The rightful masters of both Congress and the courts

Eight years ago, the Tea Party movement began, supposedly sparked by a ranting CNBC reporter.  Unlike the protests that occurred this month around the inauguration of Donald Trump, those rallies began more than a month into President Obama’s term.  It took until September before the first large rally occupied Washington, D.C.

Times have changed though, and power has shifted.  For many, hopes are flying high.  For others, fear grips them.  I have a hard time understanding those who are frozen by fear of the Trump Presidency, but I do not doubt that their fear is real.  The marches against Trump were planned well before he held any power, yet organizers were able to mobilize millions of protesters across the country.  As a veteran of the Tea Party movement, I say “kudos” to them.  They are doing what Americans should do when they peaceably to assemble, and  petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I think that one thing that has created fear on the left is the decimation that they have suffered at the polls over the past eight years.  They thought that they would be the rightful masters of Congress and the courts indefinitely.  They are not.  The incredible shift from an electorate that elected the most leftist President in our history, to one who promises to undo that President’s legacy, is something for the history books.  The left does have reason to fear a Trump Presidency, not because he is an evil man, but because after 8 years of perverting the Constitution, things are going to change.

I have my doubts about President Trump’s concern for the Constitution.  He never mentions it.  Some of his ideas seem contrary to the limits of the Constitution.  Until the power of the Presidency is rightfully diminished, we’ll have to cling to the hope that he is serious about shrinking the power of Washington, D.C.  He’s gone outside the box in his cabinet appointments.  The coastal elites are apoplectic about some of these appointments, but their fossilized idea of government has been rejected by the American voters.  This is the biggest hope for the Trump Presidency, that it is a transformational era, where new ideas are allowed to flourish, while the stagnant failed model of the New Deal, Progressivism, and “wars” on everything are once and for all declared dead.

We will forever have leaders who seek to pervert the Constitution.  Regardless of who is living in the White House, vigilance is a virtue always required of the patriot.  The task of the Tea Party is no lighter than when Barack Obama was President.  When we started this movement, I said that this is a decades long task.  Our problem is not with the leaders who pervert the Constitution, but with the voters who elect them.  These are the minds that we must win over.  This is your task.  Instead of badmouthing the left, we should talk about the power of the model that our founders gifted to us.  By creating more lovers of the Constitution, we can ensure that the road to real liberty is always open.

In Liberty,

Ken Mandile

Senior Fellow

Worcester Tea Party

It is less about Resolutions, and more about being Resolute in 2017

Welcome to Harvard everybody!!After the election, I spoke with a person from the other side of the aisle who asked what I would be doing now that the Tea Party’s mission was over.  He was under the impression, probably gathered from fake news stories, that the Tea Party’s mission was just to oppose Barack Obama.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  

The Tea Party Movement is a grass roots response to the corruption, and incompetence, we have seen at every level of government.  The Worcester Tea Party is an incorporated non-profit dedicated to education focusing on economics and politics.  As an educational organization, those that accepted a leadership roles are given the title of Deans.  The treasurer of our organization is our Bursar.  Previous leaders of our organization that have retired from most active duties are Senior Fellows.  The guidance and counsel of our Senior Fellows is very important to our organization.  I have the honor of being the President of the Worcester Tea Party.  The President is the spokes person and evangelist for the group and I help out in any other way I can.

Our Deans are self starters with a commitment to our core principles of Individual Liberty, Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility.  Deans pursue different projects with the understanding that the goals of our organization are fixed, but the methods that we attempt will change over time.  We have Deans focused on Twitter account, a Facebook page and we are pod-casting with Spreaker.  We also have a YouTube channel a Pinterest account and a WordPress website which are doing well but could be improved if volunteers were committed to them.  There are no limits to the opportunities for volunteers.  

The true strength of the Worcester Tea Party is our members.  It is our members that hold the signs at protests.  It is our members that ask questions of scurrilous politicians.  Our members provide t the donations that pay all the Worcester Tea Partys bills.  2016 has been a year where we have endured painful losses and enjoyed surprising victories.  Through 2016 many of our members have stepped into new roles and have advanced our organization.  It is our members that do all the hard work of citizenship that our group is famous for.  

