Wow! It is hard to believe that two years ago today, the modern tea party movement was born. As someone that was there from the beginning, I cannot help but to take a trip down memory lane.
The idea for a tea party actually was thrown out to the masses by Rick Santelli when he had this rant about the mortgage meltdown on CNBC.
The following day, after the video went viral, a group of conservatives on Twitter came together using the #tcot hashtag and had a conference call. I was on that call that Friday evening, February 20th, along with twenty-one other people. The purpose of the call was to plan for simultaneous tea parties across the country one week later. We defined our success by having 10 tea parties across the nation, with 50 - 100 people in attendance at each event.
We all got busy immediately planning our tea parties. One week later, on Friday, February 27th, at 12:00 noon EST, we had 53 tea parties with approximately 30,000 people in attendance! That was nothing short of amazing! All of those tea parties happened through social media and word of mouth, with no help from traditional media.
During that week, I worked with others to plan the first ever Atlanta Tea Party. On Friday at 12:00 noon, we had a spectacular tea party rally at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
It began raining right before the event started. The tea party lasted for an hour and as the time wore on, the rain poured down heavier and heavier. Yet, the bone chilling cold and rain did not deter people, instead they turned out in large numbers with umbrellas, rain gear and of course, their tea bags! In the end, we had 400 to 500 freedom loving Americans at the first ever Atlanta Tea Party in the pouring down rain! We even had local media cover the event and footage from the Atlanta Tea Party was shown on Greta's show, On the Record, that evening on Fox News Channel!
Here is a short video of the very first Atlanta Tea Party.
Beginning Friday afternoon after the simultaneous events and continuing through the weekend, the calls and emails poured in from coast to coast. It was obvious to those of us that had been on that conference call one week earlier that anger was brewing. History was made on February 27th, 2009 when a movement was born!
Much transpired in the weeks to follow and much is still to happen within this modern day grassroots movement. History is still being written. But just look at where we have come from since that cold February day in 2009. There is so much that we have done and it cannot all be told here. However, I can sum it up by saying we have completely changed the political landscape of Washington, DC.
This movement is still in an infancy stage and we are just getting started! Look at what we accomplished on November 2, 2010 with no plan or footprint of what we set out to do in those early days.
Now, imagine what we can do if we continue to educate ourselves on the issues and work to grow the movement. We can work smarter and be more successful if we will stick to the same core principles and values that have fueled us thus far:
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Constitutionally Limited Government
- Free Markets
Washington didn't know what to think of us 2 years ago and they still do not understand this movement. That is a good thing! Maybe they will work harder to do the right thing and rein in this debt. If not, we will work to retire them in round 2, coming November 2012.
We truly are in historic times and there is so much more to be told, but that will all come in due time. I just wanted to reminisce about the early days of the movement. Thanks for allowing me to walk down memory lane.
There are many people that played a role in the birth of this movement and you can read more about those key people here in this post by one of the Fathers of the movement, Eric Odom. Eric worked tirelessly in those early days, as did so many of us, and he gives tribute to those people in his Happy Birthday post to the movement. I hope you will take a few minutes and share in his recollection of those historic times.
Enjoy this day tea party friends and smile at all that we have accomplished because tomorrow, we need to get back to work!