As I stood in front of the Gold Dome of the Georgia State Capitol Building, listening to energetic speakers like Herman Cain and Bob Barr and others, it occurred to me that ColdWarrior is right. So is Erick Erickson. And yet, so is Stix.
Essentially, ColdWarrrior and Erick have been banging the drum of getting more people involved. Erick has been asking for direct involvement in campaigns. ColdWarrior has been arguing for greater involvement in the Republican Party apparatus. Stix argues that we want to include disaffected independents and Democrats among the people upset with government.
All three are right, and yet there is more.
Not everyone can get involved this way. For some, the Tea Parties are all they can do. They do not have the time, the energy or the courage to be more heavily involved. For them, coming to a large event like a Tea Party, where they are lost in the crowd and their voice is but one among hundreds or thousands making the shouts and the chants that much louder, is all they have the courage or time to do.
For these people, I say, "Thank you." Their willingness to take a small amount of their time to show Washington that America is not standing idly by is noted and appreciated. We must recognize that these people are giving as much as they can with the time and energy and courage they have.
There are others, though, who can give more, and we need to encourage them to do so.
Among the speakers I saw at the Tea Party were members of the political elite. These are well-connected members of the party apparatus or people with connections or influence or money. I consider many of them part of the problem, yet they were speaking at the Tea Parties as though they are part of the solution. These individuals were heavily involved with giving us the current slate of weak-willed, moderate, easily-bought Republicans who have failed us for years.
Perhaps this is what Erick was getting at on that day he said he was done with the Tea Parties.
Most of the people at the Tea Party had no idea. I did, but I've been involved in Georgia's political landscape, on and off, for the past four years. I recognize some of these individuals. And it's not important that the people didn't know. What is important is that I do. Furthermore, I can do something about it.
So, I'm going to do what ColdWarrior suggested: I'm going to try to become a Precinct Committeeman. I'm going to volunteer for campaigns I believe in. I'm going to scour the landscape and search the nets for people I believe could make great American leaders and encourage them to run for office. I'll continue writing my blogs promoting candidates that matter, and informing the world about candidates that aren't what they claim to be. I'll continue to try to educate people about economics, the Constitution, and the true meaning of words.
And I'll keep going to the Tea Parties and 9-12 rallies and similar protests. I'll go because we need to use every weapon, from the heavy sledgehammer of protest to the tiny scalpel of working within the party structure and everything in between. Only if we are involved, at whatever level we can give, will we fix what is wrong with our country.