With a new president in Washington, change is inevitable but our core mission will not change.  The core mission of the Worcester Tea Party is to educate voters about the importance of sound fiscal policy and limited government. This mission has not changed with the changing of an Administration in Washington.  Our faith in the principles of our nation’s founding and our commitment to the truth will not change.  2017 will surely present the Worcester Tea Party with new opportunities as well as new challenges.  I am confident that we will meet these challenges and take advantage of these opportunities as we’ve done for all the years that the Worcester Tea Party has existed in the beating red heart of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  May 2017 bless us with prosperity and peace and I hope to see you at our next Free Education Event

In Liberty,
Matt O’Brien
President
Worcester Tea Party

 

Moses-Our Original Founding Father

Moses-Our Original Founding Father

This year, the Jewish Passover falls at the end of April (4/20-4/30).  Passover traditionally begins with a Seder, a ritual meal full of symbolism and the retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This is the story told in The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible (what many Christians refer to as the Old Testament).

mosesSince the original story of Exodus, the same story has been lived out many times, by many people, in many lands. People seeking freedom from tyranny have suffered hardship and death over and over again, even to this day. Just like the Israelites of 3,000 years ago, refugees from the war scarred 20th century sought liberation. Today, we see the suffering of Iraqis and Syrians fleeing ISIS and Assad. We see refugees from war and terrorism seeking a better future for their families. Three thousand years after Moses, the thirst for freedom and safety remains unquenched

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams proposed that Moses be on the Seal of the United States.  They considered him to be our real Founding Father. A quote from Moses appears on the Liberty Bell. The Pilgrims considered their story to be similar to the story in Exodus. Harriet Tubman, who just this month was chosen to appear on the $20 bill, was called “The Moses of Her People”.

Many of the “plagues” of today are easy to show on the evening news. It’s very graphic and heart breaking to see women and children driven from their homes. There are other plagues which are not so easy to visualize. For these plagues, we don’t see blood being spilled or bombs dropping or children being beheaded. They are no less of a threat to freedom. These plagues are propagated in legislatures and voting booths; in campaign headquarters and courtrooms; in newsrooms and college lecture halls. These are the places from which come the threats to freedom in much of the world.

Perhaps we could wish for boils and frogs and locusts to descend on Washington, D.C. to convince our modern day tyrants to set us free, but I’m afraid that part of the Exodus story won’t be repeated. Moses isn’t coming to help us this time. There is no Moses running for President this year, although Bernie Sanders may have been around for the Exodus.

The Jewish tradition of retelling the story of their liberation from slavery gives them an opportunity to give thanks for their liberation and to remember their suffering. We all should remember the bitterness of oppression and seek to eliminate it. It may take another 3,000 years, but it is our responsibility to carry on the legacy of those who worked for liberty before us and for those who will follow us.

Jews conclude the Seder with a hope for their Messiah “L’shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim hab’nuyah!”- “Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem!” It’s in recognition of an imperfect world, but a world in which next year may bring them closer to spiritual perfection. We do live in an imperfect world, yet this is the best time in the history of mankind to be alive. With your help, I know that the future will be better and freer. We don’t need Moses to continue the struggle for freedom that has been fought through the millennia. That struggle has been left to us.

 

What Is the Worcester Tea Party ??

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The Worcester Tea Party is a response to the abuses of our government by a corrupted political class. In ways both large and small our government has not been used to serve the vast majority of the people of our nation. The vast wealth of our nation has been squandered with little lasting good to show for it. A few connected individuals have profited while most of us struggled to keep up. In too many cases the rich and powerful have evaded justice while injustice has been inflicted on the poor and powerless. Our reputation in the world has been pockmarked by their feckless policies. Our friends no longer feel they can trust us. Our enemies see us as a joke.

The Worcester Tea Party is our commitment to a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Self-selected special interests have thwarted the will of the American people and brought our nation to the brink of bankruptcy and decay. It is this corrupted political class that has failed. They have failed our founding ideals. They have failed all of us. We believe that all of our problems can be solved, and will be solved by the American people.

The Worcester Tea Party is a free education organization Political correctness is a tool used by the corrupted political class to control and silence their opponents. We are committed to having the freest and most open conversations about the challenges facing our nation. We believe that the future of our nation depends on us forging solutions out of ideas. We do not hold some secret solutions, but a proven method by which we can determine solutions. We believe in the right of people to think for themselves and make the choices they think are best.

The Worcester Tea Party is an opportunity for all those that wish to take it. All are welcome to attend, listen, present and debate. Because we believe it free exchange of ideas we believe there is nothing that cannot be tested. Controversial opinions will be voiced and debated and when appropriate rejected. There can be no barriers allowed to block our pursuit of the truth.

