An oft repeated sentiment in tea party circles nowadays is that the upcoming election may very well be the last opportunity conservatives have to hold on to that which still resembles in some way the country we grew up in.
Naturally, every election is referred to at some point as 'the most important election of our lifetime'. Yes, a tired, overused cliche. Yet, when you look around the federal government and see the deep infiltration of radical far left ideologues that are working diligently to 'fundamentally transform' the very make up of this country, be it Eric Holder's Justice Dept., the EPA or the NLRB, it's clear after just 3 years of Obama surrounding himself with these progressive revolutionaries that it will take years to undo the damage.
Four more years and the task may be insurmountable.
So, yes, the 2012 election is of critical importance to the future of this country and the free market principles that have always defined it. A battle that may very well rank right up there with the years leading up to independence from England and the forming of a brand new nation.
It is in that spirit that I humbly follow in the footsteps of one of our greatest founders, Patrick Henry, when I say;
"Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings."
The U.S. Senate is in some ways even more important than the race for the White House. Should Obama prevail, and despite his record of abject failure over the past three years, with the national media and the entertainment industry in this country firmly on board the Obama 2012 campaign it's very possible, control of the Senate becomes the critical factor.
Here in Florida, defeating Sen. Bill Nelson, a convenient lapdog for the Progressive Left, will go a long way toward determining the final make up of that body. With the tea party playing a big role in Marco Rubio's success, the current field of Republican candidates looking to take on Nelson are all clamoring for that support. So be it. In the end, a smart move.
Yet, one of these candidate, Mike McCalister, seems determined to claim the 'great awakening of the American people' as his own. After speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans earlier in the month, he began running a series of Internet ads declaring himself a "national Tea Party star".
Now I take pride in believing that I have my ear to the ground and being as intimately involved in the tea party movement as I am, this took me by surprise. Could I be slipping? Have my abilities become dull after so much exposure to the mind numbing incompetence and corruption of government?
So the natural place to look for answers is with other tea party leaders around the state. In the end, that is where the rubber meets the road. And after a back and forth exchange with leaders from all across the state, from South Florida to Gainesville and many stops between, that's also where it becomes very apparent that Mike McCalister's bold self determination of being a "Tea Party star" falls well short.
Knowing the tea party as I do, a collection of fiercely independent, strong willed Americans that ultimately just want government to leave us alone, the one sure way to ensure that you become a target of this angst is to step to the forefront and attempt to claim leadership of the movement. Or declare yourself to be a "star". Just ask Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler how that's working for them.
And in that light, without delving into the jingoistic bravado of the McCalister campaign, where a well honed skill of repeating tea party talking points is used to fire up the faithful, or, even more importantly, that McCalister's rhetoric all too often rings of academic theory more so than of real world solutions, just that declaration alone of calling oneself a "national Tea Party star" displays overwhelmingly poor decision making and/or bad judgement.
Or, even worse, perish the thought, a blatant attempt to cash in on the hard work and sacrifice of millions of Americans who've made the tea party what it is today.
Either way, more than enough reason to come to the conclusion that in these utterly critical times, Florida must do better than Mike McCalister.