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We are an independent organization which supports and stands with other Tea Parties around Arkansas and around the nation. We are united in our belief in the American people.
We believe that freedom and liberty are self-evident rights granted to us by God, not given to us by government.
We believe government's role is to advance and protect these rights within the limits set forth in our state and national constitutions.
We believe that a limited government must be fiscally responsible to protect the blessings of liberty.
We affirm the 9 Principles and 12 Values of The 912 Project.
The Northeast Arkansas Tea Party meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm at Barnhill's Buffet, 2111 Caraway Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas.
The public is invited to attend our meetings.
A Brief History of the Tea Party
Lately we've seen an avalanche of vicious name-calling and propaganda about the tea (Taxed Enough Already) party and candidates running with tea party support. I wonder how many even remember this movement's origins.
Some think the tea party began with Rick Santelli's rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where he called for a new tea party to push back against "the government's fiscal irresponsibility." Many think it began with President Barack Obama's election since "tea partiers hate him because he's black." It actually began as early as 2007 when protesters who had supported Bush but were fed up with his overspending and encroachment on civil liberties re-enacted the Boston Tea Party.
That anger increased when Bush signed the TARP bill bailing out financial institutions. When Obama took office, he immediately signed ARRA, the stimulus bill. The sheer magnitude of bills totaling almost $1.5 trillion and supporting outright crony capitalism galvanized many into demanding fiscal responsibility.
The tea party rallies in 2009 saw tens of thousands across the nation come together out of concern for the financial future of our country, our children and grandchildren. In Jonesboro almost 1,000 attended the rally; they came from all ethnic groups and political backgrounds, Republicans, Democrats, independents, libertarians and even liberals. Local participants spoke on regulations and taxes that were strangling the economy and government intrusion that was leading to a Big Brother society. They called for a return to the principles of smaller government, fewer taxes and less government control.
However, when elitists and legislators in Washington and state capitals realized how much influence the tea party movement was gaining, party leaders became frightened because more people-power means less power and influence for politicians, too many of whom seek not to serve the people, but empower themselves for decades.
Politicians quickly joined with liberal media to discredit and demonize this movement. After five years of relentless negative publicity by politicians from both sides of the aisle and attacks from liberal organizations, many people have been convinced the tea party is the enemy. In reality they are simply the "silent majority" who supported President Ronald Reagan's principles and who have found their voice.
I know tea partiers; I have been actively involved with the movement and was a speaker at the first tea party in Jonesboro. I know we're not what they've painted us to be. We're just individuals, parents and grandparents who love this country and want to see it free, fiscally sound and offering the American dream for another 238 years.
Printed in the Jonesboro Sun on August 9, 2014 under the headline, "Demonizing the Tea Party."