This site is meant to facilitate the upward flow of information to help our elected officials stay in touch with those they represent. Also as a means to help us (the voters) help our leaders lead.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tea Party Convention

Sat. Tea Party Convention.

Click on Pics to enlarge

I had been really excited all during the April 15th “Tea Party” thing, and all the stuff leading up to it.

The whole affair nationwide was a smashing success. Finally; here was something where the average American could stand up and be heard, directly. This was a chance for the 4,000 who were in Lansing to be a part of the news. For those who were there, they saw and heard the different reasons why people took time off and showed up. We the people knew without the filtered news commentary why we took that time off to go to Lansing or one of the 25 other “Tea Party” protests across the State or any other of the some odd thousand Parties across the Nation.

For once the million or so people across this, their Nation didn’t have to rely on the media to tell them what was happening. We had found the new media. We “not so few” felt good in that knowledge. We also felt confident with our knowledge, confident enough to see and understand at a deeper level how slanted and corrupted the media has become. For me and many others the smears and attacks and half-truths were hurtful, it was becoming personal.

Well since then, there has been a lot of activity on the Tea Party front. There has been a bunch of different conservative organizations trying to become identified with the “movement”. Some of the groups are trying to control the direction of the Tea Party thing. Local branches have formed in different areas throughout the state. Some are tax based, some are centered on family values, others gathering around constitutional purity.

I have been watching and a part of this great enthusiasm starting to fracture and divide and I’ve sadly sat by and watched. Again I felt powerless. Well along came an article on Right Michigan by Wendy Day about a “Tea Party Convention”.


Nick and others later on during a "break out" talking about "New Media" Nick's on the left sitting.

Well I started digging by clicking on the link in the article which took me to the convention site. This site, this convention, seemed to be what I was looking for. This promised to be a way to gather again all the diverse groups and ideas that gave rise to the Tea Party in the first place. I talked it up and blogged about it. I registered but had a problem with Pay Pal, which turned into a blessing as I had to email Melanie (Wendy’s partner) and she emailed me back so that personal touch was what I needed.

For various reasons I put off getting hold of my blogger buddy to finalize our plans to drive to Lansing. Well I finally called and Thurs. we set it up. We also decided to become delegates to the convention. This involved getting 25 signatures of friends etc. Well it took me almost all day Friday to hunt up 25 people. As Jim picked me up in the old Circuit City parking lot Sat. morning at 6:15 for our trip to Lansing, he provided the 25th signature. That whole process of getting names was less about the people I contacted but seemed more about helping me define what I was up to with this. Again talking with other people usually teaches me a lot about myself.

Below Blogger friend Jim + Jack McHugh, Me + Jack, Jim on the prowl.

As we were nearing Lansing, I was hoping there were going to be enough people attending, to become meaningful. Well there were. I talked with Wendy at our lunch break and she said around 240. BTW, my friend and I had a great political and other discussions on our way there.

The event was at the Capital City Baptist Ministries, which is a complex of buildings; including a field house, auditorium and church proper among others; great space. I would like to preface the recap by saying how well run and professional the convention was.

It all started with a continental breakfast for the bleary eyed and registration etc from 8-9am. Then the action began.

The opening ceremony was well set up with a good group of speakers for the whole group. We then divided up into smaller “breakout” groups according to our tastes. After the work sessions we all came back together for lunch and listened to our keynote speaker Jen Gratz. WOW.

More on her later then we had a 5 min. presentation per ballot proposal which we were to vote on. There were 5.


After that we broke up again, this time by geographic area. (Northern Mi. Western Mi. Central Mi. and Southeastern Mi.) The biggest crowd by far was from Central Mi. Below is our group from West Mi.

After that we again all assembled and listened to Thayrone X a radio personality from WAAM 1600 out of Ann Arbor. We then heard the ballot results. The Fair Tax people won the day.

I did meet some friends from Livingston County. Arlene is pictured below.

I didn’t get home until nearly 5pm; a full day and my brain was full.
Now about Jen Gratz. As I alluded to earlier, I was starting to feel that the Tea movement was starting to die a slow death and that I was feeling helpless. Well up to the microphone stepped Jen Gratz.

I had researched her on You Tube and everything I had seen told me that she was an impressive person. What impressed me was her determination. She had the fire of youth. She was willing to take the platitudes we feed our youth as truth.

She applied to the UofM and was turned down while people she knew of color whom she felt had less ability than she were accepted. She single handedly fought the fight. Don’t get me wrong, she had people who supported her but she never gave up. As she said and from the You Tubes I’ve seen, the whole of government was against her. In Michigan both parties sided against her, only Mike Cox stood up for her. In an election year all other politicians and other government run or funded non profits ran for the PC cover. Even most churches.

This Tea Party thing is something too that is swimming against almost all of organized government and all its funded auxiliary groups. Jen Gratz showed how one person can still, with the constitution in hand, make change if it is backed by the people.

Oh, did I forget to mention that Jen Gratz was triumphant in the end on election day? Was she happy? Of course she was, was she proud, well that is obvious when you see her talk. How did she do this. Her leadership and personality was a big factor, but the idea she had was the key that made her quality apparent. The other factor that made it possible was the “initiative process”.

This process allows for law and constitutions to be rewritten or changed by “popular uprising”. Seems strange that conservatives are now using what the liberals brought forth. Liberals can use a little chagrin from time to time.

Times do change and Conservatives after all do know “Make Do, Make it Now, Make it Work”.

The politicians also were out and trying to just be seen but were not intrusive. I for one think that is a good thing. Politicians need to listen more to what’s going on with real people and less with what is going on in their political circle. The big names I saw were Pete Hoekstra, Mike Cox, Terri Lynn Land. No speech making just mingling.

I give credit for the effort of Wendy Day and her bunch for keeping a tone of unity throughout. With all the various “one issue” groups that were there in force, she fought a stunning battle by not fighting. For that I give thanks, and will volunteer what I can for her (US).

This group was as close to coalition of the various factions of the conservative spectrum that I have participated in. The meaning of Democracy and lessons in civil discourse were what I walked away with. There at the end as in the beginning; there was a unity of purpose. Though it seemed vague and wispy, Freedom I must remember is also a fragile thing that needs constant looking after. I think Wendy in her closing remarks pulled it together by saying something to the effect that as with the first revolution future generations may look at us and wonder how we could come together and make the necessary sacrifices to save our country, or look back and wishing we had.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative


shirts4freedom said...

Tea Party Patriots, make yourselves heard!

live dangerously said...

These guys are relentless.


Anonymous said...

Bob - what a great blog article. Very good. Great meeting you yesterday and I can assure you that everyone I talked to at the convention has the same determination that Jen displayed. It may take some time but we will win this fight. Fred

live dangerously said...

Thanks FB.
There are alot more of us than people think even in Whitehal!!!
The more events like this the better to get people thinking for themselves again.

Thanks for the coment and welcome.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

Citizen Jim said...

Excellent blog recap Ron. It was a great day. I do need to talk to you. Please check friend request on TPWMI.


live dangerously said...

Jim hi and welcome.

I just joined tpwmi and can't find a friend request on the site. You called me Ron, my name is Bob is that the problem? Anyway thanks for the compliment on the recap.

Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative