By Fred Lucas
It was Tax Day 2009 when citizens gathered in 850 cities across the nation for tea party rallies protesting the recent $700 billion federal bailouts of banks and automakers, an $800 billion economic stimulus package, and, more broadly, government deficits and debt.
On April 15 this year, Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest tea party groups, will sponsor “Stop Socialism, Choose Freedom” rallies across the country.
On the movement’s 10th anniversary, the phrase “tea party” is seldom used, but organizers there at the beginning say the spirit and principles continue–even as the country continues to face mounting fiscal challenges.
One reason tea partiers aren’t “outside protesters” today is that many of the citizens who never before had been involved in politics rose to prominence in the Republican party.
“Tea party activists are not meeting outside the party system any longer,” Brendan Steinhauser, a former FreedomWorks staffer who was the lead organizer for the Taxpayer March on Washington on Sept. 12, 2009, told The Daily Signal. “They are now precinct chairs, county chairs, or state chairs of the Republican Party.”
The modern tea party movement largely is credited to an on-air rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who on Feb. 9, 2009, called for Americans to have a “tea party” protest.
Santelli’s comments went viral and about 35,000 people in 50 cities attended the first-ever tea party rallies on Feb. 27, 2009.
Back then, Karen Jaroch was a mother and engineer in Tampa who hadn’t been involved in politics before.
“I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and was afraid of losing my country,” Jaroch, now a regional coordinator in Florida for Heritage Action for America, told The Daily Signal. “Citizens didn’t see politicians in either party representing them, but just rubber-stamping bailouts and stimulus.”
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From:: Daily Signal – Feed