It was a year ago today that millions of Americans hit the streets to make their voices heard about the unbridled spending of the Obama administration, which made a quick start at increasing spending, along with the national debt.
I was doing a guest teaching stint at UNC-Greensboro that day, and not too far from campus was one of the events. Some of the others on campus dismissed them, as did a lot of of others. I sketched out an argument that day, cautioning those critics not to be so quick to judge the movement, and later refined that here in the Blogland:
In the last two election cycles, Democrats gained electoral ground often by presenting candidates who claimed to be fiscally conservative, but moderate on social issues. Such models would be wise, as national polling suggests about two-thirds of voters generally hold fiscally conservative positions, while about forty percent generally identify with conservative positions on social issues. But in looking at the attacks leveled at the national tea party movement, both politically and personally, one has to wonder if the Democrats really welcome those voters who are fiscally conservative or if they're simply paying lip service and using their votes to gain power in Washington.
Early reports are that turnout matched and exceeded last year's turnout in many locations. Given the continued decline in polling for Obama and the Democratic Party, that news doesn't come as a surprise. Much of the deterioration in their poll standings, as well as interest in the tea party movement, has to do with their failure to deliver on their promises to be more fiscally moderate than Democrats of years past.
To the good concerned citizens who turned out across the country to make your voices heard, take a bow. Good work - and don't quit. Our country needs you.
To those who didn't heed their message then, or today, ignore them and their concerns at your political peril. A movement this strong won't likely evaporate before November.