Tea Party Movement Protesting from Coast to Coast

Sara J Dufort

As another election season is quickly approaching, there is no doubt that activist groups around the country are gunning to get their candidates elected. While some simply put ads in newspapers, on television, or have a calling campaign, others are protesting to get their ideas across. The group that has been doing that the most this season would no doubt be the grassroots movement, named “The Tea Party”. Over the past week, there were was a plethora of protests in places like, Saint Louis, Missouri, Washington, DC, and even Anchorage, Alaska.

Tea Party activists arrive with signs and folding chairs at the former McClellan Air Force Base site before the start of the "United to the Finish" Tea Party rally in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)So who are these tea parties, and what is their message? There is a variety of tea party groups, but the most notable one would have to be the Tea Party Patriots, who claim to have over 2,700 chapters. While all Tea Partiers deny the fact that they are an extension of the GOP, it has been found that most of them are in fact, Republicans. This fact is in line with the message they are trying to get across – stop big government. This is a republican ideal, made popular again by the tea party movement, and they will not stop protesting until something is done.

Tea Party activists have been known to be controversial, and this fact held true over the past week, when TV personality, Glen Beck, and former Vice President Candidate, Sarah Palin, held a rally in Alaska, on the ninth anniversary of September 11. Some news stations portrayed this act as disrespectful to those who lost their lives, while Beck and Palin argued that it was just a day that worked for them. Yet Glen Beck and Sarah Palin were not alone in protesting.

Many state followers implemented their own protests, including a large one, held in Sacramento, California. Over 4,000 activists attended, many holding signs that said “Congress you’re fired!” and “Let failures fail.” Here, the speakers spoke out against many things including Health Care Reform, the economic stimulus, and President Obama. One of the people in attendance, Leslie Morrison, stated, “This is a way to get people focused before elections, and it’s a way to get the parties true numbers seen.” It is clear that they have a large number of followers, as 4,000 people showed up to the one in California, as well as several thousand at the protest in Washington, DC. However, what can The Tea Party do, and should Democrats be worried?

The short answer to this question – is yes. It is clear that the tea parties are doing a sufficient job in rallying support, as evident by a variety of elections that have taken place. The most notable of these would be the special election held in Massachusetts.     They rallied and eventually, Scott Brown was elected the new senator. This was an upset to many across the country, because Massachusetts has been historically, a democratic state. Yet the election of Scott Brown is not the only one of its kind, and The Tea Party attributes many election outcomes to their efforts.

The rallies that we have seen over the past week were not the first, and they will definitely not be the last. As Nov. 2 rolls around, there is no doubt that they will get stronger and more organized. They have already gained many victories, and it is sure that the party will strive for more of their members in office. It is clear that they want something done about the path our government is taking, and they will not stop until their voices are heard.