The Worcester Tea Party is our duty to our children and our parents. As Americans we stand on the shoulders of giants. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, all have contributed to elevating us by helping forge ideas into institutions. Today we are the inheritors of their labor and inspiration. We do not shirk from our role in making our politics and our government work. Quite the contrary we jealously guard our duty to this great experiment. Our actions are informed by the knowledge that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” We received these gifts from our parents, we will make our contributions, and as mortal beings we will pass these great gifts on to the next generation of Americans.

 

Principles

Principles

“Independence is my happiness,
and I view things as they are,
without regard to place or person;
my country is the world,
and my religion is to do good.”

Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

 

When Thomas Paine wrote these words in 1791, he was writing in opposition to Edmund Burke’s defense of the aristocracy and the corrupt system that they had built for their own benefit.  In a previous 100 years, the taxes imposed by the English government had increased almost tenfold (from 1.8 million pounds to 17 million pounds). By comparison, the budget of the U.S. government has increased to 14 times the U.S. budget of 100 years ago (after adjusting for inflation).  Much like U.S. citizens of the 21st century, English citizens were oppressed by a government gone wild.  The aristocrats were shielded from the taxes and regulations that were causing much grief among the lower classes.

Paine pointed out how useless the aristocrats were:

“The aristocracy are not the farmers who work the land, and raise the produce, but are the mere consumers of the rent; and when compared with the active world are the drones, a seraglio of males, who neither collect the honey nor form the hive, but exist only for lazy enjoyment.”

 Paine believed that the national character of the English had changed over the previous century and that this was why they put up with the abuse:

“It would have been impossible to have dragooned the former English, into the excess of taxation that now exists; and when it is considered that the pay of the army, the navy, and of all the revenue officers, is the same now as it was about a hundred years ago, when the taxes were not above a tenth part of what they are at present, it appears impossible to account for the enormous increase and expenditure on any other ground, than extravagance, corruption, and intrigue.”
Like the English of the 18th century, has the national character of Americans changed such that we continue to believe the lies put forward by Progressives for the past 100 years? Dismally, it almost looks so.
Many freedom loving Americans are confounded by the 2016 Presidential campaign.  If the polls are to be believed, we are headed for one of most bizarre choices in the history of Presidential politics.  How did we get here?  It seems like far too many Americans have lost sight of some of the most fundamental aspects of liberty.  We are being driven by personalities and policies, but lack the rudder of principle.
Thomas Paine was a man of principle, who had suffered much by the end of his life because he refused to compromise those principles.
“To me, who have not only refused offers, because I thought them improper, but have declined rewards I might with reputation have accepted, it is no wonder that meanness and imposition appear disgustful.”   
Some of the choices offered to us for President this year seem to be lacking principle altogether.  Can we survive?  Yes!  What is important is that the citizenry adhere to principles based on limited government, a free market, and individual rights.  These are the principles that the Tea Party movement sprouted from.
Do not worship those who fail to acknowledge the most basic principles of liberty, of the free market, and of our natural rights.  What is the most important characteristic that you are looking for in our next President?  Is it only that they beat the other team?  Is it that they are the least offensive?  Or, is it that your choice has the resolve to defend liberty?
As an organization, the Worcester Tea Party does not endorse candidates, but we do ask that you consider their belief in our principles.  Are they for limited government, Constitutional rights, and a free market?  It’s a tall order, but you should not settle for less.
Banish the Darkness

Banish the Darkness

December is a month where much of humanity defies the frigid darkness by celebrating what may be our most joyous holiday.  Christians and non-Christians alike have taken to the spirit of Christmas to celebrate in their own ways.  Words of peace and joy and good cheer are shared with all.  This year though, we enter the season with a darkness spreading like the Shadow of Mordor across the free world.
Years of a foreign policy based on hubris and naive talk of containment have put the civilized world at risk in ways not seen since the Cold War.  This combination of neglect and malfeasance have given the enemies of modernity and freedom the time, money, and brazen confidence to wreak death and fear across the globe.  The world has realized that the once steady leadership of the United States is in shambles and they doubt our will and ability to confront evil.  This holiday season, instead of wishes of Peace on Earth, the talk is of war.

A greater danger comes not from the terrible but unlikely act of a terrorist, but from more certain threat of a government which would respond to every crisis by eroding our freedoms.  Those who are familiar with Robert Higgs’ book, Crisis and Leviathan, know that governments use fear and war to implement new laws and restrictions.

Often, the proposals are sold as only temporary, as the French are doing now with their three month state of emergency.  Personal computers in France are now subject to administrative searches without a warrant.  The internet is being censored.  Other searches are now done at the whim of the police.  If history is our guide, many of these policies will continue when the emergency ends.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Either we believe these words or we do not.  If we meekly retreat and hide, then these are not real principles, but just pretty words to be discarded out of convenience.  It would give the terrorists a veto on our rights.  Fear should never be a justification for the abandonment of our rights.

