Monday, April 20, 2009

Not Everbody is a Fan of Tea!

Throughout this great country there are a thousand different ways to serve tea. In Boston, they serve it either hot or cold with a twist of cranberry, and in Texas it is served brewed by the sun and with a half of bag of refined sugar. Anywhere you go you can find a refreshing embibement made with Great Britain's national beverage. However, not everyone was enthused by the direction a group of concerned citizens decided to serve their T.E.A.

On April 15, 2009 over 750,000 Americans joined together under the title of a "T.E.A. party", and protested the tax and spend policies of the United States Government. Unlike what is being reported by the main stream media, both parties were the subject of the protester's ire. Ordinary Americans gathered with their fellow citizens, and with one voice demanded to be heard. How much more American can you get? Yet, those in both parties, embarrassed by the message behind the T.E.A. Parties, have lashed out at these patriots and have demeaned them every chance they get.

They have attacked the genuineness of the tea parties by claiming that they were organized by the GOP, and that these were anything but spontaneous. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi called the "Astro-turf" representing that the Tea Parties were fake grassroots movements. If there was real organization, sponsored by the GOP, then why were there so many signs expressing frustration with the GOP? These protests were the real deal!

I was loosely part of the organization of the San Antonio T.E.A. Party, where Glenn Beck help orchestrate the entertainment, but the organization was completely grassroots. The people there were so paranoid of the appearance of not being grassroots, that anyone affiliated with a party or organization was kept at arms length. I know I was one of them. I did not attend because of financial reasons, but I did attend the Fort Worth T.E.A. Party.

The FW party was sponsored by the Tarrant County GOP, and going into it I thought I was going to a pep rally for the GOP; however, I was greatly surprised. Yes, Governor Perry and Rep. Joe Barton (TX-6) came and spoke, but neither of them talked about the GOP. They discussed Conservative principles, and rallied the crowd around these principles. The FW T.E.A. Party was a great experience!

Those on the left and right, who wish to disparage American citizens who speak out against them do themselves a disservice. They reveal their elitist and statist tendencies, and set themselves up to be taken out of the debate. They reveal through their vitriol and consternation that they support government that hinders freedom. They show that their ambition for greater power takes precedence over the will of the people. They also show their fear, that should this movement take root and spread, that they may be out of a job. I'm glad their scared, because scared people do two things: 1. Listen or 2. Make a mistake that takes them out of the equation.

The sentiments of April 15, 2009 are not a fleeting craze! Come November 2010, we may choose to demonstrate this by making a few changes of our own at the ballot box. Those in power or the media, who wish to ridicule and cast us aside, I believe, do so at their own risk.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

As a young man in Texas, you grow up with icons like Wyatt Earp, The Texas Rangers, Col. William Barret Travis (Commander of the Alamo) and David Crockett. You learn what it means to stand up when no one else will, and look adversity in the eye knowing full well it could lead to your death. You're taught that being a Texan means having the courage of your convictions and standing up for them. Sure, some who are raised in Texas have a more metropolitan upbringing, where your taught that compromise is the way, and that your convictions are fine as long as they don't cost you anything. Thank God, I was raised away from this thinking and taught what it meant to have real courage, by a man who knew what courage was. That being said, I can't say this for the current crop of would be GOP leaders, Governors Mike Sanford (S.C.), Bobby Jindal (L.A.), and Sarah Palin(Alaska) (not a man, but courage respects no sex).

Today in an article in the Politico, we find out that Gov. Sandford, Gov. Jindal and Gov. Palin have all backed away from their stance that they will not take any federal stimulus funds. All three have submitted letters to the federal government asking to be eligible for federal aid. This is a complete 180 degree turn from their stalwart positions made a few months ago. What happened?

The answer: All three have claimed that it is the stiff political pressure from home that has led them to acquiesce to the demands of the political powers that be. Notice it is the political powers that be, and not the people of their state that they are giving into. In other words, it is becoming to politically difficult for them to stand up for their convictions!

The people of their great states demand that they be men and women of action, and to also be men and women of their word. If these individuals hope to run for the highest office in the land, the American people expect the same, and yet, when given a chance to show real leadership they took the most politically expedient way out. This kind of cowardice reminds me of a story all Texan youths are told.

