest of my life how wrong I was. I knew that too.

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But I concluded the opposition was vast and that we could turn the entire federal government—and state and local governments too—around. And I promised that, and so did many others. How does the Tea Party interact with Trump? How will the Trump administration effect conservatism in the future?