In times like this, we need our reason, and our principles, and our faith.  We need to prudently respond to security threats.  As we respond, we need to be cautious about overreacting and calls to hand over our rights in the name of security.  We must destroy evil with resolve, and we must also defend our liberty with that same resolve.

In this season nearly one third of the population of the Earth will celebrate the Light of a Savior.  In this season the Jewish faith celebrates the light of the Maccabees’ oil.  Many other faiths choose this time to celebrate the promise that the sun would bring warmth and light.  We must not let the shadow of terror eclipse this season of light and joy, and we should pray that our country finds the courage to allow our light to banish that darkness.

There is a time for everything, a time to be silent and a time to speak.

On Thursday, we hosted a viewing of Michelle Malkin’s Rocky Mountain Heist at our January meeting.   The movie exposes how the wealthy left was able to seize power in Colorado.   The “Colorado Plan” wasn’t just a strategy to win a few seats in the state legislature.   It was a brutal and thuggish plot to wipe conservatives and moderates from every office in the state.   Rocky Mountain Heist discussed how four wealthy Progressives were able to pool their money to build a political machine unlike any before it.

The Colorado Plan was so successful, that it is now being replicated,  state by state, to weaken the Republic.

The good news is that there are many forces opposing this quiet revolution.   It’s also good that we have resources like this movie to inform us about the threats that we face.  This “intelligence” is an important tool in resisting the latte liberals who oppose liberty.

Even greater news is that we are already starting to see the collapse of the Colorado Plan.  As the Progressives took over, their ideas were put to the test and, as expected, they failed.

The Tea Party movement doesn’t enjoy the luxury of having wealthy benefactors.  Our one luxury is a set of principles that have been tested by time, principles that have made America great.

As individuals, we can do our part to elect leaders who honestly believe in these principles of  limited constitutional government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility, but our most important goal is to teach the beauty of living free.  Wealthy Progressives will always be able to buy an election now and then.   We should expose them when they do, but their wins will be short lived if we dedicate ourselves to keeping the idea of liberty alive.   That is a challenging, honorable, and important task.  It is one that cannot be stopped by wealthy leftists who try to put chains on us.   In this new year, live free, speak freely, and have faith that liberty will always win.
In Liberty,
Ken Mandile 

A Battle Won

A Battle Won

 

“There are thousands who are in opinion opposed to slavery and to the war, who yet in effect do nothing to put an end to them; who, esteeming themselves children of Washington and Franklin, sit down with their hands in their pockets, and say that they know not what to do, and do nothing.” 

 Henry David Thoreau

In the summer of 1776, when our Founders committed treason against England and King George, they righteously justified their actions by citing the moral purpose of government:  To secure our rights.  While we have expanded immensely the scope and purpose of government over the past 238 years, the only moral purpose of government remains the same.

If I were to point to the most important achievement of the Tea Party movement, it would be the success in exposing the damage that our government has done to the ends for which it was created.  The US government has lost its legitimacy as the protector of individual rights.

A Rasmussen Poll released on Friday found:

  • 54% of Americans think that their government is a threat to individual liberty, rather than a protector   
  • 67% believe that the government is a special interest group that looks out for its own interests rather than those of citizens

These are startling numbers

 

After 5 years, a majority of the American public have sided with the Tea Party on its primary message.  To say that our government is a threat to our rights would be an understatement.  It has destroyed those rights.

 

Last week’s standoff at the Bundy Ranch wasn’t only about cattle and land, it was about a militarized police force threatening private citizens.

The NSA spying story wasn’t about national security. It was about a government that treats its citizens as suspects.

The ACA is not a law that guarantees us health care.  It codifies the denial of an individual’s free choice.

The stimulus and bailouts that sparked our movement were not just more government waste and corruption.

 

They were acts all of aggression against our right to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

When the Tea Party movement started five years ago, we knew we needed to get the American people on our side first.  It took five years, and we have suffered defeats, but we can take heart at the new attitude of the American people.  Their eyes are open to the evil of big government.  This is a major victory for our cause.  Now, let’s hold onto this victory and destroy the ideology that sets the state above the individual.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Declaration of Independence

 

An Irish Democracy?

An Irish Democracy?