On the twenty-third day of February 1836, Col. William Barrett Travis was faced with a predicament. His troops and the troops of Col Jim Bowie's militia saw the force that Mexican General Santa Anna amassed around the small mission, the Alamo (where Travis and Bowie agreed to fortify themselves), and the Texas troops begin to formulate plans to run. Col. Travis sensing this revolt in the ranks assembles the troops for an announcement in the main yard.

There Col. Travis begins to inform those who have gathered of the worthiness of their cause, and what it means to fight for freedom and to be free. He then informs those who wish to leave that they will not be charged with desertion and are free to go, but he makes one last bold move to get them to join him. Col. Travis draws is sword and cuts a line in the sand before him and asks "Who will join me? Who will join me for Texas?" Not everyone stayed but many did, and thirteen days later they were all dead and the Alamo was lost. However, their bravery became the battle cry for Texas Independence, and became the motivation that led to the successful fight for freedom.

We need more men today like Col. Travis. Yes, he was indebted dandy from South Carolina - hint, hint Gov. Sandford- who took more time designing his uniform than training his troops, but when the time came for him to stand for what he knew was right, he was not afraid and he led his troops valiantly. This gallantry should be ingrained in the leader the GOP chooses to be its standard bearer in 2012. Otherwise, we deserve the scorn that the American people hurl at us, and we do not deserve to have a Republican occupy the White House. America deserves a real leader, not a political hack.

I am proud of my State's heritage, and I am even more proud that my family is now a part of that heritage through my wife. I will now be able to raise my children with these stories, and they will no longer be in the abstract, because the blood of Davey Crockett will flow through their veins. They will now have an ancestral model in which to measure their actions.

On April 15th, all across this great country there will be mini-Alamoes taking place in the form of "Tea Parties". I recommend that you join me and your fellow Americans in their demands that Washington listen. Step across the figurative line in the sand, and join me in standing up for what we believe in, even if our leadership will not!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Game Plan #1: Taking Back the Debate

Now that the GOP seems to be gaining some momentum in the polls, and are showing some real desire to get their platform out there to the American people, it is is time to start working on strategies to take back the debate. For years we have allowed those on the left to dictate the terms of the debate. We sit back and allow the leftist or statist accuse us of any number of horrible acts simply because we disagree with their policies. We spend way to much time trying to convince the American people that we are not these horrible things. Our time would be much better spent explaining to the American people the merits of our policies, and showing them the real effects of those policies. By doing this we will effectively take back the debate.

One sure fire way that we can be sure that our message is heard, is to completely ignore the left when it goes into ad hoc attack mode. The left will call anyone who advocates reducing welfare as a racist with no heart, but they won't ever talk about the facts. Instead of taking the bait and discussing why our policies are not racist, we should ignore the accuser and continue discussing the benefits of our programs and policy. The American people will listen to the person who is offering real solutions and will ignore those hurling insults.

Mary Spaeth, Communications Aide to President Reagan and Modern Communications Guru, says that "you should never repeat a negative." If someone accuses you of something you should acknowledge the comment, with out repeating it, and then go back to your message. Mary says you should never repeat the accusation. If you do the accusation will be the only thing people will remember. Example: If someone says "you are a racist", you should never say "I am not a racist." If you do this the only thing people will remember is the word "racist'. Instead simply acknowledge their remark by saying, "my opponent through their accusation is simply trying to distract from the truth of the matter, and that is that we need welfare reform." Now the people will remember that "welfare reform" is the "truth". By taking the wind out of their accusation you take back the debate.

The left is not afraid of hurling irrational accusations at the rational policy proposals that our side will propose. They are not afraid of attacking you personally instead debating the merits of the issue. To our opponents, personal attacks and accusations are how you debate, and by trying to refute these accusations and defending ourselves against these attacks we lower ourselves and the level of debate in this country. This is what the American public are finding harder and harder to swallow, and why more and more Americans are getting frustrated with their government. The best way to show how the GOP is different from the DNC, is by raising the level of debate in this country, and by refusing to debate personal attacks by simply brushing them off and staying on message. If we do this, then we will take back the debate and force the left to actually come clean about their real motives.