About a year and a half ago, concerned and patriotic citizens found common voice in a movement called the Tea Party. At first, the movement was discounted by many politicians of both major parties in our country--until Tax Day 2009, when mass demonstrations took place in some 750 towns and cities across America. (What is little remembered is that the term "TEA Party" is an acronym for the phrase "Taxed Enough Already".) These protests were remarkable in the fact that they were peaceful and made by citizens who, for the most part, had never participated in any form of protest or political action in their lives.
Some five months later--on 12 September 2009--some 75,000 marched in Washington to protest not just the policies of the Obama Administration, but the Bush Administration before it for profligate government spending that had put the country on the brink of financial ruin.
Now, nearly a year later, the Tea Party movement is causing upheaval in both major political parties. Three incumbent Senators--Michael Bennett of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and the opportunistic Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania--have seen their political careers end at the hands of the Tea Party. And key Tea Party-supported candidates, including most prominently Sharron Angle of Nevada who is running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid--have the establishment candidates on the run.
Liberals--most prominently House Speaker Nancy Pelosi--have referred to the Tea Party protesters as an "angry mob". But these concerned citizens appear on the brink of a historic election in little more than two months from now. Since 1968--through the upheavals of Watergate, the end of the Vietnam War, the rejection of the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, three major wars (the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War), and 9/11--the greatest turnover of US House seats was 36 in 1974. And while the election is still 65 days away, most pundits believe that the Republicans will regain control of the House with a turnover exceeding the 39 seats needed to do so. If this happens, not only will the GOP regain control, but the political bent of the members will be decidedly more conservative--buttressed by the many Tea Party candidates who will undoubtedly be elected.
The genius of the Founders was that they allowed America--every two years--to re-define itself and force its elected officials to pay heed to the voice of the common people. That voice is about to be heard with thunderous resonance.