Article Encore: After the “Tea Party,” please get involved in the GOP

If some of what follows looks familiar, it’s I began saying this almost immediately after the “TEA Party” groups began to form earlier this year. Eight full months later the ballot is set for the Illinois primary. Some new blood has stepped up to run – now those good candidates need all the help they can get between today and February 2nd.

The mathematics of reaching thousands – or millions – of voters is daunting. The tiny percentage of folks who have time or the inclination to attend rallies and forums aren’t a bad place to start when a campaign is six or nine months away from election day. But when it’s down to weeks – volunteers are needed to carry the candidates’ messages to voters where they live.

That’s where the need for real political activity becomes critical. As one political veteran told me, too much of what constitutes activism is actually not – and instead gets in the way of the kind of action that effectively reaches voters and changes minds.

Back in March I wrote the following – and it still applies. We all remember learning about the Boston Tea Party, right? Wait, for those of you who went to public school and had this event dropped from your text book for something more politically correct than white guys dressing up as Indians.

The colonials were angry with their government in 1773. Today, millions of Americans are too, and many are holding a modern day version of that first tea party after finally waking up to the excessive taxing, spending, and borrowing of their government.

We saw tens of thousands of new people participate in rallies and meetings in 2009. But those one-day events are not enough. More than ever we need fed-up Americans to engage in real and sustained political activity.

Whether you’re talking taxes, spending, waste, health care reform, foreign policy, public education, Second Amendment rights, the right to work, traditional values matters such as abortion and the defense of marriage or any number of other issues, the permanent meeting place after the tea parties must be the Republican Party.

Two major events in recent years have proven that more is needed.

Those two events – in a nutshell – are the historic squandering of the eight years of Speaker Dennis Hastert’s reign and the eight years of President George W. Bush. The fact is, while some good legislation was passed and many of the right decisions were made, the undeniable legacy of those years (1999 to 2009) is the presidency of Barack Obama, and a Congress run by Harry Reid andNancy Pelosi.

Our argument is that if our leaders had built a substantial and compelling political party that was all about reaching American voters with a reform message, we wouldn’t have lost ground. Instead, we would now be building upon successes.

Our values and principles need a ballot line, so we need more of these frustrated Americans to join the real fight to make the Republican Party nationally – and in every state – a champion of its national GOP platform.