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From the diaries by Erick
I wrote last week emphasizing the importance of TEA Party involvement this election cycle. In it I asked the question, “Are You Astroturf?” and I expressed my frustration with TEA Partiers who fail to follow through with meaningful action (phone-banking, block-walking, etc.) to back up their protest.
For those of you un-convinced of the impact that TEA Party activists can make in the next week and a half, I want to give you a case study:
Right now I’m in St. Louis, MO working for American Majority Action, in partnership with the St. Louis TEA Party and the Jefferson County TEA Party. We’re operating one of nine Liberty Headquarters funded by American Majority Action. Our goal is to lend aid to conservative organizations that are interested in getting involved in the hard work of winning elections. The non-glamorous side of politics, the block walking and phone banking, is what wins elections and the organizations we partner with understand this well.
The race that AMA and these Missouri TEA Party groups are focusing on is the Congressional battle in Missouri’s Third District. Incumbent Russ Carnahan (D) is facing off with TEA Party insurgent Ed Martin (R). While polling at the time of the primary showed Martin down by a very large margin, the activism of TEA Partiers has brought the race to a statistical dead heat.
(As a bit of background, this was the district formerly represented by Democratic Majority Leader, Rep. Dick Gephart. Russ Carnahan himself won re-election the last two cycles with over 65% of the vote. It’s a district drawn for Democrats, by Democrats. In any other political climate it would be un-touchable.)
In a survey that we just conducted of of 3rd District voters we found that the race is very tight but that there is a surprisingly high number of undecided voters for this late in the fight. The large number of undecided voters underscore the point that this race is far from over. Obamacare continues to be a hot issue with a majority of those surveyed being confident that it was the wrong prescription for America’s health care woes.
The thin margin of this race is a huge testament to the work of TEA Partiers here in St. Louis but here’s what rubs me raw: since we began formal operations on September 14, slightly less than 200 individuals have volunteered at our Liberty Headquarters. Let me make clear that the accomplishments of those dedicated conservatives are significant. They have called thousands of voters and knocked on the doors of thousands more doors.
That is all great but as a measure of perspective, 14,000 people were at the TEA Party protest on the 12th of last month. That means that only 0.01% of those people have volunteered to support the causes they claim to back. Sadly, this isn’t a rare story. Millions of Americans have protested at TEA Parties in the last two years but the number engaging in real action to support conservative candidates is a small fraction of that amount.
Now is time for tough love:
I don’t doubt the sincerity of the men, women and children who have protested in TEA Parties across our country. I’ve personally met and worked with thousands of them from New York to California and I know their passion well. I can’t however emphasize enough that unless TEA Partiers actually show up to fight for liberty minded candidates then all their signs and protest are meaningless…MEANINGLESS!!!
For the last two years you have told tax and spend liberals that the time of reckoning was coming. We have put them on notice that their tenure was about to expire but unless each of us spends the next week and a half in the trenches, working for liberty, then we have been nothing but hot air…Astroturf…
Polls are looking good for conservatives. We have the wind at our backs. Pundits of both parties are prognosticating a sweeping victory at the polls. I’ll warn you though that the liberals will not go quietly into the night. They haven’t given up! They understand that the election isn’t over until the last ballot is counted and certified.
What you and the other TEA Partiers do between now and Election Day will make the difference between conservatives simply capturing the US House and making history. There are as many as 25-30 seats that can be swayed by TEA Party activism in these last few days. Come victory or defeat, the responsibility rests with those of us known as TEA Partiers. It’s time to make a difference!
What will you do for liberty?