The unconventional convention
By Dr. Robert Owens
I've just returned from the largest Tea Party Convention ever held, the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Convention. As a person who has attended more political conventions than I can remember I can testify this was an unconventional convention.
The motto of the Convention was "The Constitution Still Matters." I found this sad. Sad that those in the America of 2010, the America controlled by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate people feel the need to proclaim this as if it's a radical or shocking statement, "The Constitution Still Matters." I feel it's especially sad that while in the hearts and minds of these thousands of fired-up America loving patriots this may be true, but at the same time the actions and even the words of our elitist leaders make it obvious that to them the Constitution doesn't matter at all.
But what was so unconventional about this convention?
It was pointedly non-partisan and organized by regular people: citizens who've stepped away from their lives as homemakers, small engine repair mechanics, and entrepreneurs to organize and lead a grass-roots movement that's just weeks away from fundamentally transforming Washington D. C. These patriot community organizers are about to show many of the professionals the door as they overwhelm the midterm polls in a tsunami of indignation.
Senator George Allen recommended the States quit accepting Federal subsidies as a way to avoid the strings attached. He also advocated for a Constitutional Amendment stating that when 3/4 of the States determine any Federal law, policy or regulation unconstitutional it would become null and void. He pointed out the abdication by Congress of the legislative power granted them under the Constitution that empowers unelected bureaucrats with the power to control the economic and personal lives of America. He called for people to demand that our representatives represent them and take back their delegated authority. Senator Allen added it's time the American people get to decide how they want to be taxed. Whether by the IRS using a maze of laws even the people who write them can't understand or by a flat tax that treats everyone the same. His final points of ending lifetime appointments for Federal Judges and with-holding Congressional pay if they fail to pass a budget got everyone out of their seats applauding their approval.
Senator Rick Santorum told the crowd they should feel blessed to live in a time when America needs them. There have been generations of American who could live their lives in blissful silence knowing liberty and opportunity would be there for their children and their grandchildren. This is not such a time. This is a generation called out of slumber to sacrifice for the nation. Sacrifice their repose for the rebirth of freedom. The Greatest Generation became the Greatest Generation because they were willing to stand up when it came time to sacrifice, and now it is the turn of this present generation to do what has to be done. Senator Santorum cautioned the crowd that they cannot expect the return of limited government to be accomplished in one election.
When 2010 turns over Congress he reminded everyone that until there's a change in the White House nothing will get done. America can't change the change until the administration changes. He predicted that by the fall of 2011 President Obama will be threatening to shut down the Federal Government unless the new Republican Congress bows to his will. That's when everyone who supported the Tea Party insurgents needs to stand shoulder to shoulder and not blink as the class of 94 did on their way to becoming the New Elite. He urged everyone to stay active, to remain vigilant holding the feet of the people soon to replace so many to the fire. Make sure they do what they said they would do, or be ready to replace them in 2012.
Representative Steve King of Iowa drew shouts and cheers when he said we were facing a Constitutional Demolition Crew in Washington and that we needed to demand that every act of Congress have a preamble explaining which enumerated power in the Constitution specifically authorized the bill.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia delivered a message highlighting the assault being waged on Federalism. He urged all there to educate themselves in American History. To study the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, because we don't want to eliminate the opposition we want to convert them. He brought out the non-partisan nature of this movement when he stated there would be no Tea Party if the Republicans had remembered they were supposed to be the party of limited government.
Congressman Ron Paul brought his message of limited government and sound money eliciting a succession of standing Os. His call for an end to the IRS was greeted with unabashed enthusiasm and approval.
Lou Dobbs said the leadership we're now enduring isn't worthy of the American people. He asked, will the people work for the government or will the government work for the people. He declared he's seen a rising tide of Americans who're telling Washington the arrogant elitism we've endured will no longer be tolerated. He said all these people working together can reclaim respect for this country, its people, and its institutions. When he pointed out that he'd been as vocal a critic of Bush as he is of Obama the crowd roared their appreciation for a non-partisan love of America. Dobbs urged everyone to count themselves as Patriots who'll work to return America to prosperity as citizens who refuse to abide a President who ignores the power of opportunity as the engine of success.
Yes, this was an unconventional convention. It was wonderfully organized and encouraging. Yes, Virginia there will be another morning in America once the Progressive led mourning for America is over. Let us engage in the public arena giving no ground to the ideologues of the right or the left, vigilant of our natural rights, and determined that we will preserve them for our posterity.
By the way Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey won the Straw poll for President, Sarah Palin came in second and Ron Paul came in third.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. © 2010 Robert R. Owens email@example.com