We are fast approaching the 5th Anniversary of the first Tax Day Tea Parties.  In the spring of 2009, Americans had become deeply suspicious of the institutions that defined our society.  The government, large corporations, banks, legislatures, Congress, and political parties had betrayed the American public.  We were fed up and decided to let our leaders know that we were mad as hell and we weren’t taking it anymore. 

 

Five years later, we’ve become what is one of the greatest and longest lasting political movements in US history.   To many, it is unclear whether our mission will be successful, but many more of us have no doubt that we will eventually free America from the oppression of a bloated government and the crony-capitalists that control it.

 

We have changed from an angry movement lacking direction into thousands of very effective small groups and individuals doing the daily tasks of restoring liberty.  Whether it is aiding a campaign, being a candidate or educating and rallying citizens to an important cause, each action is a step in the right direction.  There is one tactic that has not been sufficiently used until recently.  It is called “Irish Democracy.”

 

Professor Glenn Reynolds recently quoted Professor James Scott in USA Today:  

 

“More regimes have been brought piecemeal to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”

 

Whether it is refusal to sign up for Obamacare, gun owners avoiding registering their guns in Connecticut,  willful disobedience of immoral laws or entire states nullifying drug laws, we as citizens are learning to exert authority over their own lives.  In this mixed up and confusing political paradigm, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and even Democrats, are finding common ground with those of us willing to stand opposed to a growing and intrusive tyranny.  After 5 years of the Tea Party movement, many Americans are finding the truth in our message, even while they voice hesitancy about us.

 

Anthony Codevilla, a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, recently wrote:  

 

“The principal feature of today’s ruling class is precisely that it reigns in open contempt of the Constitution of 1787 and of their fellow Americans who wave copies of it in forlorn attempts to limit the ruling class’ pretensions. History is univocal: any ruling class self-referential to the point of defaulting on its obligations leaves the ruled no alternative but to turn their backs on it, and eventually to revolt.”

 

We are still learning how to resist their betrayal of our Constitution and our values and we are still learning how to revolt.  We are running for office, calling talk radio, writing letters, picketing, voting, and, when we can, withdrawing.   

 

In the words of Professor Reynolds,  

 

“As we struggle, mostly in vain, to rein in the metastasizing power of a federal government that has grown out of control, perhaps Irish Democracy offers a solution. Sometimes it seems like that’s the only kind of democracy that’s likely to 

make a difference.”

 

The late 20th century showed us many times that peaceful resistance to tyranny is one of the most effective tools available to liberty seekers.  It is only one tool of many that we have available, but in this time of crisis, we need to use every tool possible.  

 

Think about opportunities to practice Irish Democracy as we move into the 5th year of the Tea Party movement.

Letters to the Editor

Many Tea Party members are not sure what their role is in the movement.  If you are not comfortable with getting involved at the organizational level, there is a simple, effective, and very important role for each of you.  You are our messengers.   One of the most effective ways to promote the Tea Party message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution is by writing a letter to the editor.  Well written letters supporting our cause can light brushfires in the minds of people who may not fully understand the nature of the challenges facing our country.  They also give us an opportunity to show that freeing the individual from the chains of a bloated and oppressive government is the most effective way to raise every American’s liberty and ability to pursue happiness.

What makes a good letter to the editor?

  • Topical
  • Factual
  • Concise
  • Positive

Here are a few pointers for writing an effective letter to the editor:

  • Grab the readers’ attention in the first sentence.
  • State your opinion clearly in the first paragraph and repeat it in the last paragraph.
  • Do not use personal attacks. Don’t rant. 
  • Back up your opinion with facts.  Verify your facts.
  • Giving your opinion is important, but you should also offer solutions.  Remember though, often the best solution is to do nothing!
  • Be positive!  Explain the value of freedom.  Be optimistic.
  • Keep your letter to 250 words or less.  This is very challenging, but many newspapers have word limits and readers will completely read a short letter.
  • The Worcester Telegram has the widest readership in our area, but weekly local newspapers shouldn’t be overlooked.  Your neighbors and friends are more likely to be influenced by your well written opinion.
  • Get in the habit of writing letters every month.  Most newspapers will limit you to once per 90 days, but if you choose three newspapers, then you can rotate one per month.

Some of our members have volunteered to help with proof reading letters and helping you polish your message.  They can offer as much or as little help as you need.  You can contact them at:Letters@worcesterteaparty.com.

You can use the same email address to tell us when your letter is published, so we can let everyone know to comment on it.  Be prepared to be ridiculed in the online comments.  Don’t respond with the same kind of vile nastiness that they throw at you.  If we can get our message out this way we can influence public opinion and ensure that our children will live in culture that values freedom.