Some of our friends in the Tea Parties are engaged in primary battles, and in their zeal to win, they are making false statements about the unity of the Tea Party movement behind particular candidates.
The point of having multiple Tea Party organizations organized around local areas is to prevent the media and politicians from reducing us to the soundbites of a single leader. The goal is to force the parties and the media to speak to us individually, and not reduce us to a monolith. We come together when we want to, and when we individually or in groups choose not to, that should be respected.
I think it's great that other Tea Parties have found their voices. It is good for our state that so many people are getting involved. And the primaries are an important time. We find out which candidates have the ideals, the issues, and the campaigns to win statewide. And while personally I'm not a big fan of the personal attacks on our own side, the candidates need to be thick-skinned enough to take them.
There are lines, however. In the 2010 election, Conservatives need to fight for their place in the Republican party, but those who adopt a mentality of win or go home are no friends of conservatives. I have heard Tea Party folks state they will sit out the election if their candidate doesn't win. That is a loser's mentality.
If you lose the primary, your goal should be to figure out how to win it the next year, and the year after that. If you don't want to work for one specific candidate, what conservative candidates can you work for that could win statewide primaries in the future? At every juncture, your thought should be, "how can we grow the movement?"
Politics is not a zero-sum game with a time limit. It is the manner in which a society organizes itself. It never ends, and so to win, you have to take the long view. Many of us in the Tea Party are new to this, and so we wear our emotions on our sleeves. The desire to win or give up is normal, but it's a personal failure. We lack the power to effect change, and so we lash out when we realize that the country is in a dangerous place. To overcome that, we need to recognize that it is our complacency over decades that has led us to this moment. The reversal of that powerlessness and the rebirth of a constitutional republic does not happen overnight.
You work hard, but you do not get to go home. You find out how to win the next time.
As you can tell, I'm being deliberately vague about an issue. I do so out of respect for those who are working very hard for what they believe in. I am silencing my voice so that your voice gets its full attention. Respect goes two ways. Please remember that.