Tea Party Etiquette
Last night, Jenifer Roland (that is not a typo, she really just uses one “n”) and I were honored to be invited to address a meeting of the Meramec Township Republican Club in Southwest St. Louis County. (Think of the area around Fenton and Eureka if you are wondering where Meramec Township is.) It was a great opportunity to talk to a very large crowd about the Show-Me Institute and some of our studies. Jen gave an excellent talk about our recent health care study and touched on cap ‘n
I provided background about the Show-Me Institute and spoke briefly about property taxes and assessments. There were a number of Republican local elected officials there, and representatives of federal officeholders like Rep. Todd Akin and Sen. Kit Bond.
This was a township forum, not a tea party protest, but it quickly became clear that a number of tea party protesters also attended this event in order to have an opportunity to talk to some of their representatives. Here, though, the elected officials predominantly agreed with them, and the term “preaching to the choir” was used several times.
I love the tea party movement. I love that people are getting involved in their democracy. I appreciate that many tea party activists used to participate in real-world civics only through voting once — maybe twice — every four years, and now they are becoming more fully involved in the process. I would personally like to have heard a little less lecturing and condescension in some of the comments by the tea party activists last night, but you never get everything you want in life.
All in all, it was a terrific meeting and we thank Meramec Township for inviting us. Remember, Show-Me Institute staff and scholars are always available to speak about public policy to your political or civic group, of any party or affiliation.