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Measuring The Effectiveness of the Tea Parties

by on April 15, 2009

I was disappointed to hear today that both Tom Bauerle and Sandy Beach wrote off the Tea Party movement as ineffective. I heard Sandy Beach argue that politicians won’t be swayed by these mass demonstrations, and he spent quite a long time elaborating on his view.

Now, I’m not deluding myself, Barack Obama isn’t gonna change his ways because of the tea parties. But this isn’t about that. You know, there were countless anti-war protests leading up to and during the Iraq War. The war still happened. We are still there. We’ll still be there 6 months from now. We’ll still be there a year from now. But that doesn’t mean those demonstrations against the war didn’t have an impact on the war debate.

The effectiveness of the tea parties will not be measured by immediate change in the tax and spend policies of the government, be it state or federal. This is more like a public awareness campaign. People feel safety in numbers and when large groups of people organize all over the country to say they are mad as hell al the high taxes and wasteful spending, they are keeping that issues in the spotlight and they are raising awareness of the problem in a way that will inspire greater participation in the future. Eventually, it will reach a point when elected officials will not be able to ignore it.

The Civil Rights Movement wasn’t an overnight success. The Tea Party Movement, still in its infancy, has yet to demonstrate its true impact. Tom Bauerle and Sandy Beach need to put the tea parties in proper perspective.

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