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What Made the Silent Majority Speak


By Marilyn Snyder

Published in the Redlands Daily Facts, August 22, 2013

The Democratic party has been around since the days of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  The Republican party emerged with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. 

The tea party, on the other hand, blasted into existence as a organic organization a bare four years ago.  However, it is not a political party and, given its grassroots dis-organization of thousands of local groups, not likely to become one.  Each local tea party group determines its own priorities and sets its own agenda, looking to one or another of many national tea party groups for, well, not exactly leadership—but more like general direction. 

What caused the groundswell of hundreds of thousands of politically naïve ordinary folks to swiftly come together under one large umbrella?  What made the Silent Majority stand up and speak—no, roar?  They were worried, scared, even angry at their own lack of vigilance about rising taxes and governmental spending.  Previously they, like me, had been similar to groundhogs, poking their heads out each election “spring,” testing the temperature, voting in the presidential election, and then retreating to their dens of jobs, children and homes, distracted from the collapsing economy.

Each individual had multiple concerns, but for most it was the revelation of rising taxes, mind-boggling spending, and potential US bankruptcy.  In January 2009 the US national debt was nearly $11 trillion.  Panicking when I comprehended the danger of our huge liability to foreign, mostly unfriendly, governments, I have nervously watched that figure expand, enlarge, increase over the last four years to nearly $17 trillion.  Make you anxious, too?  This financial crisis led to the first value of the Tea Party Patriots of fiscal responsibility.

Other recent tea party converts were concerned about how the law of the land, our Constitution, was ignored unequally.  With the stimulus spending under President Obama, we the people incurred an overwhelming debt only to watch the funds scatter like piñata candy and be gobbled up by a greedy group of “kids,” aka governmental agencies, bank bailouts, shaky green companies. 

Here is a more recent example.  Our American legal system demands equal justice under the law.  Remember this theory?  All boys are citizens.  Mike is a boy.  Therefore Mike is a citizen.   Likewise, the  Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a law that applies to all US businesses.  McDonald’s is a US business.  Therefore McDonald’s is subject to that law. 

Except that it isn’t.  McDonald’s and over 1,200 other companies were given temporary waivers by the Obama administration to delay compliance with the ACA.  All other businesses not given waivers are at a disadvantage based on an unequal application of justice under the law.

Blatantly illegal government expansion such as this led to the important tea party value of Constitutionally Limited Government.

The third concern of these anti-spending citizens was the swing toward a more socialist form of economy.  For those of us who have studied history or have lived through the US fight over the last sixty years against socialist, fascist, and communist governments, this swerve is irrational.  The growing acceptance of repressive socialism by Hollywood darlings such as Ed Asner and Roseann Barr, self-defined socialists, is outrageous.  My Russian ancestors fled to the US for freedom.  So did my Polish ancestors.  And my husband’s Italian forbearers.  My uncle didn’t fight at Normandy on D-Day so that my grandchildren could live under a system that spawned the Holocaust and the very Soviet purges from which my grandfather escaped. 

Thousands and thousands of people finally found a voice in the modern version of the Boston Tea Party.  They descended by the millions on Washington, D.C., state legislatures, townhalls, and city councils, making demands for fiscal responsibility and changing election results. 

 Becoming more politically astute and extremely active, we are no longer groundhogs hiding in our dens, but more like wild horses, chomping against the bit of governmental restraint and intrusion.  Tossing our heads at the inanity of elected officials who built our bankruptcies.  Longing to be free from restrictive taxes and regulations.

Actually, we’re mad as blazes and we want our country back.

Marilyn Snyder

Cabinet Member, Redlands Tea Party Patriots